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The Secret World of Arrietty, known in Japan as The Borrower Arrietty (借りぐらしのアリエッティ , Kari-gurashi no Arietti) and in the United Kingdom as Arrietty, is a 2010 animated film by Studio Ghibli, directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, and written by Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa.

Based on Mary Norton's juvenile fantasy novel, The Borrowers, the film tells the story of Arrietty, a young Borrower who lives under the floorboards of a typical household. She eventually befriends Sho, a human boy with a heart condition, who is living with Sadako (Sho's great aunt). When Haru (Sadako's maid) becomes suspicious of the floorboard's disturbance, Arrietty and her family must escape detection, even if it means leaving their beloved home.

Ghibli announced the film in late 2009 with Yonebayashi making his directorial debut as the youngest director of a Ghibli film. Miyazaki supervised the production as a developing planner. The voice actors were approached in April 2010, and Cécile Corbel wrote the film's score as well as its theme song.

Released in Japan on July 17, 2010, The Secret World of Arrietty received critical acclaim, all of whom praised the animation and music. It also became the highest grossing Japanese film at the Japanese box office for the year 2010, and has grossed over US$145.6 million worldwide. The film also won the Animation of the Year award at the 34th Japan Academy Prize award ceremony. The film was released on February 17, 2012, in North America by Walt Disney Pictures. On August 10, 2010, NHK broadcast The Secret of Ghibli Creation: Hayao Miyazaki and the New Director: 400 Days of Conflict, a behind-the-scenes documentary about the film.

The film is available for streaming on Max, and purchasable on most digital storefronts.


Our House Below[]

"Stop worrying, Mother. We'll be extra careful."
"Arrietty will be 14 soon."
"Someday she'll have to survive without our help."
"Sometimes I think we're the last Borrowers in the world."
—Arriety speaking to her parents

Arrietty getting ready to leave for her first borrowing mission.

The story takes place in 2010 in Koganei, western Tokyo and like the novel revolves around a group of "tiny people" who are 10-cm tall and live under the floorboards of a typical human household. They call themselves "Borrowers" because they in people's houses and take items in the house such as tea leaves, sugar, in other words items that won't be missed if they disappear and it's only what they need to survive.

A boy named Sho arrives at the house his mother lived in as a child, to stay with his great aunt Sadako. When Sho leaves the car, he sees a cat trying to attack something in the bushes, but the cat leaves after being attacked by a crow. Sho goes to see what the cat was trying to attack, he then sees a Borrower named Arrietty or thinks he does. Arriety runs back to basement before the cat gets her with some flowers and leaves for her mother. Her worried mother asks Arriety if she went outside again but is surprised that her room has become a forest. Arrietty gives the leaves to her mother as an early birthday gift. Homily reminds her daughter that she shouldn't be near beings as their relative was killed by an animal. Arrietty says she can keep the gift if she is too concerned but Homily says she'll keep it as she has a recipe for the leaves she can use. Arrietty is excited because tonight she going on her first borrowing with her father. When her father Pod returns and tells them there is a new being the house, Homily becomes hesitant to let her daughter go especially since children are wild, but Arriety wants to go as they promised that this would be her night. Pod lets her come since Sho is sick so she'll be fine, before leaving to get ready Arriety assures her mother she'll look after her father. Pod tells Homily that Arriety is almost 14 and will be out on her own soon.

That night Pod takes Arrietty above the floorboards to show her how he gets sugar. Their first stop is the kitchen, then they walk within a wall to reach a dollhouse in Shawn's bedroom, to get tissue. Arrietty is in awe with everything, Pod tells her these are not things to borrow, despite her pointing out everything is perfect for them, but Pod reminds her "borrowers take only what they need." Before Arrietty and Pod can leave with the tissue, Arrietty notices Sho is awake, and accidentally drops the sugar cube they got. Sho tells them not to be afraid of him but they leave as they do Sho says he's heard about them before. When they arrive in the cellar Arrietty admits to her father that the boy may have seen her in the garden today, but Pod assures her it'll be fine and that she did the right thing not running or panicking in the bedroom. Back home, Pod says that the light gave out so they didn't get anything, but Arrietty shows off the pin she got.

The Doll House[]

"I want to talk to you."
"Humans are dangerous."
"If we're seen, we have to leave. My parents said so."
"You have a family? I envy you."
"Don't you have one?"
"Yes, but I practically never see my father. Mother is so busy at work, she barely has time for me."
"My name's Sho. What's your name? Do you have one?"
"Of course I have a name! It's Arrietty."
—Arriety meeting Sho for the first time
Karigurashi 019

Arriety spends her days with her family.

