MOVIE REVIEW- Disturbing: Arthur and the inappropriates?

A disturbing trend emerged at the end of 2006 involving movies about underage boys and older women. It's not so bad, since it's an R-rated film for adults, that in Notes on a Scandal teacher Cate Blanchett is having an affair with a 15-year-old student; but two other films are aimed at teen and pre-teen audiences.

At the end of Eragon there's an implied promise between the 17-year-old title character and Arya, played by 32-year-old Sienna Guillory, that they'll hook up in the sequel.

Even worse, though more complicated, is Arthur and the Invisibles. Arthur (Freddie Highmore), just turned 10, is attracted to a picture of Princess Selenia of the Minimoys.  When he's shrunk down to her size and the movie goes into animated mode they meet and start flirting, though again the promise of consummation is left open at the end. The animated Arthur looks a bit older than 10, although he's supposed to be the same person, but the princess, obviously past puberty, is technically nearly 1,000 years old. Here's the punch line: she's voiced by 48-year-old Madonna, the famous English housewife and author of children's books who sings occasionally.  (The voice actress in the French-language version is three years younger.)

Although about two-thirds of Arthur and the Invisibles (written, produced and directed by Frenchman Luc Besson) is animated, the live-action portion is the best part. It features Highmore as Arthur and Mia Farrow as his grandmother.  In 1960 they're about to be evicted from her Connecticut farm.

Arthur's beloved grandfather, Archibald (Ron Crawford) an explorer and inventor, disappeared mysteriously three years ago and Arthur's parents (Penny Balfour, Doug Rand) love their son but rarely see him because they're off in "the city" making money – not enough to save the farm, apparently, or maybe Grandma didn't ask.

There's also a dog, Alfred, who doesn't play much of a role but who shows that all the males in this family get their names from the A-list.

Anyway, Grandma and Arthur will lose the farm in 48 hours unless Arthur can find the rubies Grandpa is rumored to have hidden on the property. This requires help from the Minimoys, a tribe of extremely little people Grandpa brought back from Africa to live under the lawn.

Arthur gets shrunk down to the size of a Minimoy and enters their underground world (is this The Ant Bully II?), the animated one where everybody looks like plastic dolls and Princess Selenia looks like a doll in more ways than one.

Like his legendary royal namesake, Arthur frees a magical sword that's been embedded, waiting for a hero. He'll have to use the Sword of Power against the evil wizard Maltazard (voiced by David Bowie) to save the princess and her father (Robert De Niro) and their subjects, in order to retrieve the rubies and save the farm, which will also spare the Minimoys from the developers' bulldozer.

It's a tall order for a 10-year-old, so Arthur has to move fast, which he does in non-stop action that suggests a videogame. To ensure that no demographic is left behind, Besson tosses in a couple of songs as an homage to Pulp Fiction and assigns vocal roles in the English-language version to Snoop Dogg, Jimmy Fallon, Anthony Anderson, Chazz Palminteri, Jason Bateman, Harvey Keitel and Emilio Estevez.

If it sounds like a mish-mash, it is. Once the action starts young viewers may be diverted, but Arthur... should soon become invisible on their playlist of favorites.



I wish to add come comments.

The US editions was cut down in ten minutes. While the international editions (which also include the full englishtrack) are uncut.

Most of the deleted secuences correspond to the love story of Arthur and Selenia.

This films is not only an action sotry, but a love story.

Selenia is going to be 1,000 selenium years old ( which is about 10 human years...) and she would be the queen, but first she need to get married.
Arthur loves her at first sight, but before she undestand what happened, he has married a princess.

Without this plot, there is several things that do not make sense adn the movie losses coherence

Unfortunatelly, when Maddona give voice to a 10 years old fairy princess... the love story became umpleasant for english speaking viewers, so it was cut. Only in the US this happened, in the rest of the world the film was wll reviewd and the saw the full version.

in you tube you can find some of the deleted scenes.

Other scenes were cut for no aparent reason.

-When the Grandma greets the return of her husband.
-When Davido try to steal the rubies and is get caught by the massai.
-When Grandpa says they are dinning girafe neck.

For those interested in the film, i recomend to get the international releases and not the US release, the international releases also has an interview with arthur (as a minimoy) and the making of of the film, which by the way is in french and only mention the french artist involved.

I hope you find this interesting.


Javier Delgado

note.. in Eragon Arya, is really 300 years old.. sho she declined the romace, (book 2). In minimoys Selenia nad Arthur are the same age. Bemaesh is 300 (selenium years old) so we see Minimoys mature earlier, so Arthur (Selenia comments he is about 1,000 years old in minimoys measurements) a minimoy is considered and adult...

In most of the international voices (i have the mexican spanish edition), Selenias voice is much younger, so nobody got bad feelings about it..