The animated films of Hayao Miyazaki have been successful in limited runs in the U.S. Even though the great director almost certainly doesn’t consider American audiences when he begins to work, Spirited Away
won an Oscar, and he has devotees all over the map. The Secret World of Arrietty
provides Miyazaki a broader reach, since the film is based on the popular children’s book The Borrowers
. The legendary filmmaker is in the background this time around, though, passing the baton to his protégé, rookie director Hiromasa Yonebayashi. The story about little people who live in the walls of homes, borrowing from humans those things they need to survive, takes on a fairy-tale quality thanks to the dreamlike animation of Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli. There is a message underneath it all, but it’s not necessary to enjoy the simple story and the rich, detailed animation.