Arthur and the Invisibles Movie Poster Image

Arthur and the Invisibles

Uneven animation-live action combo may bore kids.
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 94 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Arthur doses his grandmother with sleeping drops so he can sneak after the treasure; Maltazard is villainous; mean developer wants grandmother's home; Arthur's mother worries that, in their absence, she and her husband are "horrible parents" stereotyping of black/"Rasta" characters; minor gender stereotyping (girl Minimoy has pink hair, though she's also tough and brave).

Violence & scariness

Some banging around and crashing into things as the Minimoys travel through tunnels and the lawn; evil Maltazard threatens to enslave the Minimoys and sics buzzing bugs on them ("divebombing" and swooping, some sense of "menace" in the music); Arthur's descent into the Minimoys' underground is stressful (fast, loud); African warriors initially appear as looming shadows with spears; Arthur must wield the "sword of power" a flood threatens Minimoys.

Sexy stuff

Some flirting between Arthur and Princess Selenia.


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

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 12, 2007
DVD/Streaming release date:May 15, 2007
Cast:Freddie Highmore, Madonna, Mia Farrow
Director:Luc Besson
Studio:Weinstein Co.
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Book characters
Run time:94 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:fantasy action and brief suggestive material.

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Kid, 8 years old April 9, 2008
Teen, 15 years old Written byarthur16morgana January 14, 2011


this movie is NOT boring. i LOVED the movie. i watch it all the time.i thought it was entertaining and interesting.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 17 year old Written bylove2 September 27, 2009

OFF for 6 but ON for 7.

the movie is way to vilont and there is a little bit to much flirting that goes on between aurther and princess salina. so kids 6 and under i dont recomend letting them watch it but i do recomend letting kids 7 and older watch it.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Great messages