Arthur and the Invisibles Review: A Near Disaster of a Film
by Alex Billington
January 15, 2007
Luc Besson's short but illustrious career includes directing credits for some memorable greats: La Femme Nikita, The Professional, and The Fifth Element. His latest film, Arthur and the Invisibles, is a forgettable mÃ©lange of King Arthur, Neo from The Matrix, all of the Harry Potter books that include Voldemort, and A Bug's Life, all smashed into one big misadventure that pales in comparison to Besson's better-known works.
Arthur and the Invisibles follows young Arthur (Freddie Highmore) on an adventure to the land of the Minimoys, tiny people living in harmony with nature while also living around the house and in the yard. In the first half the film takes place in real life, following Arthur who's living with his grandma (Mia Farrow) while his parents search for jobs in the city. When his home is at risk of being demolished, he sets off to find rubies that his grandfather had received while in Africa to use as payment and hid in the yard, and thus begins his adventure into the 3D animated world of the Minimoys. Here he travels through the grasses in the yard and encounters the Evil M, whose throne is made of the precious rubies, and whom Arthur must battle to save the kingdom of the Minimoys from destruction.
Arthur and the Invisibles is an all around terrible misfortune of filmmaking. The plot during the live-action scenes is much too jumpy, snappy, and is constantly pushing itself to quickly get to the animation through oblivious and conspicuous devices. Once it finally does get to the animation, it's even worse. I'm not sure whether the animated portion was translated poorly or edited poorly, but all the dialogue in the animated story seems rushed - much too fast for any understandable conversations. Apparently the film was originally animated and recorded in French, and dubbed later into English, but with such a poor translation it's painful to even listen to.
This film is just a big mish-mash of Rastafarians and confusing disco fights, a henchman with sharp teeth but an innocuous lisp in his voice, and other ridiculous, drug-induced visuals and plot twists that only damage what little entertainment was being provided. The typically great Luc Besson has underachieved vastly with Arthur and the Invisibles and given us a poor quality, rushed, and hardly enjoyable film.
Reader Feedback - 7 Comments
I think this was a brilliant film, it had romance and a little action. Perfect for Adults to take their kids along to and have fun. It is a heart-renching film, that will get the youngest of children to shed a tear. Mostly the girls! But all in all i think this was a very good film, indead.
Rhiann on Feb 25, 2007
Truly, truly awful film filled with stupid plot inconsistencies (why didn't he think of searching for his grandpa until they needed the money? If they were poor how come they sent him to boarding school? Why have a magic sword that isn't magic?) and lots of fast, confusing, pointless action and occasional long speeches which seem to be a last ditch attempt to stitch it all together. Too scary and confusing for little children, dull and pointless for older ones, painful for adults.
Julia on Mar 16, 2007
by the way, you can search in you tube some of the deleted scenes
Javier Delgado on Aug 17, 2007
This film is so far the biggest and more complex european animation proyect. And So far around the world it has received great reviews, and enough earnings to get the second and third parts into production. But it failed in the US marker. Why? Maybe because the film was cut down to a "kids friendly movie" by the US distribuitor who cut important parts of the plot. I saw the film in Mexico and my family enjoyed so much that we wish more people would enjoy it, so this is some off what the US public did not saw: Davido wants the farm, because he heard about the rubies, at the end of the film he tries to steal them , but he is stooped by the Bogomatasalai warriors. Arthur arrives at the minimoy world in a middle of a Ceremony. Selenia is going to be 1,000 years old in two days (about 10 years in human years), In two days she will replace her father as ruler of the minimoys, until her own children atain that age. That means that she has two days to find a husband. There is someone who want that place: MAltahzard has been waiting for years for this moment, not only to became the king of Minimoys, but becasue the first kiss of a princes, has magic, that can cure him to became a minimoy prince. Arthur arrives in time to prevent the kidnape of Selenia, thanks to the magic of the sword. BEcasue Selenia is too proud, she could not take the sword, but Arthur hearth is pure. Selenia need to confront Malthazar before her birthday, and Arthur need to save his grandpa, and his treasure from the hands of Malthazard, so they join. Arthur fall in love with Selenia from the first sight, she is to proud , but still she is impressed. Along their adventure Arthur know that Selenia need to marry, and that they are about the same age. Slowly he begans to win Selenia´s hearth, but she is to proud to show it. But before confronting Maltazard, Selenia kiss Arthur which for the Minimoy is a wedding ceremony. This also transfer the unknonw magic of Selenia to Arthur and declare him also the new king of the Minimoys. When Maltazard learns Selenia is already married, he decides to kill her, along all her people. As you see this story is a bit more complex than the kids friendly version shown in the US and it was aimed to a more grown audience.
Javier Delgado on Aug 17, 2007
I personally loved the movie 😛 i'm 15 years old, but still at child at heart lol, this movie really touched me and i cannot wait till the sequel comes out in 2009, it's a shame that the US cut the special scenes that was funny and romantic (in a cheesey way lol). Although it may have receive bad reviews i still reckon this movie is still alive even in late 2008, i just hope that these next two movies, will have the full movie with no cut scenes and if it does, at least put them into the DVD Special/Bonus Features. Lol i also hope that some person puts them on Youtube if they cut it again. Chloe 😀 (a girl waiting eagarly for a animated movie ^^) p.s my family also found it fun and good-hearted, and this ranges to completey different people 😛 p.p.s in case you're reading this and don't know, lol - laugh out loud
Chloe on Sep 9, 2008
A lovely piece of well-directed animation with some of the very worst-written -directed and -acted voice work I have ever seen in a film of any budget. Some big name actors (David Bowie and Robert Deniro for starters) who are no good for animation, and some personalities who can't act (Jimmy Fallon, Madonna...) were used clearly to get people in the door. But the voice direction was really sloppy and the voices largely miscast. It just shows how very necessary these elements are for cartoons, as the lack of them here just drags the film into tedium. Again--despite some lovely art direction and beautiful animation.
Richard Rosenblatt on Sep 12, 2008
Curiously... the film was originally in english, and then dubbed to other languages. This cause some problems since most of the animators did not speak english. The voices were recorded over a period of two years, With Maddona and Snoop Dough recording before the animation had actually began (Snopp even participated for providing th movemenets of his characters), and Freddie was one of the last to put his voice, since when the animation had begun, it had not being decided who would be Arthur. I am happy to say the the two other sequels are under way, and the action parts already had been filmed early this year (for the two films).
javier delgado on Sep 13, 2008
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