Review: Arthur & the Invisibles

Posted by: Dean Kish  //  January 12, 2007 @ 1:33am

Filed under: Reviews

There have been a lot of movies where you see a magical world and our normal world collide. Nine times out of ten, the fantasy world is represented in some way or another by animation. For example, Bedknobs & Broomsticks, Cool World, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and of course Mary Poppins. All of those films used animation, incorporated it into the film, and it worked. Cool World wasn't a very good film but its integration worked well. Also what these films did was that they also had human beings interacting with the animated characters. This is not the case with Arthur & the Invisibles.

Arthur & the Invisibles tells the story of Arthur (Freddie Highmore), a boy who has been sent away to live with his grandmother (Mia Farrow). Granny is about to lose the house and it seems their only hope is for Arthur's grandfather to return with enough money to save them. Grandfather left Arthur a series of clues to where he has gone and it seems that he found a way into a magical world where tiny elves live who are known as the Minimoys. These little elves might be the key to saving Granny's house. Arthur must find a way to reach them and enlist their help in finding a large ruby that is hidden in the yard behind Granny's house.

The film is fun and once more, Freddie Highmore does a dynamic performance, but the magical and innocence of the film is lost when Freddie's Arthur is brought into the world of Minimoys. It isn't like previous films, but this time the animators decided that Highmore would be transformed into an animated character instead of accompanying the elves in his human form. Once this process is done, there seems to be a lot of magic lost. Sure the animation is bold, breathtaking, and exhilarating, but when they cut back to the outside world it is like you are watching a different film.

I loved the animated world of the elves, but I think that merging the two worlds this way doesn't accomplish what needed to be done. I also really loved the story and how it was able to capture the imagination of adults and children alike. I just really wish that this vision had been fully realized. (3.5 out of 5) So Says the Soothsayer.

Tags: Arthur & the Invisibles, Freddie Highmore, Luc Besson

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