The Mini Borrowers
Arthur (Freddie Highmore) lives with Granny (Mia Farrow) in the country where his imagination runs wild as he conjures up inventions and has mini adventures. But with parents away trying to find work and his grandfather having disappeared many years earlier on an adventure times are tough especially with the bank threatening to foreclose oh Granny's house. But Arthur isn't going to let that happen and after discovering the Minimoys, a microscopic living in the garden Arthur magically shrinks himself down to their size and with his new friend go searching for treasure. But his adventures are not plain sailing with a dark lord wanting to destroy all Minimoys.
Whilst the name Luc Besson maybe better known for his more shall we say grown up movies but with "Arthur and the Invisibles" he firmly tries to create a movie for a young audience. Now there is nothing wrong with Besson doing that especially as he also wrote "Arthur and the Invisibles" but I found myself watching with the feeling that I had seen it all before. For young audiences the familiarity won't be much of an issue but for grown ups it will make things a bit of a slog.
Now "Arthur and the Invisibles" starts of reasonably well as we are introduced to the adventurous world of your Arthur with Freddie Highmore once again displaying his talents for playing adventurous young children. It is a world where his active imagination makes for plenty of entertainment and in a truth it is a world I dare say we all wish we could have had. But after this is when things start to go a bit awry.
You see the trouble is that this is when Arthur shrinks down the size of a Minimoy and ends up on an adventure where he is tiny. It is an idea which has been done before and is why for young children who might not have watched the likes of "The Borrowers" or "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" it will be entertaining but for adults it will become familiar. There is also the fact at this point the movie switches to animation and technically it is a well made animation. But these Minimoy characters are not exactly the nicest looking creatures and as a grown up I found them surprisingly off putting. This is probably why that I also ended up uninterested by the list of star names such as Madonna who came in to voice the characters.
What this all boils down to is that "Arthur and the Invisibles" is a children's movie and as a children's movie I am sure it works. But for grown ups the familiarity of someone being shrunk down and entering a world of small people is a problem which can't be got around.