Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman
When Disney released The Secret World of Arrietty on home video, the film was released as a DVD and as a Blu-ray/DVD combo. This review focuses on the Blu-ray/DVD combo release of the film.
In the film, a boy named Sho spends time at his mother's childhood home with his great aunt and her maid while waiting to go into surgery for a heart condition. When he first arrives, he catches a glimpse of Arrietty, one of the "little people" living underneath his mother's childhood home; however, Arrietty does not realize that she was seen.
That night, Arrietty's father takes her out on her first "borrowing" mission to "borrow" some sugar and tissue from the house. When they go into the room Sho is staying in to get the tissue, Arrietty is spotted by Sho. Sho asks her to stay, but Arrietty and her father beat a hasty retreat. Arrietty's father stresses to her that if humans detect their presence that the family will be forced to move.
As the film progresses, Arrietty has more interactions with Sho, the maid suspects the existence of the "little people," and Arrietty's family tries to move out.
When it comes to the video and audio quality of the Blu-ray, I noticed a significant difference between it and the DVD copy that I had watched previously. The image was noticeably sharper, and the audio quality was improved.
According to the box, the main feature on the Blu-ray is 1080p High Definition with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The DVD Widescreen (1:81:1) is enhanced for a 16x9 television. The audio for the film on the Blu-ray disc is in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (48 kHz/24-bit), French 5.1 Dolby Digital, and Japanese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio Original Production Audio. The audio on the DVD includes English and French 5.1 Dolby Digital and Japanese 5.1 Dolby Digital Original Production Audio. Subtitles are available in English ESL, English SDH and French. Unfortunately, no specs are provided for the bonus features.
The Blu-ray actually contains more bonus content than the DVD pressing did. The first bonus feature is the Original Japanese Storyboards, which is essentially a storyboard version of the film. Next is "Trailers & TV Spots," which is about 14 minutes in length and includes 28 spots that run in a continuous piece. This feature felt rather thrown together, because there didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason as to the order the spots were put in. Also, some of the spots were so similar that it felt like some of them were used more than once for this feature.
Next is the music video for "Arreitty's Song" by Cecile Corbel. Of the bonus features included on the Blu-ray, I thought this one was the best one. The two bonus features from the DVD pressing are also included: the music video for Bridgit Mendler's "Summertime" and the making of documentary for Bridgit Mendler's video.
If you enjoy The Secret World of Arrietty and don't already own a copy in your home video collection, then you should purchase a copy of the film. If you have the capability to watch Blu-ray Discs, then I would really recommend purchasing the Blu-ray/DVD combo pressing over the DVD release.
I wrote this review after watching a copy of this Blu-ray/DVD combo release that my husband and I purchased.