Arthur and the Invisibles – DVD Review

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Directed by
Luc Besson

Freddie Highmore ………. Arthur
Mia Farrow ………. Granny
Penny Balfour ………. Arthur’s Mother
Doug Rand ………. Arthur’s Father
Adam LeFevre ………. Davido
Madonna ………. Princess Selenia
Jimmy Fallon ………. Betameche
Robert De Niro ………. King
Harvey Keitel ………. Miro
Chazz Palminteri ………. The Travel Agent
Emilio Estevez ………. Ferryman
Snoop Dogg ………. Max
Anthony Anderson ………. Koolomassai
Jason Bateman ………. Darkos
David Bowie ………. Maltazard
Ron Crawford ………. Archibald
Erik Per Sullivan ………. Mino
Rob Corddry ………. Seides
Nathan Corddry ………. Seides

Running Time: 94 minutes
Rated PG
DVD Release date: May 15, 2007

In the interest of fairness, I should mention that I am forever biased against Luc Besson, to the point where I will defend the USA network version of La Femme Nikita as the superior version of the story. This Luc-aversion is attributable to a viewing of his tedious work Le Grand bleu, a film memorable for asserting that the main character was part dolphin and for frequently assaulting the viewer with shots of a be-speedoed Jean Reno.

Arthur and the Invisibles seems to be typical Besson fair; it’s vaguely creepy and looks as though it were designed by crazy Frenchmen. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory‘s Freddie Highmore stars as the eponymous, Arthur, a little boy from Connecticut who speaks with a British accent because his dirt poor parents sent him to boarding school in England. They must’ve had a coupon. These parents are off in “the city” looking for “better jobs” leaving Arthur alone with his granny and dog in what I presume must be “the country”. Grandpa has been missing for a few years, searching for rubies that he got from an African tribe, and which he buried in the backyard for some reason. Granny’s house is being foreclosed upon, leaving it up to Arthur to save the day! First, he must solve a series of riddles left to him by his grandpa, then turn into a 2 millimeter tall Square-Enix character, pull a magical sword from a stone, start a PG romantic affair with a 1000-year-old Madonna, get high with Snoop, dance fight, and save a race of tiny creatures from the evil David Bowie and his nefarious irrigation device!

No seriously.

That’s what happens.

The pacing of this film is a bit of a problem. The first 20 minutes or so is all about the “real world” and the troubles contained therein, debt collectors and distant parents. All the stuff that happens in the Minimoy world is geared towards those with ultra-short attention spans. And yes the little people are called Minimoys, and not “the Invisibles” as the title would have you believe. Stupid lying title! Nobody in this film is even invisible. A more appropriate title would be Arthur and the nearly Microscopics.

You know that there is something terribly wrong with a movie’s world view when Madonna, Jimmy Fallon, and Snoop Dogg are your heroes, and it seems especially cruel that the film wants us to cheer for them in their fight against David Bowie. It is also terribly disturbing to hear scenes between Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel in which no F-bombs are dropped and there is little possibility of anybody being whacked. Perhaps most confusing is that this is the second children’s movie I’ve reviewed in which Jimmy Fallon plays a CGI sidekick and which contains references to Pulp Fiction.

A good rule of thumb is to not rent DVDs upon whose cases Jimmy Fallon’s name can be found.


This DVD doesn’t offer much in the way of extras. We are afforded two music videos, one by Jewel, the other a kiddie rap by something called Elijah. There is also a “In the Recording Studio” bit with Jewel in which she spouts uninteresting platitudes about courage, and other such nuggets of her Jewelish wisdom.

The disc contains the official trailer for the film, and a version “mashed up” by some kid for some sort of contest of the Nickelodeon.

The only proper special feature is a 7-minute special on The Voices of Arthur and the Invisibles, which devotes a good chunk of its running time to Jimmy Fallon, Anthony Anderson, and the Corddrys. Jason Batemen provides the star power for this featurette.

The DVD Lounge’s Rating for Arthur and the Invisibles
(OUT OF 10)