Ten-year-old Arthur, in a bid to save his grandfather's house from being demolished, goes looking for some much-fabled hidden treasure in the land of the Minimoys, a tiny people living in harmony with nature.
Upon moving into the run-down Spiderwick Estate with their mother, twin brothers Jared and Simon Grace, along with their sister Mallory, find themselves pulled into an alternate world full of faeries and other creatures.
A young girl discovers her father has an amazing talent to bring characters out of their books and must try to stop a freed villain from destroying them all, with the help of her father, her aunt, and a storybook's hero.
Lucy and Edmund Pevensie return to Narnia with their cousin Eustace where they meet up with Prince Caspian for a trip across the sea aboard the royal ship The Dawn Treader. Along the way they encounter dragons, dwarves, merfolk, and a band of lost warriors before reaching the edge of the world.
Arthur is a spirited ten-year old whose parents are away looking for work, whose eccentric grandfather has been missing for several years, and who lives with his grandmother in a country house that, in two days, will be repossessed, torn down, and turned into a block of flats unless Arthur's grandfather returns to sign some papers and pay off the family debt. Arthur discovers that the key to success lies in his own descent into the land of the Minimoys, creatures no larger than a tooth, whom his grandfather helped relocate to their garden. Somewhere among them is hidden a pile of rubies, too. Can Arthur be of stout heart and save the day? Romance beckons as well, and a villain lurks. Written by
The sacred sword that no one (not even Princess Selenia) can pull out of the stone (she implies that only the chosen one can pull it out) but Arthur is able to pull out easily is an homage to King Arthur and the legend of the Sword in the Stone. King Arthur (who the main character of this movie shares a name with) becomes king when he is able to pull a sword from the stone it was stuck in when no one else could. See more »
Some songs on the soundtrack, including Let's Dance, Stayin' Alive (heard when Arthur and Selenia "dance" on a disc), and Theme From S'Express, post-date the 1960 setting. However, soundtracks are frequently separate from the movie's "world," so these songs could be purely for our benefit, not heard by the characters. Alternately, these could be deliberate anachronisms, included to induce a feeling of fantasy. See more »
At the beginning of the end credits, the main actors, actresses, and director come out on screen to take their final bows. If they did a voice in the film, they are presented as the character they voiced in the film. If their role was strictly live action, they are presented as a Minimoy version of their character. See more »
Every now and then it's nice to be reminded of the power of the imagination; of what it was like as children to escape to other worlds and embark on remarkable adventures. Luc Besson's Arthur and the Invisibles does just that and does it brilliantly with a mix of stunningly shot live action and wonderfully crafted, sometimes breath-taking CGI animation. It's a story which echoes, and affectionately pays homage to, many of the very best Children's stories. Stories such as The Sword in the Stone, Alice in Wonderland and The Borrowers.
The tale's young hero, Arthur, is battling to save his grandparents' home from the clutches of real estate developers. His grandfather is missing, but handily he's left the boy a series of clues to a hidden treasure trove which, if it's found, could be used to pay off the money- grubbing developers. But this is no straight-forward, stroll in the park search. In trying to find the haul Arthur must unlock the passageway to an underground world populated by curious, minute creatures. The home of these "invisibles" is also in peril: in their case, because of a malevolent wizard. So, joining forces with an almost improbably beautiful princess, Arthur sets off on his perilous mission.
The cast list reads like a Hollywood Who's Who. Robert de Niro, Harvey Keitel, Madonna and Mia Farrow all feature. But it's the young lead who really takes centre stage. Freddie Highmore was Charlie in Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It was a role he played well but I fully expected him, as with a plethora of child actors, to then disappear into fresh air. But Highmore comes alive in this movie; both when we see him in the flesh, and when he's voicing his animated incarnation. Besides Highmore, Mia Farrow, as Arthur's scatty grandmother, is utterly charming and David Bowie makes for a very creepy, yet nicely understated, evil wizard Maltazard. The look of Maltazard's henchmen exemplify the darker side of Luc Besson's previous work but their idiocy prevents them being too terrifying for smaller children.
The film isn't flawless. Jimmy Fallon's Betameche, while surely popular with the film's younger viewers, at times borders on the unbearably annoying; while the casting of forty- eight year old Madonna as Princess Selenia seems a little odd. Her performance is perfectly adequate, but in effect she spends most of the time flirting with a schoolchild. Strange.
But the gems in Arthur and the Invisibles far outshine any minor negatives. Mixing live action with CGI could quite easily look messy and unconvincing but, quite simply, it works and while there's always a danger of such a tale descending into saccharine sludge, thankfully that doesn't happen. Arthur's quest is a joy to follow; it deserves to be anything but invisible.
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