The next day, Sho leaves the dropped sugar cube beside an underground air vent where he first saw Arrietty, but Arrietty's mother Homily is shocked when Arriety tells her she dropped the sugar, Pod warns them not to take it because their existence must be kept secret from humans. After doing laundry, Arriety sees the sugar being taken by the ants, she shoos them away and sees that Sho left a note, so he did see her. So, when her family is preoccupied, Arrietty sneaks out to visit Sho in his bedroom, and the two become friends. On her return, Arrietty is intercepted by her father. Pod and Homily realize they have been discovered, and decide the family must move out of the house.

Pod returns injured from a borrowing mission, helped by Spiller, a Borrower boy he met on the way. Spiller suggests some places the Borrowers can move to, and, after he recovers, Pod goes to check them out.

Karigurashi 038

Sho forms an unlikely friendship with Arriety.

Sho learns from Sadako that his ancestors have seen Borrowers in this house, and they had the dollhouse made especially for the Borrowers, with working electric lights and ovens. However, the Borrowers had not been seen since, and the dollhouse was put in Shawn's room. While Arrietty checks on her father, she asks why they have to move and he tells her that if a borrow is seen by a human, they will want to learn more about them. Pod then goes on to tell her that before she was born, this house had two other borrower families, the first one vanished without a trace and the second one moved out because they were seen by humans. This move is all based on the borrowers survival. Meanwhile, Sho uncovers the floorboards above the Borrower household, uproots their kitchen and replaces it with the kitchen from the dollhouse.

An Uneasy Feeling[]

"I want to talk to you."
"Humans are dangerous."
"If we're seen, we have to leave. My parents said so."
"You have a family? I envy you."
"Don't you have one?"
"Yes, but I practically never see my father. Mother is so busy at work, she barely has time for me."
"My name's Sho. What's your name? Do you have one?"
"Of course I have a name! It's Arrietty."
—Arriety meeting Sho for the first time

Suddenly there is a scream coming from the kitchen. Homily is shocked to see that their kitchen is being pulled out and replaced with the dollhouse kitchen. Arriety and Pod break through and are amazed themselves. As they pack Pod tells them to take only what's necessary and not to take any items from the dollhouse. Arrietty goes to say goodbye to Sho and tells him she is a borrower. During their subsequent conversation, Sho theorizes that the Borrowers are becoming extinct, which hurts Arrietty she tells him that Spiller knows that there are more borrowers out there and as long as they have each other to live for, they'll continue to leave. Apologizing, Sho reveals he has had a heart condition since birth, and will have an operation in a few days. The operation does not have a good chance of success.


"There's probably just a few of you. Until my mom told me, I didn't know little people existed. Lots of species are already extinct. I've only seen them in books, though. So many beautiful species... But the environment changed, so they died out. It's sad, but that's what fate has in store for your kind."
"Fate, you say?"
"You're the one who changed things. Now we have to move away. We have to survive. That's what Papa said. So we're leaving, even though it's dangerous."
—Sho worried about Arriety and her people
Karigurashi 035

Hara unearths the Borrowers home.

Meanwhile, Hara, Sadako's maid, notices the floorboards have been disturbed. While Sadako is out, Hara locks Sho in his room, unearths the Borrowers' house and puts Homily in a jar in the kitchen. Hara calls a pest removal company to smoke out the Borrowers and bring them to her alive. When Arrietty returns to find Homily missing and their house disturbed, she goes to Sho for help. Arrietty helps Sho break out of his locked room, Sho then carries Arrietty to the kitchen and distracts Hara while Arrietty rescues Homily. Sadako returns soon after the pest removal company comes, and tells them to leave. Hara tries to prove to Sadako the Borrowers really exist, but Homily has escaped, and there is nothing below the floorboards: The Borrowers have already set off on their move, and Sho has destroyed the remains. Sadako discovers after Hara leaves that there are herbs in the teapot which means that there were borrowers in the house after all. Hara does nothing but throws a fit when she realizes her proof has escaped, trying to tell the pest control company that she is not crazy.

Goodbye My Friend[]

"I'm going to be okay. You gave me the courage to live."
"For luck."
"You protected me after all."
"Arrietty... I hope you have the best life ever."
"Arrietty, you're a part of me now. I'll never forget you, ever."
—Sho bids Arriety farewell
Karigurashi 047

Arriety begins her journey to find her people. Sho says goodbye and is now at peace.

The Borrowers travel a while but stop for dinner during their move and Arriety expresses her sadness that they are leaving home. Homily assures her that they will find a build a new home together and be happy, seconds later Shawn's cat spots Arrietty where the cat brings Sho to Arrietty. He gives her a sugar cube as a parting gift, and tells her the Borrowers' fight for survival has given him hope to live through the operation, which will happen in two days' time. In return, Arrietty gives Sho her hairclip. The Borrowers then go into a teapot, which Spiller steers down a river.

