User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 197 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 197
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  1. Apr 5, 2012
    7
    Stunning visuals and sound abound throughout the film yet I couldn't escape the desire of wanting something to happen up until the end. The film left me wishing they had explored the world they created and found another story to tell in it.
  2. 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.
  3. 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%.
  4. Feb 18, 2012
    9
    Not many movies these days leave you with a tugging feeling of the heart, but this one surely did. Everything is idyllic and picturesque - from the smallest details of a miniature kitchen room to the vast green-scape of the gardens. The characters are overwhelming charming and lovable, and one cannot help but wish that they are real. The story is subtle but strong, and the music isNot many movies these days leave you with a tugging feeling of the heart, but this one surely did. Everything is idyllic and picturesque - from the smallest details of a miniature kitchen room to the vast green-scape of the gardens. The characters are overwhelming charming and lovable, and one cannot help but wish that they are real. The story is subtle but strong, and the music is breathtaking. I agree with some of critics that the pacing may have been a tad slow overall (lulling effect), and that Arrietty and Sho/Shawn as characters may have been a little flat (though I just call it subtlety of the Japanese reserve), but those things shouldn't stop anyone from enjoying this film 110%. Expand
  5. Mar 2, 2012
    10
    This movie is classic Ghibli magic. The feel is much like the heroines of My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service. She's bold, hyper-responsible, and wants very much to take care of everyone. It's a small, quiet story, told with beautiful detail.
  6. Feb 20, 2012
    8
    The Secret World of Arrietty is visually stunning. So much detail drawn into every frame just like all movies from Studio Ghibli. In fact, you will swear it is a Hayao Miyazaki film - it certainly has the look and feel. In fact, the master animator wrote the screenplay, but did not direct it, but his handiwork is obvious. The story itself is charming, although predictable for adults.The Secret World of Arrietty is visually stunning. So much detail drawn into every frame just like all movies from Studio Ghibli. In fact, you will swear it is a Hayao Miyazaki film - it certainly has the look and feel. In fact, the master animator wrote the screenplay, but did not direct it, but his handiwork is obvious. The story itself is charming, although predictable for adults. I saw it in a theater with kids, and most children, except for the very young, were quiet and seemingly transfixed. It isn't a classic like "Spirited Away" but if you're a fan of Miyazaki you will like it. Expand
  7. Feb 29, 2012
    9
    A great animation, made with classic Anime techniques, showing that you don't need top CG and computer teams to make a wonderful Job. The story is about a boy who have a heart disease, and ius going to rest in a country house, that was his grandfather house. There, bellow the floor lives a little people family, the called Borrowers, that take from the home above thing to survive. TheA great animation, made with classic Anime techniques, showing that you don't need top CG and computer teams to make a wonderful Job. The story is about a boy who have a heart disease, and ius going to rest in a country house, that was his grandfather house. There, bellow the floor lives a little people family, the called Borrowers, that take from the home above thing to survive. The detailing of the scenarios, voicing and the soundtrack are perfect to transmits the sensation of peace of the place and the live-style of the house (s) - all animation is full of colours and details, with excelent sound effects. A story to all the family, and a masterpiece from Studio Ghibli, that deserve to be one of the top movies (animations) this year. My score: 8,7 / 10,0 Expand
  8. Mar 2, 2012
    10
    I love The Secret World of Arrietty, is an interesting anime film, about a different world, and is perfect this film, this studio never do a terrible work and the secret world of arrietty is fantastic.
  9. 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 hisThe 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. Expand
  10. Feb 18, 2012
    10
    Hayao Miyazaki knows exactly what he's doing. If you enjoyed Ponyo and Spirited Away, then you will never once regret spending your money to see this movie. totally worth the ten dollars to see it in the theater.
  11. Apr 6, 2012
    0
    Having watched The Borrowers as a child, I really looked forward to taking my kids to this film. It was so slow moving... it dragged on forever. Rent this one, but don't expect much.
  12. Nov 2, 2012
    9
    I kept pausing this film just to take in certain frames, usually sketches the garden. Each frame is an absolute work of art. To add to that the story is very nice and the voiceovers are top notch as always. A lovely film indeed and a great collection to Ghibli's repertoire.
  13. Feb 17, 2012
    10
    To The New York Times Manohla Dargis I say this: Your review is contingent on the quality of the book, not the actual movie, thus I will disregard the score you gave this flick. I personally felt it was fantastic. Brilliant animation, good characters... I didn't really find anything wrong with it, hence the 10.
  14. Feb 17, 2012
    10
    proof that ghibli still has it's magic and wonder even without miyazaki at the the helm, but instead writing the scripts. this movie is very visually stunning and is a wonderful re imagining of the orignal books, and the best adaptation of them that I have seen
  15. Jun 30, 2012
    5
    Hard to judge this film simply because if it was any normal film it would be decent, but for a Studio Ghibli film it was quite disappointing. I guess they can't pump out Princess Moninoke's or Howls Moving Castle's, but one can dream the next will try harder. I found Ponyo even better than Arrietty, but as I said, as a film in general, this one is still decent.
