The Secret World of Arrietty

February 17th 2012
  • Animated/Fantasy,
  • G,
  • 94 min,
  • Walt Disney Pictures
  • Cast: Bridgit Mendler, Will Arnett, David Henrie, Amy Poehler, Moises Arias, Carol Burnett, Peter Jason, Frank Marshall, Karey Kirkpatrick, Ray Gillon, Steve Alpert, Gracle Poletti, Saoirse Ronan, Mark Strong, Olivia Colman, Geraldine McEwan, Phyllida Law, Tom Holland, Luke Allen-Gale
  • Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
  • Writers: Hayao Miyazaki, Mary Norton
  • Producers: Toshio Suzuki, Soledad Gatti-Pascual
  • Executive Producers: Hayao Miyazaki, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy
  • Art Directions: Yôji Takeshige, Noboru Yoshida
  • D.O.P.: Atsushi Okui
  • Editor: Rie Matsubara
  • Musics: Cécile Corbel, Dale Sison


Arrietty (Bridgit Mendler), a tiny, but tenacious 14-year-old, lives with her parents (Will Arnett and Amy Poehler) in the recesses of a suburban garden home, unbeknownst to the homeowner and her housekeeper (Carol Burnett).

Like all little people, Arrietty (AIR-ee-ett-ee) remains hidden from view, except during occasional covert ventures beyond the floorboards to "borrow" scrap supplies like sugar cubes from her human hosts.

But when 12-year-old Shawn (David Henrie), a human boy who comes to stay in the home, discovers his mysterious housemate one evening, a secret friendship blossoms. If discovered, their relationship could drive Arrietty's family from the home and straight into danger

Basic Information

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Production Companies: Studio Ghibli, Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Dentsu, Hakuhodo DY Media Partners, Mitsubishi Shoji, Nippon Television Network Corporation, Toho Company, Walt Disney Company

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2012 Guide Analysis: "The latest effort from legendary Japanese animation powerhouse Studio Ghibli is a new adaptation of Mary Norton's novel "The Borrowers", the film said to stick closely to that work aside from moving the setting to western Tokyo. Animator Hiromasa Yonebayashi is the youngest person to direct a film for the company and worked on key animation for Hayao Miyazaki's last three movies - "Spirited Away," "Howl's Moving Castle" and "Ponyo".

The story follows Sho, a boy who moves into his great aunt's house and soon discovers the presence of tiny people, the Borrowers, living there. He develops a friendship with a 14-year-old Borrower named Arrietty, despite it breaking the cardinal rule that humans must not know about the Borrowers' existence.

Reviews in Japan, the UK and Australia have been strong, citing it as one of the best non-Miyazaki Ghibli efforts. The few negative remarks have been those mainly wanting something more out of it, disappointed in the way it's a very gentle, leisurely paced and quiet little tale but one that's deeper and richer than many in the genre. The film has already pulled in an impressive $126 million worldwide.

In a different move for Ghibli releases, two separate English language soundtracks were recorded - one for the US market and one for the UK with both featuring familiar names. The theatrical release States-side has Bridgit Mendler in the title role and the likes of Amy Poehler, Will Arnett and Carol Burnett in supporting parts. The UK version, which can now be imported via DVD & Blu-ray from, has a cast that includes Saoirse Ronan, Mark Strong, Geraldine McEwan and Tom Holland."

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Worldwide Release Dates

  • 17 July 2010: Japan
  • 9 September 2010: South Korea
  • 25 December 2010: Hong Kong
  • 12 January 2011: France
  • 15 January 2011: Taiwan
  • 25 January 2011: Switzerland
  • 6 April 2011: Belgium
  • 2 June 2011: Germany
  • 23 June 2011: Thailand
  • 6 July 2011: Netherlands
  • 22 July 2011: Turkey
  • 29 July 2011: Ireland, UK
  • 15 September 2011: Russia
  • 16 September 2011: Spain
  • 14 October 2011: Italy
  • 28 October 2011: Finland
  • 2 November 2011: Sweden
  • 25 November 2011: Austria
  • 25 December 2011: Denmark, Norway
  • 12 January 2012: Australia