Bad Movie Review: Arthur and the Invisibles

Dennis Nedry

We want to welcome Dennis Nedry to our family of reviewers. He comes to us from the most excellent LarryNiven.org. And he has some thoughts on a movie that I'm glad I missed... [ed. RB2]

I wanted to go and see Hot Fuzz, the latest Simon Peg comedy, but because I have young children, I had to sit though Arthur and the Invisibles as Hott Fuzz is a 15, and the former is a U.

If you haven’t seen Harry Potter, The Dark Crystal, Ants, or practically any other children’s movie in the last twenty years, or read The Minipins (by Roald Dahl, then go see Arthur and the Invisibles, and skip the rest.

Before I saw this film, I didn’t realize that it was possible to create a film that is entirely derivative while bringing nothing but inconsistency to the table.

In the film, the main character is a boy who lives in on a farm (that looks like it is right out of the depression although this movie is apparently set in the sixties) with his grandmother, because his parents are too poor to support him, although he has just returned from boarding school in England. While his parents (who like the kid, have English accents while his grandmother does not) are off in the big city looking for work, he is left to ponder over his missing grandfather’s rubbish.

Soon a proverbial depression era debt collector turns up to foreclose on the farm house (and disused farm). At about this point, granny shows the kid granddaddies’ journals about his adventures with the Minipins, I mean, the Minimoys. Grandpa somehow met them in Africa, and transported them, and some Zulus, to the United States without anyone noticing, including Granny. Oh, and some treasure, which the old coot buried somewhere on the farm and forgot about before he disappeared.

Predictably, the kid finds a way, with the help of secret messages from Grandpa, to shrink himself and go look for the treasure. The process, involving the Zulus, the moon and a telescope, turns him into a Minimoy, which resemble the Embryots, sorry, Gelfings from the Dark Crystal so strongly that I’m amazed Henson Productions aren’t suing.

As not to “spoil” the movie, I won’t reveal the rest of the details, except to say what takes place after this strongly resembles a cross between Ants and Honey I Shrunk The Kids, only not as good. During these adventures, he meets princess what’s-her-name, voiced by Madonna. Funny thing is, she is supposed to be one thousand years old, and is hot (for a Embryot). This kid is ten, but there is overt sexual tension between these characters. In fact, she wants him to stay so she can have his Minimoy babies. Again, this is overt.

Somewhere in this mess, David Bowie shows up as the bad guy, who wants to destroy the Minimoys for some inadequately explained reason. This gives the audience someone to root for. His ten minutes of voice time are about the only thing inspired at all about this turkey. Oh yes, you can’t say his name, it’s bad luck. I wonder where they got that idea from?

Our hero saves the day, finds the treasure, rescues granddad, the farm is saved, and he is left breathlessly waiting the ten months for the window to open on the world of the Minipins, I mean Minimoys, presumably so he can get laid. Personally, I #### her, even though she looks like a Gelfling, but I am a bit older than ten.

The animation is, average. My children said the movie was okay. I have never seen them less enthusiastic about a movie, with the exception of Battlefield Earth, which they refused to watch after twenty minutes.

In other words, entertaining fun for the whole family, as long as they have been lobotomized first.

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