Gofobo Interview: Bridgit Mendler of The Secret World of Arrietty

Studio Ghibli and Disney join forces to create yet another Miyazaki masterpiece. The Secret World of Arrietty (based on The Borrowers) follows in the footsteps of their previous films such as Howl‘s Moving Castle, Ponyo, and so many others. The elements of magic, courage, and adventure that dominate in Miyazaki films are present in The Secret World of Arrietty and in the lead character, Arrietty, herself.

Arriety, a young teenage girl, is voiced by Disney Channel star Bridgit Mendler (Good Luck Charlie) in the U.S version of the film alongside fellow Disney Channel Stars David Henrie (Wizards of Waverly Place) as Shawn and Moises Arias (Hannah Montana) as Spiller. The adults in the film are played by a strong supporting cast consisting of Amy Poehler, Will Arnett and legendary comedian and actress, Carol Burnett.

The film’s star, Bridgit Mendler is a huge fan of previous Studio Ghibli films and has seen many of them including Kiki‘s Delivery Service, Spirited Away and the Japanese version of The Secret World of Arrietty. “I probably saw Kiki’s Delivery Service when I was like 10 or something like that.  I loved that movie. I watched it over and over again actually. I saw Spirited Away also.”

On her character Arrietty - “She’s a younger character so I wanted it to be a little bit more innocent in her voice. She’s very adventuresome and so I wanted to include that excitement and curiosity in the way that she spoke……… You want to keep her a happy little camper.” Although Mendler is four years older than her animated counterpart, she feels that they have had common summer experiences despite having never been 5 inches tall . “I was really into exploring the natural world. I loved climbing trees and rocks. There was this island that my family would visit in Maine and we’d just climb around the whole island. It was all about exploring nature and becoming acquainted with  that part of life which I think is really special.”

In addition to voicing the main character, Mendler also contributed her song  “Summertime” to the film, which plays during the ending scenes of the film. “I didn’t know that I was going to be doing a song at first.,” said Mendler, “They did talk to me about it during the recording process and I wrote a song for the movie and then they wound up using that song for the movie……….. I don’t think it’s going to be on my album. I kind of see it as a different project. I kind of like to keep my singing and acting world separate.”

Bridgit Mendler is currently working on the third season of Good Luck Charlie andher untitled debut album under Hollywood Records, which has yet to receive a release date.

Studio Ghibli’s and Disney’s The Secret World of Arrietty will premiere in the U.S. and Canada next Friday, February 17th, 2012.