There is a final monologue in the Disney dub, where Sho states that he never saw Arrietty again and returned to the home a year later, indicating that the operation had been successful. He is happy to hear rumors of objects disappearing in his neighbors' homes. In the Japanese dub, there is no monologue and Sho stares in silent as the sun rises.


Arrietty (アリエッティ Arietti)
Mirai Shida (Japanese), Saoirse Ronan (StudioCanal), Bridget Mendler (Disney)
A 14-year old borrower who lives with her parents under the floorboards of Shawn's house.
Sho/Shawn (翔?, known as Shawn in the United States version)
Ryunosuke Kamiki (Japanese), Tom Holland (StudioCanal), David Henrie (Disney)
A 12-year old human boy who becomes Arrietty's friend. He meets Arrietty in the house his mother was raised in, while awaiting heart surgery. Sho is based on "The Boy".
Homily (ホミリー Homirī)
Shinobu Otake (Japanese), Olivia Colman (StudioCanal), Amy Poehler (Disney)
Arrietty's mother who has a liking for luxury.
Sadako Maki (牧 貞子 Maki Sadako, known as Jessica in the United States version)
Keiko Takeshita (Japanese), Phyllida Law (StudioCanal), Gracie Poletti (Disney)
The younger sister of Shawn's grandmother. Sadako is based on Great Aunt Sophy.
Spiller (スピラー Supirā)
Tatsuya Fujiwara (Japanese), Luke Allen-Gale (StudioCanal), Moisés Arias (Disney)
A tiny bow-wielding boy who helps Arrietty's family move.
Pod (ポッド Poddo)
Tomokazu Miura (Japanese), Mark Strong (StudioCanal), Will Arnett (Disney)
Arrietty's father who often borrows in order to provide for the family.
Haru (ハル, known as Hara in the United States version)
Kirin Kiki (Japanese), Geraldine McEwan (StudioCanal), Carol Burnett (Disney)
Sadako's maid who is determined to find the truth behind "little people". Haru is based on Mrs. Driver.

Behind the Scenes[]


Arriety Japan

The Japanese edition of The Borrowers. It was reissued to coincide with the film and sold extremely well, reaching the Oricon charts for the first time in two years. Around 125,000 copies were sold.

In early summer 2008, producer Toshio Suzuki and Hayao Miyazaki were at a standoff on what would be Studio Ghibli's next film (They had just completed [[Ponyo]], which was scheduled for release on July 19, 2008). In the end, Toshio Suzuki ended up losing to his elder colleague: “At the time, I was planning another project and we discussed which one should be chosen several times. Many of us would not have backed down, but in the end, I had to give in to my elder brother and the project was adopted."

This work they had chosen would be based on The Borrowers by the British writer Mary Norton. The novel won the Carnegie Medal in 1953, and had already been adapted into three English animated films. However, Miyazaki had already been planning to adapt the novel The Borrowers for much longer than that summer of 2008. In fact, he already had desires of adapting it nearly forty years ago, when he was twenty years old. “At that time, this project had already been taken into consideration by both Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata,” adds Suzuki. “Miya-san suddenly remembered this and recommended that I read the book. So why are you digging up The Borrowers today? To this question, Miya-san replied, “The situation of the karigurashi (Borrowers) is very pleasant. They just fit into our present day. The age of mass consumption is now coming to an end and the idea of ​​"borrowing" proves the advent of it with the crisis."


A booklet containing Arriety's storyboards.

Immediately after the decision to adapt this work, on July 30, 2008, Miyazaki wrote the note of intent relating to the film's project in which he explained that the action took place, no longer in England in the 1950's, but in the Japan of the 2000's. According to French fan site Buta Connection, the story takes place in the vicinity of Koganei, city where the Studio Ghibli is located. He also specifies the purpose of the film: "to comfort and encourage people who live in this chaotic and worrying time." " About the statement of intent, the producer Suzuki was keen to add:

“As you can see, the original title Miya-san intended was Chiisana Arietti (Little Arrietty), a brave change from the title of the original novel. I asked him why and he told me that he liked the sound of "Arietti" and that he had remembered it for a long time. He also used to tell me about "the life of the borrowers", but his title did not refer to it. When I pointed it out, he instantly changed his title to the current one of Karigurashi no Arietti ("The Borrower Arrietty").[1]

Arriety Miya Hiro

Hayao Miyazaki and the then-36-year old Hiromasa Yonebayashi.

