Science fiction and fantasy                                            

Arthur and the Invisibles

directed by Luc Besson

Arthur And The Invisibles poster  
Arthur and the Invisibles begins somewhere in 1950s rural America, where young Arthur is living with his grandma. His mother and father are away in the city, trying to find work. Arthur's lonliness is made worse by the absence of his grandfather, who disappeared four years ago while on an expedition.

Arthur's grandpa was an explorer, and according to his grandmother a bit of a fantasist. His stories of Africa certainly captured Arthur's imagination, with tales of lost treasures, tribes of tiny people, and other magics. However, Arthur and his grandma are in deep financial trouble, and they are about to get evicted from their home due to debts. The stereotypically nasty man in a suit comes to announce gleefully that they have two days to come up with the money, or their home will be bulldozed and they will be left with nowhere to go.

Arthur, being the resourceful young man that he is, sets out to find his grandfather and the treasure, in spite of his grandmother's pleas that elves with treasure at the bottom of the garden are not going to help. Undetered, he finds a key and a trail of secret messages, and with the help of a small tribe of very tall Africans he passes into the teeny-tiny world of the Minimoys.

When Arthur shrinks he also gets transformed into something that wouldn't look out of place on the shelves of a toy shop. He's greeted by Betameche, a fast-talking Minimoy princeling with a pleasant nature and a desire to be noticed. Betameche is in the shadow of his sister, the Princess Selenia, heir to the throne.

Selenia, played by Madonna, is none too impressed by Arthur, even when this upstart newcomer helps to save them from an attack by the forces of the evil "M". She sees it as her duty to take up arms and defeat him in order to save her kingdom.

This evil "M", otherwise known as Maltazard (David Bowie), is a consummate bad guy, right down to his disgusting taste in live food and his hideous appearance. He has taken over a number of territories, and plans to conquer the Minimoys next, slaughtering all who resist. He doesn't seem to have any particular motive for this - he's just extremely evil, and that's all we need to know.

The film is very colourful, a tiny world underneath the feet of the human world, full of breakfasts of dragonfly eggs and sleeping in poppies. One of the highlights is a choreographed scene where the characters do battle with some of Maltazard's minions to the tune of various disco tracks. The mixture of 3D and live action is full of colour, music and fun. The plot is a simple one, perhaps too simplistic for an older audience, but it has a feelgood tone that children will enjoy.

Film Details

Year: 2007

Categories: Films

  Kids     Fantasy

Classification: PG

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3 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson