Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Feb 17, 2012
    75
    A feast for the eyes that will engage the entire family.
  2. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Feb 15, 2012
    83
    The lyrical animation, with its meditative attention to nature, bears the unique stamp of Japan's Studio Ghibli, cofounded by the great ­"Spirited Away" animator Hayao Miyazaki.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Feb 16, 2012
    63
    At the technical level, The Secret World of Arrietty isn't as ambitious as the studio's finest work, and the animation is stronger on texture than detail.
  4. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Feb 16, 2012
    100
    Set in an enchanting locale where the potential for magic is everywhere, this impeccable animated film puts its complete trust in the spirit of make-believe.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Feb 16, 2012
    75
    With its lush colors, imaginative view of ordinary objects and meticulously crafted miniature civilization, it transports viewers to an enchanting alternate storybook reality.
  6. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Feb 23, 2012
    78
    Although not directed by Hiyao Miyazaki (though he executive-produced and co-wrote it), the film retains the look and feel of the "Spirited Away" master's best work, allowing for huge emotions amidst a world of Lilliputian scope.
  7. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Feb 17, 2012
    100
    A marvelously captivating animated feature.
  8. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Feb 16, 2012
    88
    Disney TV star Bridgit Mendler brings an effective if limited friendliness to Arrietty; Will Arnett and Amy Poehler are relatively restrained as her parents; Carol Burnett runs through a career's worth of vocal flourishes and aural panic attacks as the housekeeper.
  9. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Feb 16, 2012
    100
    As lovingly written as it is beautifully rendered.
  10. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Feb 17, 2012
    75
    The result is an intriguing hybrid, mixing a Japanese reverence for nature (a raindrop shimmering on a leaf is a visual haiku) with quaint Victorian architecture and a story featuring contemporary, Caucasian-looking Japanese characters speaking in American accents. Somehow, it all works.
  11. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Feb 16, 2012
    60
    Sadly suffers from more than a dollop of boredom. Like the ornate dollhouse that plays a part, "Arrietty" is lovely and well-appointed, but filled with only what you bring to it.
  12. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Feb 16, 2012
    90
    What the studio does, brilliantly, is preserve a hand-drawn look and feel in its work, as in the exteriors in The Secret World, where the characters pop against a painterly meadow.
  13. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Feb 17, 2012
    60
    That's some admirably mature stuff for a kid's flick in this day of rampant pandering, but it also helps rob the film of a certain breathless, edge-of-your-seat appeal. In other words, there are lulls here.
  14. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    Feb 15, 2012
    91
    Even when making movies for small children, Studio Ghibli produces stories that are more emotionally sophisticated, and less philosophically polarized, than most adult fare.
  15. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    Feb 21, 2012
    75
    The Secret World of Arrietty may be too gentle and meditative to be the studio's breakout hit in this country, but it's another sweet advance, and further evidence that the Ghibli secret must soon out.
  16. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Feb 16, 2012
    75
    What's missing is any real menace - the signature Miyazaki freak factor that turns spirits into monsters and parents into pigs.
  17. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    Feb 15, 2012
    75
    It's a matinee treat for the very little ones, after all.
  18. Reviewed by: Pete Hammond
    Feb 16, 2012
    70
    Norton's tale of an undetected community of tiny people is perfectly suited for a cartoon and this beautifully rendered, almost old-fashioned version is a gem.
  19. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    Feb 10, 2012
    70
    Although beautifully rendered throughout, with delicate, elegantly drawn watercolor-like illustrations, the picture may seem too plain and simple for the oversophisticated tastes of kids in Europe and North America, while Arrietty herself reps a slightly insipid heroine.
  20. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    Feb 10, 2012
    80
    A beautifully crafted, intimate adventure movie and - presented in hand-drawn 2D - one of the most visually arresting you'll enjoy all year.
  21. Reviewed by: Jesse Cataldo
    Feb 14, 2012
    75
    Offers exactly what its title promises, unveiling this secret milieu through thoroughly meticulous animation.
  22. Reviewed by: Ben Sachs
    Feb 20, 2012
    80
    Pulses with feeling for childhood and nature and develops a surprising amount of suspense considering it takes place around a single suburban home.
  23. Reviewed by: Jody Mitori
    Feb 17, 2012
    75
    So many of today's children's movies are loud. Loud explosions, loud colors, loud soundtracks, loud humor. The animated The Secret World of Arrietty is the antidote to those films.
  24. Reviewed by: Amy Joyce
    Feb 16, 2012
    75
    Upon leaving the theater, a girl of about 6 turned to her grandmother and said dreamily, "That.Was.The.Best.Movie.Ever." And that sums up why this little movie is so very big.
  25. Reviewed by: Steven James Snyder
    Feb 16, 2012
    90
    Arrietty brings the same magic to the mundane, elevating the ordinary confines of everyday life into sumptuous surprises. And while Arrietty lacks the sweep of "Spirited Away," "Princess Mononoke," or "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind," it preserves all the trademark sensitivity to the emotional turmoil of adolescence.
  26. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    Feb 14, 2012
    80
    It's pure magic.
  27. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Feb 14, 2012
    100
    It's hardly the first movie to deal with thimble-size protagonists, but it's one of few animated fairy tales to genuinely transport the audience into their world and, in the process, let us see our own with fresh awe and respect.
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 183 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 49
  2. Negative: 2 out of 49
  1. Feb 17, 2012
    10
    The Secret World of Arrietty is enduring, beautifully animated, beautifully voice acted, funny, heartwarming film ,and should be a model for other animated movies soon to come. Studio Ghibli creates yet another beauty. I give this movie 98%. Full Review »
  2. Feb 18, 2012
    10
    The Secret World of Arrietty is a beautiful hands down best animation with great artwork by Studio Ghibi and Disney. The story was based on the novel by Mary Norton's The Burrowers. It's about a young tiny girl who is discovering huge people's objects in a huge house. She spends time with her parents and she meets a huge young boy who is visiting to stay at the caretaker's house for his operation of his sick heart. She has friendship with the boy and she discovers to become one of the small people known as the burrowers. The characters are interesting and it's been done by great voice acting. Arrietty was portrayed by Bridgit Mendler and she did a great voice with deep heart and strong bravery. Shawn was also portrayed by David Henrie and he did great too with great emotional character development. More characters are fun including Arrietty's mother (Amy Poehler), Arrietty's father (Will Arnett), and the caretaker named Haru (Carol Burnett). The animation is so beautiful with great art by Ghibli. The background is so colorful with flowers, the household items, the characters, and the huge house. Much like Spirited Away and Ponyo, it's phenomenal bright and deep stunning stylish. In my conclusion, The Secret World of Arrietty is a nicely done film and one of my best films of 2012 that I can watch it over and over. It treats us for bigger adults and Ghibli's art fans, but even children will definitely watch. Full Review »
  3. Apr 29, 2012
    5
    This film isn't really what I was expecting. I found the story extremely boring and must admit it isn't in the usual Disney or Studio Ghibli styles (both of which i like!). The animations are good though, and it is a charming story, but not something I would watch again. Full Review »