However, the director will not be Miyazaki himself. The choice finally falls on Hiromasa Yonebayashi, a young 36-year-old animator who has been working for the studio for 12 years. By Suzuki's own admission, there was no particular reason for this appointment, “When Miya-san and I made the decision to do Arrietty, the Little Borrower's World , we were discussing directions for the story and suddenly Miya-san asked me who should be doing it. be the director. Now that I know him better, I know he's still waiting for concrete answers, so an idea popped into my mind and on a whim I said, “Maro”, Yonebayashi's nickname at the studio. Hearing my response, Miya-san seemed to be a little surprised and scowled and I knew why: for his own upcoming film project, he was planning to use her as the lead host as well. If Maro were to become a director, Miya-san would have to do without him.[2]

Arrietty pod

Concept sketches of Pod and Homily.

We asked Maro to join us and told him about it. Of course, he was very surprised. At the time, my idea was just thoughtless, but now I can explain the reason behind it. Hiromasa Yonebayashi is an extremely skilled and talented animator. Plus, since he started working on the production, I also came to know that he had enough talent as a director. Besides, he is a good person and is loved by everyone at the studio. When I informed everyone about his appointment as the head of the project, the studio was initially surprised. However, everyone now agrees on this choice. While there are plenty of veteran and older animators at the studio, they don't hesitate to help him out."

Producer Suzuki reported that this was a promotion he hadn't expected. "I thought it was stupid," Yonebayashi explained, laughing after the end of production. I had no experience with e-konte (storyboard), at first I thought something was wrong with Mr. Miyazaki and Mr. Suzuki's heads (laughs) . I think a person who chooses to direct a movie has to have a message and principles, but I don't. So I declined the request. So, they said to me in unison: “don't worry, it's all in the original book” (laughs). So I got into it first and foremost because I thought they would stop me if my job was bad."[3]



An example of Yonebayashi's e-konte.

On December 16, 2009, Studio Ghibli announced Karigurashi no Arrietty as their film for next year. The script was ready. Briefly written by Hayao Miyazaki, the latter then joined the collaboration of a co-writer, Keiko Niwa, who had already worked on Tales from Earthsea. The director of the film was announced as the animator Hiromasa Yonebayashi on the same day. Yonebayashi was one of the animators for the Studio Ghibli films Howl's Moving Castle, [[Ponyo]], and Spirited Away. He was also the reserve director for the film Tales from Earthsea. Miyazaki was announced as the production planner for the film.

Toshio Suzuki confessed that Miyazaki wrote the screenplay without even re-reading the novel and he relied only on his memories. According to him, the director has a 'good memory' but he nevertheless often makes reading mistakes and reinterprets things or gives importance to negligible details. For example, if there is a lovely garden in the book, as there is in "The Borrowers", he will instantly love it. “He really loves gardens,” he explains. “And those who are abandoned have even more his favors. So much so that he first made a plan of the garden before embarking on Arrietty's screenplay. Eastern and Western elements were combined when designing the mansion and gardens, with Seibi-en from Aomori Prefecture Hirakawa used as inspiration.[4]

Arriety Inspo

Seibi-en is a landscape garden and nationally designated Place of Scenic Beauty in the city of Hirakawa, Aomori Prefecture, Japan. It was used as inspiration for Sho's home.

For his part, at the same time, Hiromasa Yonebayashi had completely completed the e-konte based on the scenario of Miyazaki. One of his very first difficulties as a director was the development of this document, which then guides the entire production of the film. “It's the first time I've drawn a storyboard,” he explains. “Even though I felt a bit lost, I started to draw, telling myself that I could always ask to be in control of my work. When I wanted to show it to Mr. Miyazaki, he replied that he did not want to. It scared me because if he had agreed to control it then, the film would have been even better."

During the final interview between Miyazaki, Suzuki and the young director, preceding the start of production of the animation, Yonebayashi ultimately does not bring his work to the master because "it would have finally taken twice as long and, at the end of the day. in the end, that would only have impacted the production itself. In the end, it was a good thing to have had complete freedom." Miyazaki does not upset and instead congratulated him for his firmness. According to Buta Connection, in total, Yonebayashi will have spent five months alone drawing 996 plans on his own.


宮崎駿監督がついに登場!& 制作状況発表 -062

Hayao Miyazaki and Ghibli PR representative Junichi Nishioka appearing on one of Arriety's production vlogs, updating the status of the film's crunched production. Several hundreds of vlogs were posted to keep fans updated with the project.

As Suzuki explains, in Studio Ghibli films, everything is driven by this production document and everything depends on it. The e-konte was fully finalized before the start of the work on the animation, therefore, the production of Arrietty already contrasts radically with the previous productions directed by Miyazaki (particularly Ponyo, who prefers to work on a story of which he does not yet know the end.

