As a lifelong fan and follower of Hayao Miyazaki’s animated films, the announcement that ‘The Secret World of Arrietty,’ the studio’s newest foray, will include several former Saturday Night Live cast members has left me understandably worried.
Will Arnett and Amy Poehler, a couple whose names are now household references, have long-since hung up their hats at SNL’s Manhattan studio. With success assured, however, the two is turning their attention toward an often ignored, undermined medium: Japanimation. And who better to team up with than Studio Ghibli, the animation house partly responsible for introducing America to the bizarre themes and memorable sprites of anime. The Secret World of Arrietty ironically borrows its concept from Mary Norton’s popular book series, ‘The Borrowers.’ With Poehler and Arnett at center stage, the film will follow the exploits of the Clock Family, a group of 4-inch people who make their toil by snagging resources from their host family. If the script avoids any painful references to cowbells and concentrates on what’s made Ghibli films great, Disney may just succeed in transferring the idea from East to West.