Arthur and the Invisibles
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this animated-live action film is muddled and a bit hectic. The movie's two realms feature two villains: a developer who wants to take Grandma's land and an underground bully who threatens to enslave the tiny, perky Minimoys. There's some stereotyping: A working-class mother worries that she's abandoned her son, African warriors appear only to help a white boy have an adventure, the girl Minimoy has pink hair, etc. The movie is based on series of children's books by director Luc Besson.
What's the story?
Ten year-old Arthur (Freddie Highmore) lives on a farm with his grandmother (Mia Farrow). Granny likes to tell stories about Arthur's grandfather, Archibald (Ron Crawford), who's lost in Africa, and she also worries that she'll lose their home to land developers. Arthur decides to help by following grandfather's clues, which supposedly lead to buried treasure. On his quest, Masai warriors shrink him to the size of the elves -- called Minimoys -- who live beneath Granny's lawn. He meets Minimoys princess, Selenia (voiced by Madonna). The malevolent Maltazard (David Bowie), wants to enslave the Minimoys, so Selenia's father (Robert De Niro) sends her, Arthur, and Selenia's brother Bétamèche (Jimmy Fallon), to find the treasure, in hopes that it will pay off the villains.
Is it any good?
Frenzied and disconnected, ARTHUR AND THE INVISIBLES follows a human boy whose adventures lead him into a community of teeny-weeny, elf-like creatures.
The plot -- based on a series of children's books by director Luc Besson -- proceeds in a tizzy, cutting between above-ground scenes and below-ground scenes, though never quite establishing thematic or emotional links between the two realms.
Meanwhile, Bétamèche chatters on about nonsense and Highmore -- so charismatic as a live-action actor -- is here turned into a strangely punky figure with spiky white hair. Also distracting: the lackluster animation and the fact that the Masai seemingly come out of nowhere, simultaneously emblems of "mysterious Africa" and their own lack of context.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about Arthur's underground adventure. Kids, have you ever imagined changing your size or changing your body? How? What's appealing about the Minimoys? How is Arthur able to help his grandmother? Why are Arthur's parents living apart from him? If your family has read the books the movie is based on, you can compare them. Which do you like better? Why?
|Theatrical release date:||January 12, 2007|
|DVD/Streaming release date:||May 15, 2007|
|Cast:||Freddie Highmore, Madonna, Mia Farrow|
|Genre:||Family and Kids|
|Topics:||Magic and fantasy, Book characters|
|Run time:||94 minutes|
|MPAA explanation:||fantasy action and brief suggestive material.|