I'm honestly not trying to turn this into a movie blog, it's just what I've been thinking about lately.
Erin and I took our almost 4 year old to his first big screen movie last night. It was wonderful, he had a great time and so did we. "The Secret World of Arrietty" is the latest from Miyazaki and studio Ghibli, which happens to be the group that puts out Gabe's favorite movies, and some of my favorite animation as well. Though distributed by Disney in the US, they aren't anything like the typical disney film and are really something people of all ages can enjoy.
"Arrietty" is based on the book "The Borrowers" about tiny people who live in normal people's houses, and "borrow" things they need while trying to avoid detection. Arrietty, the main character, gets seen by a sick boy, and it causes problems for their family, as well as an internal conflict between her desire for friendship and the safety of her family.
There were a number of things that I really loved about this movie, and it was really worth seeing in the theatre. From a technical standpoint, the sound was amazing. They did a great job at amplifying the sound and making it slightly weird, just like it would sound if you were only an inch tall. The art direction was awesome as well, many of the outside scenes looked like the characters were living in an impressionist painting, and it just looked really cool overall. One small detail I noticed was that when they cried or poured tea, it came out in huge blobs. It was cool to see that they even thought of surface tension when designing the little people.
There was a lot to like here story-wise. It had a strong female lead who didn't end up living happily ever after with the man of her dreams. The characters were really interesting, and it didn't just rely on gimmicks and action to keep you interested. Not a whole lot happened over the course of the film, but it stayed interesting throughout. It was just the right pace for our family. The movie wasn't dumbed down because it was for kids, which is great because it means the whole family can enjoy it.
There was nothing objectionable for a 3 year old in my opinion, with the added bonus that it didn't impart the typical status quo disney values that most American movies do.I would certainly recommend it.