“At Ghibli, we have two ways of making films,” Suzuki explains. “The first is that a director directs everything, the other is that the project takes precedence. In this case, it is a producer who is directing and the Arrietty project must prevail, especially since we can hardly recommend Miyazaki's way of working to a beginning director."

Very early on, at Studio Ghibli, everyone felt that the deadlines would be tight. From the press conference in December 2009, the question of production deadlines was already put to Suzuki: "To be frank, I don't prefer that this question be asked" , he explains then. “No doubt the film will move slowly and Maro will have to be fast. When the new year arrives, we will already be running out of time." The pressure and doubt about the capabilities of the young director was such that producers saw fit to add: “Now I know you are wondering why Mr. Yonebayashi is not attending this press conference. Well, that's because Mr. Miyazaki advised him not to appear in public. According to him, there are two basic directions for making a film: either to be produced successfully or to end up being put on hold. Sometimes even it can also be purely canceled halfway. Let’s not forget that he’s just a beginner as a director. If the production is unsuccessful, he risks being publicly humiliated. It is best for him not to speak about it in public just yet."


【特別企画】米林監督が語る宮崎監督について -231

An interview with Director Hiromasa Yonebayashi speaking about Miyazaki and the production.

The release date is approaching day by day and the tension is more and more felt on the morale and the health of the team. Everyone is tired and in particular the directors of animation Megumi Kagawa and Akihiko Yamashita but also Yôji Takeshige, the artistic director. However, Arrietty's release date is already set for July 17, 2010, so pushing it back is unthinkable.

As of February 18, 2010, of the 995 shots planned for the entire film, only 332 shots had been ready.

On March 10 and 15, two new production video diaries were release that announced that two months from the deadline, the design team were severely overloaded. Despite Kagawa's best efforts, there are a lot of things that she unfortunately has to give up, including the drawing corrections made by the animation director. Many animators get sick or hurt themselves (according to Megumi Kagawa, one of the main reasons is the aging of the animators in the studio). However, when it comes to the quality of the animation, Yonebayashi can luckily count on his second animation director. Kagawa has worked as an animator for Studio Ghibli, even before its creation, from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. With more than 25 years of experience, she knows precisely the works of the studio, which makes her a specialist in the Ghibli graphic style.


【特別企画】日本のアニメーション 現在・過去・未来 -235

The final interview with Miyazaki, talking about Japanese animation's past, present and future.

The news posted a little over a month later is intended to be more reassuring. On March 20, 2010, the studio now has 45 minutes, 5 seconds of finalized animation, which corresponds to about half of the film (490 shots filmed or 49.2% of the entire film). Nishioka is rather confident, because in comparison with the production of [[Ponyo]] at the same time, this figure is miraculously higher. He thinks that if the team keeps moving forward like this, the film will be ready on time.

Finally, after a final video dedicated to the progress of the production, on April 18, announcing that 634 shots were now filmed (63.7% of the entire film), Junichi Nishioka announced on the blog that the production of Arrietty's animation was completed on May 29, 2010. Over a period of one year, 74,761 sheets of drawings will have been drawn and blackened by the joint effort of the studio' s animators so that the film is in theaters on the scheduled date. By this date, the voice recording had already been completed and the finalization of the soundtrack was scheduled for the end of June.



翔のアフレコについて -157

Junichi Nishioka announcing Ryūnosuke Kamiki has been cast as Sho. This film would be the fifth Ghibli project he was involved in.

The Japanese voice cast of the film was announced on April 13, 2010. Actress Mirai Shida was cast as the voice of Arrietty. Arrietty was Shida's first voice acting role. In addition, Ryūnosuke Kamiki, who has voiced characters in other Studio Ghibli films like Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle, was cast as Sho.[5] His most recent voice role was in the 2009 film Summer Wars. Kamiki said that he "was very happy to meet up with the staff" he previously knew when he worked on other Studio Ghibli films.

Besides them, the film's cast includes Tomokazu Miura, Shinobu Otake, Keiko Takeshita, and Kirin Kiki. The four actors have previous voice acting experience, but none of them have been in a Studio Ghibli film before. Miura and Otake were respectively cast as Arrietty's parents Pod and Homily. In addition, Takeshita voiced Shawn's aunt and Kiki voiced one of the helpers in the human family.



A special promotional event called The Secret World of Arrietty and Yohei Taneda was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo.

From May 8, 2010, super-panoramic posters made of tent fabric (with a length of 1.8m and a width of 10.5m) were displayed at about twenty theaters nationwide. Promotion regarding the film intensified on July 1 in Japan. A concert by Cécile Corbel is held iin a music festival in August of that year.

