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February 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The Secret World of Arrietty is the latest in a long line of hand-drawn animated films from Japan’s Studio Ghibli that invariably garner rapturous reviews but disappointing receipts. Manohla Dargis in the New York Times welcomes the return of animation created by artists with pen and ink. “Computers create extraordinarily photorealistic visuals,” she writes, “but here the human touch deepens the story’s themes of loneliness, friendship, the need for home and for being, literally, held.” It’s “captivating animation,” remarks Carrie Rickey in the Philadelphia Inquirer, “as lovingly written as it is beautifully rendered.” Kenneth Turan doesn’t dole out hyperbole often in his reviews in the Los Angeles Times, but he calls Arrietty, about a family of tiny humans, “impeccable,” before adding, “Beautiful, gentle and pure — but not without elements of genuine menace — it will make believers out of adults and children alike.” Lou Lumenick in the New York Post calls it “a feast for the eyes that will engage the entire family.” Joe Neumaier of the New York Daily News is one of the few critics who have not given the movie unqualified endorsement. The movie, he indicates, “sadly suffers from more than a dollop of boredom.”