13 December 2013

Quickie Movie Review: "The Secret World of Arrietty"

Rated: G for general audiences
Starring: Bridgit Mendler, David Henrie, and Will Arnett (English version)
Released: February 17, 2012 (US wide theatrical release) / May 22, 2012 (DVD/Blu-Ray)
Synopsis: In a secret world hidden beneath the floorboards, little people, known as Borrowers, live quietly among us...but, when tenacious and tiny Arrietty (Bridgit Mendler, Good Luck Charlie) is discovered by Shawn (David Henrie, Wizards of Waverly Place), a human boy, their secret and forbidden friendship blossoms into an extraordinary adventure.  Based on the award-winning classic novel The Borrowers by Mary Norton.
(Adapted from the back cover of the US DVD edition)

My Review: The animation in this movie is outstanding! This is definitely better in that respect than many of the "modern" cartoons you see on kids' networks these days.  Unfortunately, everything else is only mediocre at best.  The voice work is only passable, with Shawn sounding as if he is on drugs.  A dumb song by artist C├ęcile Corbel--who?--dominates and ruins the soundtrack, with Bridgit Mendler's musical contribution only heard during the last part of the closing credits.  Some of the characters were just plain goofy, and the plodding plot made this very hard for me to finish.  Unless you're a die-hard fan of Japanese animation, I really can't recommend this; these days, well-animated movies are everywhere, and pretty graphics can't save a dull story any more than they can save a poorly designed video game.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: None. 5/5
  • Nudity: A girl's underwear is seen briefly. 4.75/5
  • Language: One usage of the term "idiots." 4.75/5
  • Violence: A crow gets caught in a windowsill, and a lady hits it with a slipper; a Borrower holds up the leg of a cricket, which he cut off to eat; another Borrower is placed in a jar by a regular human.  Not too much in this department. 4/5
  • Drugs: Someone is seen drinking, wine bottles are seen in the background, and it is assumed that a woman was "hitting the sherry," though she actually wasn't. 4/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: The Borrowers encounter plenty of "big" things--people, a cat, a raccoon, etc.--which are shown from their perspective, making normally non-scary things bigger and scarier than they actually are. 3.5/5
Final Score: 2.25/5

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