From July 17 to October 3, 2010, The Secret World of Arrietty and Yohei Taneda was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo.[6] Yohei Taneda is a famous production designer and art director, known for Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), The Hateful Eight (2015), and would later work on other Studio Ghibli productions such as When Marnie Was There (2014). A huge diaorama was assembled in the main exhibition room that spanned over 1,200 m2 . By August 17, the exhibit proved extremely popular as the number of visitors exceeded 100,000. This art exhibition has since traveled nationwide to the Ehime Prefectural Museum of Art (located at the grounds of Matsuyama Castle in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture), Kobe (Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art), and Niigata (Niigata Prefectural Museum of Modern Art).

Studio Ghibli created a 1 / 12ᵉ scale replica of the dollhouse that appears in the film. You can even see a figurine representing Hayao Miyazaki himself, sitting in the house. The house toured Japan, also participating in the promotional campaign around the film. Finally, a film layout exhibition was held at the Sapporo Museum of Contemporary Art.


Arriety Staff

Director Maro, Ryūnosuke Kamiki, Mirai Shida, Cécile Corbel and Toshio Suzuki at a premiere event.

According to Buta Connection, the premiere of the film production team also took place at the end of June and a press screening took place on 1 July to Tokyo International Forum Hall. Miyazaki didn't see anything of the film until the premiere. It was his way of supporting the team. “So I don't want to intervene, even though he's younger than me."

“I think he did his job well despite such a young career,” comments Kagawa. “As we do not necessarily communicate a lot in our profession, we are not very good at choosing the exact words to explain things. Yet Maro has made a lot of effort despite his brief career. So I congratulate him!"


「ありがとうフェア」開催地から! -256

Nishioka at Shibuya Tokyu Toyoko store for a small promotional event for the film. It was helped from September 23rd to 29th, 2010.

The pre-sale of tickets for the film began on April 17, 2010, in Japan. A special promotional booklet containing concept and character art was offered for every reservation (two booklets were originally planned, hence the "1" noted on the one offered). The presale was a great success: 50,000 tickets were sold 30 days before the premiere, which was three times more than for Ponyo.

The Secret World of Arrietty was first released in Japanese cinemas on July 17, 2010, by Japanese film distributor Toho. The film was officially released at a ceremony attended by the film's cast and Yonebayashi. Corbel performed the film's theme song at the event. In addition, Yonebayashi hinted that he wanted the film to beat the record of over 12 million audiences set by previous Studio Ghibli film, "Ponyo". The film was screened in 447 theaters throughout Japan during its debut weekend.


『「借りぐらしのアリエッティ」公開記念フェア』の会場にて -218

Nishioka checks out the Arriety merchandise display at Shinjuku Marui One. The display was for the "The Borrower Arrietty Public Commemorative Fair" held until Friday, July 30th 2010.

It was later dubbed into French and was released in France as Arrietty, le petit monde des chapardeurs, on January 12, 2011. In the United Kingdom, the film was released on July 29, 2011, by Optimum Releasing. It is also scheduled to be released in the United States on February 17, 2012, by Walt Disney Pictures. The North American version of "The Secret World of Arrietty" was directed by Gary Rydstrom, produced by Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy and written by Karey Kirkpatrick. The English trailer was shown with Puss in Boots, Tower Heist, In Time, The Muppets, New Year's Eve, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I, The Adventures of Tintin, The Darkest Hour, The Artist, and Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol.

Home Media[]

The Secret World of Arrietty was released in both Blu-Ray and DVD formats within Japan. The DVD version of the film consists of two discs in the region 2 format. The Blu-ray version consists of a single disc in the Region A format. Both versions were released in Japan on June 17, 2011, and both contains English and Japanese subtitles.


Box Office[]


Arrietty's Song - Cecile Corbel ( セシル・コルベル )

A preview of Cécile Corbel performing Arriety's Song.

The Secret World of Arrietty debuted at the first position in the Japanese box office. More than 1 million people went to see the film during its opening weekend. It also grossed around 1.35 billion yen that weekend. In comparison, this film's opening week gross is 85.6% of Ghibli's previous film Ponyo's total gross and 82.9% of Ponyo's total ticket sales. Distributor Toho announced that as of 5 August 2010, the film managed to gross more than 3.5 billion yen and attracted more than 3.7 million viewers. According to the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan, The Secret World of Arrietty is the top grossing Japanese film in their box office for the year for 2010; it grossed approximately 9.25 billion yen.

In France, the film was well received by the public. More than 100,000 people went to catch the film on its debut week in France, allowing the film to gross more than US$1.4 million that week. Overall, ticket sales for Arrietty, le petit monde des chapardeurs in France totaled just shy of 740,000 between its release on January 12, 2011, and March 1, 2011. It also grossed a total of US$7,010,476 at the French box office. The Secret World of Arrietty went on to gross a worldwide total of US$126,368,084.

