Arthur and the Invisibles

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
Arthur and the Invisibles Movie Poster Image
Uneven animation-live action combo may bore kids.
  • PG
  • 2007
  • 94 minutes

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 10 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

No real positive messages.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Arthur is a creative, imaginative, and innovative boy who comes up with interesting inventions and daring solutions to the problems he and his friends face throughout the movie. 

Violence & Scariness

Some cartoonish/action violence. Miniature characters bang around and crash into things while racing through tunnels and the lawn. A flood threatens to drown many of the characters. Action peril: Mosquitoes piloted by the antagonists dive-bomb and swoop through the scenes as the good guys fire tomatoes at them from catapults. Sword fights. 

Sexy Stuff

Some flirting between Arthur and Princess Selenia.


"Royal pain in my keister," "butt."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The grandmother accidentally takes too many sleeping drops, causing her to immediately pass out and fall into a deep sleep. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Arthur and the Invisibles is a 2003 live-action animated film in which a boy must find his grandfather and also save his home from a greedy developer. It's based on a 2002 children's book Arthur and the Minimoys. There's some cartoonish action violence. After Arthur has been made tiny enough to find the ant-sized Minimoys, there are sword fights, battles with bad guys flying mosquitoes, and a car chase in which Arthur races a model car through tunnels to avoid an impending flood. The grandmother is drugged with sleeping drops so she doesn't catch Arthur sneaking out of the house. Some flirtation between Arthur and the princess. 

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byPeterRule May 30, 2019

Child reacted to the story

My daughter age 6 was watching this movie for 20mins or more. We paused it to get her ready for bed. She went into a rage which was very unusual for her and hit... Continue reading
Adult Written byAnnieO21 August 1, 2018

Surprisingly entertaining and adventurous

Like most movies, a tad of gender biases, sibling rivalry and slight love interest side story, however, loved the imaginative and pure quality of Arthur. His r... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byKathybby May 16, 2018
Kid, 6 years old August 28, 2017

Arthur and the Amazing Invisibles

I think it's great because it has a lot of action. It's so cool. I don't want to spoil the surprise but I might have to. The surprise is: They... Continue reading

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 the 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, elflike 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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Arthur's underground adventure. Have you ever imagined changing your size or changing your body? How? What's appealing about the Minimoys?

  • This movie was based on a children's book. What would be the challenges in turning a book into a movie? 

  • How did the violence in the action sequences compare to the violence in other animated features? Was the violence necessary to the story, or could the movie have done without it? 

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love fantasy

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