  16. Feb 19, 2012
    10
    Beautiful artwork, lovable characters and a touching story. A wonderful movie based on one of my favorite childhood books, The Borrowers. Worth watching if you're a fan of the book or Studio Ghibli's films and definitely worth owning if you're a fan of both!
  17. Feb 20, 2012
    9
    What I liked best about this movie is that it didn't have to be obnoxious and filled with gross-out humor to keep the kid's attention. Little scenes like stirring tea, falling raindrops or traveling through the house was mesmerizing, and it didn't need boisterous noises to keep the children awake and alert. The Secret World of Arrietty is another great movie from Studio Ghibli. TheWhat I liked best about this movie is that it didn't have to be obnoxious and filled with gross-out humor to keep the kid's attention. Little scenes like stirring tea, falling raindrops or traveling through the house was mesmerizing, and it didn't need boisterous noises to keep the children awake and alert. The Secret World of Arrietty is another great movie from Studio Ghibli. The animation is stunning, the story is simple but touching (and a bit bittersweet), and I recommend it to any family who is going to the movies sometime soon. 9/10 Expand
  18. Feb 21, 2012
    8
    I like the cartoon elements and the story line. Sort of "The Secret Garden"- like. Showing a strong, brave girl also appeals to my feminist instincts.
  19. May 16, 2012
    6
    The Secret World of Arrietty is a pretty and touching cinematic, which will leave you entertained in front of the screen for the whole runtime. Despite the fact that it's a good picture, it doesn't by far compete with the other Ghiblis. The animation is good but not fantastic, the story is nice but not complex, and the characters are cute but not deep. I have not seen or read the originalThe Secret World of Arrietty is a pretty and touching cinematic, which will leave you entertained in front of the screen for the whole runtime. Despite the fact that it's a good picture, it doesn't by far compete with the other Ghiblis. The animation is good but not fantastic, the story is nice but not complex, and the characters are cute but not deep. I have not seen or read the original story but I really think the boy could've been more developed and combined with the theme of loss more. Arrietty is a nice character but I think her behavior is quite unrealistic; someone adolescent like her ought to be eager to know more about the world. She seems to be amazed about the only stuff that's around her, despite her coming-of-age. The lady taking care of the boy could've been more of an antagonist, as the movie lacks proper contrast with the goodwill of the boy. In the end The Secret World of Arrietty merely hints of what Ghibli characters, animation, artwork, wit and story can be and could've been, not what it is to this date. Expand
  20. Mar 10, 2012
    8
    There is something magical about the wonderful creations of Japan's Studio Ghibli, and animator Hayao Miyazaki. And although this is not their strongest suit, it is still spellboundingly beautiful.
  21. Feb 22, 2012
    7
    Studio Ghibli is best known for dazzling flights of animation like "Spirited Away," "Mononoke" and "Ponyo." Disney has put its muscle behind this latest, an adaptation of "The Borrowers," about tiny people who live among us. Unfortunately, this is the studio's most earthbound release. The story is told in its simple, quiet style, but lacks the magical wonder and visual imagination of theStudio Ghibli is best known for dazzling flights of animation like "Spirited Away," "Mononoke" and "Ponyo." Disney has put its muscle behind this latest, an adaptation of "The Borrowers," about tiny people who live among us. Unfortunately, this is the studio's most earthbound release. The story is told in its simple, quiet style, but lacks the magical wonder and visual imagination of the earlier films. Don't expect a fast-paced, gag-filled, crazy-character American product. This picture's quality lies it its visual appeal and gentle charm. Expand
  22. Feb 21, 2012
    10
    The Secret World of Arrietty is a spectacular film from Ghibli, the story is not really original to me but I guess that's because its adopted, and the visuals are out of world as ever. Should you watch it, yes, there is many reasons why you should watch this. One its from Ghibli, 2 its from Ghibli, 3 yeah I guess you get it by now. The story is very similar to other movies from them, thereThe Secret World of Arrietty is a spectacular film from Ghibli, the story is not really original to me but I guess that's because its adopted, and the visuals are out of world as ever. Should you watch it, yes, there is many reasons why you should watch this. One its from Ghibli, 2 its from Ghibli, 3 yeah I guess you get it by now. The story is very similar to other movies from them, there a boy and a very brave girl who would do anything to help others or to help herself. Expand
  23. Feb 24, 2012
    9
    When I first heard about this movie I had to see it and I had extremely high expectations, and I was not disappointed, it's beautifully animated with attention to detail everywhere, it just looks gorgeous, and the voice work is fantastic, and the music is perfect for the movie, and every little sound from the borrowers footsteps to the creaking of the floorboards all make the movie feelWhen I first heard about this movie I had to see it and I had extremely high expectations, and I was not disappointed, it's beautifully animated with attention to detail everywhere, it just looks gorgeous, and the voice work is fantastic, and the music is perfect for the movie, and every little sound from the borrowers footsteps to the creaking of the floorboards all make the movie feel more alive, you will find yourself falling in love with the characters, I do wish it ended a little differently, not that it ended badly I just would have liked to have seen it end a little differently, but it's still a masterpiece, this is a perfect family movie and a must watch for everyone, very few movies manage to be this enjoyable and full of magic, a must watch. Expand
  24. Oct 1, 2012
    8
    The Secret World of Arrietty is a fantastic and moving slice of Ghibli anime. It has a delightfully calm tone and a truly excellent soundtrack. There's not too much to say other than this movie is just pure brilliance.