Critical reception[]

The Secret World of Arrietty received universal critical acclaim since its release in 2010. 95% of the 21 reviewers selected by Rotten Tomatoes as of November 2011 have given the film positive reviews, certifying it "Fresh" with an average rating of 7.6/10.


ARRIETTY - Official Trailer - From the Studio Behind Spirited Away

StudioCanal's trailer for Arriety.

Cristoph Mark of The Daily Yomiuri praised the film, saying that the film is "likely a perennial favorite among children." He particularly liked the film effects, which he described as "Drops of water loom large and drip like syrup; the ticking of a clock reverberates through the floor and the theater's speakers; tissue paper is large and stiff...", adding that these effects gives the audience "a glimpse into their own world, but from a different perspective". Mark Schilling of The Japan Times gave the film a rating of four out of five stars, and said that the film "speaks straight to the heart and imagination of [everyone]." Schilling also praised the film's animation, saying that [Studio Ghibli animators] are past masters at creating the illusion of presence and depth without [3-D effects]. However, he also said that some scenes in the film "threatens to devolve into the sappy, the preachy and the slapsticky" but noted that these scenes were "mercifully brief".

Steve Rose, the reviewer for The Guardian gave the film four out of five stars and praised the film, describing it as "a gentle and entrancing tale, deeper and richer than more instantly gratifying fare.". Rose also described the film as "the slow food of the animation world.". However, he did note that this film "doesn't match previous hits such as Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke in terms of epic scale or adult appeal", even though it bears many of their hallmarks: bright, detailed animation..." . Deborah Young of The Hollywood Reporter gave a positive review of the film. She said that the film "remains essentially a film for children". Young later went on to say that the relationship with Sho and Arrietty "touches the heartstrings with gentle yearning", and praised Yonebayashi for its direction. In the opening remarks made by David Gritten of The Telegraph, he said that the film was "ravishingly colourful and textured". He also praised the animation, saying that "animation doesn't get better than Arrietty." Gritten gave the film a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.



セシル・コルベルさん登場&インタビュー! -164

An interview with Nishioka and Cécile Corbel at Studio Ghibli.

Cécile Corbel composed the score and sang the theme song for Arrietty, while the film score of The Secret World of Arrietty was composed by French (Bretonne) musician Cécile Corbel. Corbel also performed the film's theme song, Arrietty's Song, in Japanese, English, French, German and Italian.

Corbel became known to Ghibli filmmakers when she sent them a fan letter showing her appreciation of their films, together with a copy of her own album. After hearing the album of her music she had sent them, they thought they should collaborate with her for the music of this film. The song made its public debut in a presentation of the song by singer Corbel and percussionist Marco in Apple's store in Shibuya, Tokyo, on 8 August 2010.

Some of the Japanese theme songs for this film, including Arrietty’s Song was first released online through the iTunes Store, mora and Musico on December 19, 2009. Subsequently, the official album containing all of the theme songs of this film was released on July 14, 2010. The album's listing on the Oricon charts peaked at the 31st position. Separately, the song Arrietty’s Song was released as a singles album on April 7, 2010. This singles album peaked at the 18th position on the Oricon charts.

Film Manga[]

The Secret World of Arrietty was adapted into a Japanese manga series. This manga adaptation was first published by Tokuma Shawnten Publishing Co., Ltd. within Japan, and was released in four separate volumes. It was also announced that Viz Media will be releasing the English version of this manga adaptation of the film within North America in January 2012.


Year Award Category Result Recipient

  • 2010 Animation of the Year 34th Japan Academy Prize Won The Secret World of Arrietty

Voice Cast[]

Character Japanese voice actor English UK voice actor
(StudioCanal, 2011)
English US voice actor
(Disney, 2012)
Arrietty (アリエッティ Arietti) Mirai Shida Saoirse Ronan Bridgit Mendler
Shō (翔)/Shawn Ryunosuke Kamiki Tom Holland David Henrie
Homily (ホミリー Homirī) Shinobu Otake Olivia Colman Amy Poehler
Sadako Maki (牧 貞子 Maki Sadako)/Aunt Jessica Keiko Takeshita Phyllida Law Gracie Poletti
Spiller (スピラー Supirā) Tatsuya Fujiwara Luke Allen-Gale Moisés Arias
Pod (ポッド Poddo) Tomokazu Miura Mark Strong Will Arnett
Haru (ハル) Kirin Kiki Geraldine McEwan Carol Burnett

Additional English Voices[]

  • StudioCanal dub: Ray Gillon
  • Disney dub: Peter Jason, Frank Marshall, Karey Kirkpatrick, Steve Alpert


