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Secret World of Arrietty and Raising Real Movie Buffs

By mikeadamick |

Despite having all this week off from school, my daughter and I have yet to go see The Secret World of Arrietty, which was the one thing I wanted to do. I’m still not exactly sure what it’s about, but if it involves little people living under the floorboards and comes from the same people that did Ponyo, then I’m all in. I can’t wait.

And yet … I am. Waiting, that is.

It’s just been one of those incredibly fun, busy weeks where we’re having too much of a good time just messing around. But the theater beckons. I can feel it. It’s calling to me, pulling at me, saying, “Over here. I have popcorn. Come sit down and take a load off.”

I love movies and used to see just about anything that showed up, when I was young and single and had a ton of time. But now, with limited time to hit the theater, I have become much more critical, only going to those I think might actually be good. And when my daughter’s involved, that critical component is multiplied to the 90th degree. I don’t want her to watch all the crap that comes out — the sequels and prequels and obvious mind-sucking money trolls catering to those who have nothing better to due than be suckered in by the promise of CGI and to hell with the story or characters.

So I was pleased to see this essay in the National Catholic Register by Steven Greydanus, talking about how amazing The Secret World of Arrietty is and how … not awesome all those three-peat sequels are.

“What possesses parents to take their kids to a third Chipmunks movie? Did the first two really instill such confidence?”


Look, it’s a small, First World Problem, I get that. And who am I to talk, considering I used to go see anything that came out? But is it possible — or even necessary? — to raise little movie buffs who demand better?

Now it’s off to the movies, because I’ve got to see if the Secret World lives up to the hype.

Photo: National Catholic Register

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About mikeadamick



As the “Daddy Issues” columnist for and a prime mover at “The Poop,” the parenting blog of the San Francisco Chronicle, Mike Adamick is no stranger to writing about modern fatherhood with wit and wisdom. He blogs at Cry It Out! Read bio and latest posts → Read mikeadamick's latest posts →

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4 thoughts on “Secret World of Arrietty and Raising Real Movie Buffs

  1. Dork Dad says:

    We have a tradition in our house: Friday night is movie night. We either order pizza and snuggle on the sofa in front of a DVD, or we go out and see whatever kid-flick happens to be opening on the big screen that weekend. To be clear, it isn’t about the movie. It’s all about the shared family experience, about the routine, and about the tradition. We (by which I mean my wife and I) don’t really care if we’re watching “Ice Age 5″ or “Madagascar 2″ or “Alvin and the Chipmunks 3″. Our only rules are that the material is appropriate for our kids’ age (6 and 3 at the moment). We’ve sat through more painful, animated trash than we ever thought we would, but we sat through it under a blanket snuggled with our two kids. Our kids won’t remember “Gnomeo and Juliette”, but they will remember the tradition. That’s what’s really important.

    That said, there are circumstances that fall outside the regular routine I.E. at what age is it appropriate for a father to introduce his son to the real Star Wars movies for the first time? (episode IV comes first, it’s just good parenting). That’s a much thornier issue, and as you can see here: I got in a little bit of trouble when I made an executive decision.

    -Dork Dad

  2. Jen says:

    Where I come from, animated movies are for Mormons. We’re all about Robocop and Starship Troopers in my house. :)

  3. Jess says:

    The Secret World of Arietty is based on the book The Borrowers, and I sincerely hope the movie lives up to the book. It was a childhood favorite.

  4. Brian says:

    So? What did you think?

    Took my girls, ages 14 and 11, and they loved it. It’s not too long, and yet it’s packed with subtle goodness.

    We love Miyazaki. Have ever since Princess Mononoke.

    Yes, it is possible to raise children who will put some thought into what movies they waste their time on. Just the other night, my son (18) and I sat down and watched Take Shelter. Long conversations ensued. Good times . . .

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