Japan's acclaimed animation outfit Studio Ghibli has always been defined by the extravagant, strongly Eastern visions of Hayao Miyazaki (Howl's Moving Castle), though the newer generation of Ghibli animators, operating under tighter financial constraints, aims for a more international audience and more modestly scaled expressions of childhood wonder. Miyazaki protege Hiromasa Yonebayashi made his feature directing debut with The Secret World of Arrietty (2010), adapted from the British children's book The Borrowers, and this emotionally resonant second feature takes its story from another such title, by Joan G. Robinson. A 12-year-old foster child, plagued by asthma and abandonment issues, journeys to the coastal city of Kushiro to board with an aunt and uncle, and while investigating a mysterious mansion on the water, she's befriended by a beautiful blond girl who may be a ghost. In Japanese with subtitles.
Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Producer: Yoshiaki Nishimura and Koji Hoshino
Cast: Hailee Steinfeld, Kathy Bates, Mila Brener, Ellen Burstyn, Geena Davis, Grey Griffin, John Reilly, Raini Rodriguez, Kiernan Shipka and Vanessa Williams