Credit Staff
Director, Storyboard Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Screenplay Hayao Miyazaki, Keiko Niwa
Animation Director Akihiko Yamashita, Megumi Kagawa
Art Director Noboru Yoshida, Yoji Takeshige
Key Animation Asami Ishikado, Atsuko Tanaka, Atsushi Tamura, Eiji Yamamori, Emi Kamiishi, Emiko Shimura, Fumie Konno, Hideaki Yoshio, Hideki Hamasu, Hiroki Fujiwara, Hiromasa Yonebayashi (uncredited), Katsuya Kondo, Keiko Katou, Kenichi Yamada, Kiyotaka Oshiyama, Koichi Usami, Makiko Futaki, Makiko Suzuki, Manabu Nakatake, Mariko Matsuo, Masahiko Kubo, Masako Sato, Minoru Ohashi, Miwa Sasaki, Moyo Takahashi, Reiko Nozaki, Rie Nishino, Ryōma Ebata, Ryouji Masuyama, Satoshi Nagura, Shigeo Akahori, Shinichiro Yamada, Shinji Otsuka, Shougo Furuya, Takashi Kawaguchi, Takeshi Inamura, Tomoko Miura, Yasuo Muroi, Yoshiharu Satō, Yuuko Azuma
In-Between Animation Aika Sakuramoto, Akane Ōguchi, Akane Ōtani, Akiko Teshima, Akiyo Okuda, Alexandra Weihrauch, Asako Matsumura, Atsuko Matsushita, Eimi Tamura, Emi Matsunaga, Emi Nakano, Emi Ohta, Fumiaki Sugiura, Hirofumi Okita, Hiromasa Yonebayashi (uncredited), Hiromi Arima, Hiromi Nishikawa, Hirotaka Tokuda, Hisako Yaji, Hitomi Tateno, Iori Nonoshita, Kanako Ueda, Kaori Itou, Kasumi Yagi, Kei Matsumoto, Keiko Tomizawa, Kengo Takebana, Kiyoko Makita, Kumiko Tanihira, Kumiko Terada, Kunitoshi Ishii, Mai Nakazato, Mai Yamagishi, Maiko Matsumura, Makoto Oohara, Mami Takino, Mari Futamatsu, Masakiyo Koyama, Masako Akita, Masako Terada, Masami Nakanishi, Masaya Saito, Masayo Andō, Maya Fujimori, Mayumi Ohmura, Megumi Higaki, Miho Kato, Miki Kurihara, Misa Koyasu, Mitsunori Murata, Naoko Kawahara, Naoya Wada, Natsumi Yasu, Nobuyuki Mitani, Oikawa, Reiko Mano, Rie Eyama, Rie Fukui, Rie Nakagome, Ryōta Azuma, Sachiko Shima, Sakana Hatakeyama, Seiko Higashi, Setsuya Tanabe, Shiori Fujisawa, Shouko Nagasawa, Sumie Nishido, Sun Ha Hwang, Tadahito Kai, Taeko Mitsuhashi, Takashi Narita, Takeshi Ohkoshi, Tomoe Kikuchi, Tomoko Fukui, Tomoko Miyata, Tomoko Nishida, Tomoyuki Kojima, Yasumi Ogura, Yayoi Toki, Yohei Nakano, Yōjirō Arai, Yoriko Mochizuki, Yoshie Noguchi, Yoshitake Iwakami, Yui Matsura, Yui Ōzaki, Yukari Kaku, Yukari Yamaura, Yukie Atsuta, Yukie Kaneko, Yumiko Nakamura, Yumiko Totsu, Yūsuke Nishio
Background Artists Hiromasa Ogura, Izumi Muta, Kazuo Oga, Kikuyo Yano, Masako Nakazato, Misato Iwata, Mitsuo Yoshino, Naomi Kasugai, Naoya Tanaka, Ryoko Ina, Satoko Nakamura, Sayaka Hirahara, Seiko Yoshioka, Shiho Sato, Takashi Omori, Yohei Takamatsu, Yoshikazu Fukutome, Youichi Nishikawa, Youichi Watanabe, Yuka Arata, Yumi Ishii
Paint Akiko Shimizu (T2 Studio), Fumie Kawamata (T2 Studio), Junya Saito, Kanako Takayanagi, Kasumi Wada (T2 Studio), Kumi Nanjo (T2 Studio), Natsuko Inohara (T2 Studio), Natsumi Watanabe (T2 Studio), Rie Furushiro, Takeshi Nakamura, Yoshimi Shibata (T2 Studio), Yukiko Kakita (T2 Studio), Yūsei Kashima, Yuuki Komatsu, Yuuko Watabe
Sound Director Hiroshi Kasamatsu
Producer Toshio Suzuki
Music Cécile Corbel


External links[]

Official Sites