  25. Apr 24, 2012
    8
    I just simply love it! Welcome to the world of Studio Ghibli! If you are familiar with thiz famous studio in Japan, by any chance you must have seen My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Princess of Mononoke (1997), Spirited Away (2001) or my favorite anime Ponyo (2008). Hayao Miyazaki is the mastermind behind those respectable masterpieces. Thiz time he hands over the directing to his experiencedI just simply love it! Welcome to the world of Studio Ghibli! If you are familiar with thiz famous studio in Japan, by any chance you must have seen My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Princess of Mononoke (1997), Spirited Away (2001) or my favorite anime Ponyo (2008). Hayao Miyazaki is the mastermind behind those respectable masterpieces. Thiz time he hands over the directing to his experienced Key Animator, Hiromasa Yonebayashi. 14-year-old Arrietty, mother and father are four-inch-tall people who live in another family residence. The family fulfils their daily needs like bread, sugar, tissue and other things by borrowing them. There is a heart-kinded boy named Shou, just moves into the house and something is going to change forever. The voice Actors are Mirai Shida (Arrietty), Tomokazu Miura (Pod, the father), Shinobu Ohtake (Homily, the mother) and Ryûnosuke Kamiki (Shou). In UK version, the character Arrietty is voiced by Saoirse Ronan. Our mood has been set up to feel the tenderness from the very first moment, the car driving to the house is beautifully described with uplifting music, it reminds me of the opening scene in Spirited Away. The classic hand-drawn animation is at its best. Thiz movie is just like all the other Studio Ghibli productions, it is filled with beauty, elegance and plenty of lovable characters. The details is unbelievably accurate, the sunshine, the rain, the wind blowing, everything is well-crafted. Thiz movie is not an ordinary animation but it is actually a drama in animated form with more mature standpoint. There are a lot of hearts there. See all over every scene, we will have very friendly experiences and down to earth feelings. You will easily find sensitive humanity theme behind it. If nowadays most people go with Pixar. Myself, I am always looking forward for Studio Ghibli productions. I saw you, Arrietty! And I kind of loved it!

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  26. Apr 4, 2012
    10
    This Movie Is So Amazing! (As Other Ghibli Movies)
    All I Can Say Is The Animation Is So Beautiful, A Great Plot, Overall In My Opinion The Best Animated Movie Of 2012!
    This Needs To Be Nominated For A Acadamy Award! FINGERS CRO$$ED!
  27. Mar 21, 2012
    9
    Arrietty is quite simply a joy to behold. Simultaneously an affectionate and faithful adaptation of Mary Norton's novel The Borrowers and a highly original journey in visual terms, the film captivates you from the very start. Much like Studio Ghibli's last feature Ponyo, Arrietty is sweet, tender and without agenda, other than the environmental subtext that it wouldn't be Ghibli without.Arrietty is quite simply a joy to behold. Simultaneously an affectionate and faithful adaptation of Mary Norton's novel The Borrowers and a highly original journey in visual terms, the film captivates you from the very start. Much like Studio Ghibli's last feature Ponyo, Arrietty is sweet, tender and without agenda, other than the environmental subtext that it wouldn't be Ghibli without. Again like Ponyo, it's a film about growing up, finding your place in the world and truly appreciating the importance of family and friends. Arrietty is visually sumptuous even by Studio Ghibli's standard - everything is drawn and animated beautifully, and it's very easy to get swept up in the colossal domestic and garden environments, all presented from a "Borrower's-eye-view". The voice cast are spot-on, particularly Mirai Shida's inquisitive and adventurous teen Borrower and titular heroine Arrietty and Kirin Kiki's scheming caretaker Haru, who makes a sinister but humorous antagonist. The film's simple but effective score by Cecile Corbel rounds things off nicely, and adds a little extra emotion and magic to proceedings. Arrietty is a truly great animated film, and in a really quite horrifying modern world, it makes a nice change to watch something that is so innocent, that would satisfy a 5 year-old or an 85 year-old in equal measure. Expand
  28. May 5, 2012
    9
    A studio Ghibli film, what more can I say. Extremely well done, great story. Just an overall Studio Ghibli classic. If you like other films such as, Kiki's Delivery Service, Ponyo, My Neighbor Totoro, Hal's Moving Castle, you should like this film.
  29. j30
    Apr 29, 2012
    6
    The Secret World of Arrietty is sugar coated Hayao Miyazaki (he didn't direct this movie, but he co-wrote the story). If your looking for the wild imagination of Miyazaki's classics like Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, or Howl's Moving Castle this is not the movie for you. However if you're looking for Pixar, family friendly stuff, here you go.
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Simon Kinnear
    Jan 18, 2015
    80
    Arrietty’s craft and charm will invite universal acclaim.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.