Discover a magical world in this dazzling family adventure by director Luc Besson (The Fifth Element) featuring the voices of Madonna, Robert DeNiro and David Bowie.
With a captivating combination of live action and CGI animation, Arthur And The Invisibles "mixes together elements of Indiana Jones, King Arthur and Honey, I Shrunk The Kids" (Allan Hunter, Daily Express) in a fun-filled journey the whole family will enjoy.
Freddie Highmore (Charlie And The Chocolate Factory) stars as Arthur, a brave young boy who must find a hidden treasure that will save his family's home. To do so, Arthur must enter the underground realm of the "Invisibles," tiny creatures who live beneath his own backyard. There he discovers the smallest heroes can make the biggest difference.
Think Luc Besson and almost instantly you'll remember the man responsible for some of the most stylishly produced, scripted and directed high octane action flicks ranging from Taxi to District 13 - Ultimatum which is currently showing at cinemas.
And it's quite eyebrow raising to learn that he's also the creative force for a film geared toward kids with Arthur and the Minimoys (or the Invisibles, in reference to the creatures' minute size)where the sequel made it to a limited screening here which the original never did. Well, here comes the barebones DVD to the rescue!
Parents worried about Besson's reputation for being uncompromising in his vision and the penchant for cheeky nudity and violence without remorse, can rest easy, since this is something made with his own kids in mind as an audience, combining both live action and animation that doesn't feature talking animals. Talk about a deserved break from animation of those sorts. Besson has weaved a magical fantasy adventure, combining live action and delightful 3D animation which is absolutely stunning, and not forgetting a memorable, simple yet strong story to carry the movie through, rather than rehashed juvenile tales that put you to sleep.
No doubt that you might think there are bits which makes it look like a distant cousin of Honey I Shrunk the Kids, or Ants / A Bug's Life, Arthur and the Minimoys has its own saccharine sweet backstory developed, leading to an inevitable ending of which it isn't pessimistic about. In fact, it ends on hope, and love, and there's always something special with movies that dare to end wit that.
The hybrid technique used in itself is special too, as there are too few movies which do so, one of which that comes to mind is Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Here, Arthur is played by Freddie Highmore, and I thought he's slowly adding to his resume with credible performances all round in the various movies he's in. Lending star power to the movie are the voice talents of (in the English version), check this out - Madonna, Robert De Niro, Jimmy Falon, Harvey Keitel, Snoop Dogg, and even David Bowie!
Arthur and the Minimoys is full of love - between Arthur and Selenia the Minimoy Princess (all animated movies must have lovebirds, you know?), and more importantly, between family members. The message on nature and loving nature becomes secondary somewhat, but nonetheless still rings through. Highly recommended animated feature, a refreshing change from the usual style offered.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
Presented in anamorphic widescreen format, the visuals are just as I remembered watching on the big screen, and comes with the 5.1 Dolby Digital English language track only.
by Stefan Shih
on 08 May 2010