- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
- Audio Codec: Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), English English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), French Dolby Digital 5.1
- Subtitles: English, English SDH, French
- Region: ABC (Region-Free)
- Rating: TV-14
- Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
- Run Time: 95 Mins.
- Studio: Studio Ghibli/Walt Disney Studios
- Blu-ray Release Date: May 22, 2012
- List Price: $39.99
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
Studio Ghibli, the Disney of the East, has crafted another heartwarming fantastical animated journey in The Secret World of Arrietty (aka The Borrower Arrietty, 借りぐらしのアリエッティ, Kari-gurashi no Arietti). Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi and written by Hayao Miyazaki from the Mary Norton novel The Borrowers, the film will at once be visually recognizable to anyone familiar with the works of Studio Ghibli, such as Spirited Away, or Laputa: Castle in the Sky.
A story of adventure and friendship set in the sunny summertime, Arrietty tells the tale of a group of tiny people known as “borrowers” who live in secrecy beneath the floorboards of a house. Living off of the humans around them for the things they need, they go on little expeditions through the home to “borrow” little things they need to survive that people might not miss – a sugar cube here, a sheet of tissue paper there.
One summer, when the sickly Sho arrives at his aunt’s house to spend the summer, he spots the rambunctious young borrower Arrietty in the garden as she is foraging for fresh herbs. It starts a forbidden friendship that puts Arriety and her entire family in danger when Sho’s housekeeper becomes aware of the tiny people’s existence as well.
Beautifully crafted and colorful animation pairs with the typically bittersweet and pie-eyed writing of Miyazaki in this story of young friendship, a theme well explored in many Ghibli films.
The Westernized, English dub features Disney Channel stars Bridgit Mendler and David Henrie as well as Carol Burnett, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett and Moises Arias.
I cannot find fault with this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encodement of The Secret World of Arrietty by Disney. This is a flawless image with perfect detail, beautifully vivid colors, detailed line art and no sign of any artifacts whatsoever. Contrast is quite strong as well and the image seems filmic.
I always prefer to watch my anime with the original Japanese language track, even if these Studio Ghibli releases do employ some rather big name Hollywood stars for their English-dubs. The lossless 5.1 soundtracks here are both good, with clean, intelligible dialogue and good voice acting. There isn’t much activity in the surrounds much of the time, apart from a couple of moments where a rainstorm fills up the room, and lows are mild until the musical soundtrack kicks in and then it pumps up a bit for extended, but tight, weightiness.
It should also be pointed out that selecting the English dub also results in a few differences in the film itself. English text replaces Japanese on some notes in certain frames and some other minor differences.
There isn’t really anything on here that is required viewing. The storyboard version of the film is cool for people who like to see the production side of films, but everything else is rather promotional. There is a trailer for the forthcoming Diamond Edition of Cinderella on the disc as well as the Pixar film Brave, for those interested.
- Original Japanese Storyboards (1.85:1; 1080p/24; 01:34:06) – View the entire film in storyboard form.
- Trailers & TV Spots (1080p/24; 00:13:52)
- Cécile Corbel – “Arrietty’s Song” music video (1.78:1; 1080i/60)
- Bridgit Mendler “Summertime” music video (1.78:1; 1080p/24)
- The Making of “Summertime” (1.85:1; 1080p/24)
The Definitive World
Charming and beautifully animated, The Secret World of Arrietty is a definite must for families. It’s fit for all ages with little to intimidate, scare, or stir controversy, yet it avoids being bland. Highly recommended.
Additional Screen Captures