Arthur and the Invisibles (2006)

PG   |    |  Animation, Adventure, Family


Arthur and the Invisibles (2006) Poster

Ten-year-old Arthur, in a bid to save his grandfather's house from being demolished, goes looking for some much-fabled hidden treasure in the land of the Minimoys, tiny people living in harmony with nature.

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  • Luc Besson and Freddie Highmore at an event for Arthur and the Invisibles (2006)
  • Freddie Highmore in Arthur and the Invisibles (2006)
  • Madonna at an event for Arthur and the Invisibles (2006)
  • Madonna at an event for Arthur and the Invisibles (2006)
  • Freddie Highmore in Arthur and the Invisibles (2006)
  • Freddie Highmore in Arthur and the Invisibles (2006)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


15 January 2007 | dgwfriend
8
| It's a small world.
Every now and then it's nice to be reminded of the power of the imagination; of what it was like as children to escape to other worlds and embark on remarkable adventures. Luc Besson's Arthur and the Invisibles does just that and does it brilliantly with a mix of stunningly shot live action and wonderfully crafted, sometimes breath-taking CGI animation. It's a story which echoes, and affectionately pays homage to, many of the very best Children's stories. Stories such as The Sword in the Stone, Alice in Wonderland and The Borrowers.

The tale's young hero, Arthur, is battling to save his grandparents' home from the clutches of real estate developers. His grandfather is missing, but handily he's left the boy a series of clues to a hidden treasure trove which, if it's found, could be used to pay off the money- grubbing developers. But this is no straight-forward, stroll in the park search. In trying to find the haul Arthur must unlock the passageway to an underground world populated by curious, minute creatures. The home of these "invisibles" is also in peril: in their case, because of a malevolent wizard. So, joining forces with an almost improbably beautiful princess, Arthur sets off on his perilous mission.

The cast list reads like a Hollywood Who's Who. Robert de Niro, Harvey Keitel, Madonna and Mia Farrow all feature. But it's the young lead who really takes centre stage. Freddie Highmore was Charlie in Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It was a role he played well but I fully expected him, as with a plethora of child actors, to then disappear into fresh air. But Highmore comes alive in this movie; both when we see him in the flesh, and when he's voicing his animated incarnation. Besides Highmore, Mia Farrow, as Arthur's scatty grandmother, is utterly charming and David Bowie makes for a very creepy, yet nicely understated, evil wizard Maltazard. The look of Maltazard's henchmen exemplify the darker side of Luc Besson's previous work but their idiocy prevents them being too terrifying for smaller children.

The film isn't flawless. Jimmy Fallon's Betameche, while surely popular with the film's younger viewers, at times borders on the unbearably annoying; while the casting of forty- eight year old Madonna as Princess Selenia seems a little odd. Her performance is perfectly adequate, but in effect she spends most of the time flirting with a schoolchild. Strange.

But the gems in Arthur and the Invisibles far outshine any minor negatives. Mixing live action with CGI could quite easily look messy and unconvincing but, quite simply, it works and while there's always a danger of such a tale descending into saccharine sludge, thankfully that doesn't happen. Arthur's quest is a joy to follow; it deserves to be anything but invisible.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The group of people referred to in the movie title,"The Invisibles", actually refer to a secret miniscule world of Minimoys that live beneath the garden of Arthur's grandfather, and not to members of the secret organization published by DC Comics in a series of comics from 1994 to 2000, called "The Invisibles".


Quotes

Narrator: This is Archibald Suchot, a treasure hunter, explorer, and engineer. He spent 10 years in Africa building every type of useful thing. Oh, by the way, it's in the heart of Africa that our story begins.
Narrator: Well, this really isn't Africa, it's Connecticut...


Goofs

(at around 4 mins) Arthur constructs an irrigation system using split bamboo and plastic "Bendy Straws". In the 1960s, drinking straws were made of waxed paper.


Crazy Credits

At the beginning of the end credits, the main actors, actresses, and director come out on screen to take their final bows. If they did a voice in the film, they are presented as the character they voiced in the film. If their role was strictly live action, they are presented as a Minimoy version of their character.


Alternate Versions

Weinstein's 94 minute USA/UK version is renamed "Arthur and the Invisibles" and is heavily cut and rearranged from the original 103 minute French/English language version named "Arthur et les Minimoys":

  • The romance, kiss and marriage between Arthur and Selenia is cut.
  • All sexual innuendo is cut.
  • Davido's attempt to steal the rubies is cut.
  • Some live shots are cut, some other added.
  • Has more verbose speech.
  • Narrator voice added (in addition to Archibald).


Soundtracks

Quest for Love
by
Jewel Kilcher

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Animation | Adventure | Family | Fantasy

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