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"ARTHUR AND THE INVISIBLES"
(2006) (Freddie Highmore, Mia Farrow) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Minor Extreme *Moderate Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate Minor Heavy None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor Minor Moderate Moderate Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Adventure: Hoping to find buried rubies to save his grandmother's farm, a young boy is transported into a miniature world where he must help a princess battle a villain.
PLOT:
It's Connecticut in the 1960s and Arthur (FREDDIE HIGHMORE) is an inquisitive and inventive boy who lives with his grandmother, Granny (MIA FARROW) while his parents work in a distant city. Arthur is enamored with the amazing expeditionary stories penned by his long-lost grandfather, Archibald (RON CRAWFORD), including when he discovered the Minimoys, a tribe of tiny people. Arthur gets his chance to meet them when a developer informs his grandmother that if she can't pay the bills, the farm will become his. Knowing that his grandfather wrote about African rubies he buried somewhere on their land, Arthur sets out to find them, a quest that leads to instructions about how to travel to the Seven Kingdoms of the Minimoys.

Racing against time, Arthur is miniaturized and ends up in their world that exists right there on their farm, with only 36 hours to find the rubies and return before the magical portal closes for the next 1,000 days. There, he meets the troll-like Minimoys, including Miro the wizard (voice of HARVEY KEITEL), the boyish but 300-year-old Betameche (voice of JIMMY FALLON), and his teenage-like sister Princess Selenia (voice of MADONNA) who will turn 1,000 in two days and thus replace her father, the King (voice of ROBERT De NIRO), as ruler of their land.

Her future rule depends on how she'll be able to deal with the evil Maltazard (voice of DAVID BOWIE) and his villainous son Darkos (voice of JASON BATEMAN) who rule over Necropolis, the forbidden kingdom. Maltazard wants to reign supreme over the other six kingdoms, but Arthur informs the Princess and everyone else that if he doesn't return with the missing rubies, Maltazard won't matter since all of their lands will be destroyed along with the family farm. Accordingly, Arthur, Princess Selenia and Betameche set out to find the stones, encountering colorful characters such as Rastafarian-like Max (voice of SNOOP DOGG) and Koolomassai (voice of ANTHONY ANDERSON) along the way, all while dealing with Maltazard and his minions who try to stop them.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
The ads might lure in younger viewers, but others will likely give it a pass.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For fantasy action and brief suggestive material.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • FREDDIE HIGHMORE plays an inquisitive and inventive boy who strives to save his grandmother's farm by entering the Minimoys' miniature world and then helping Princess Selenia and the others deal with Maltazard (during which Arthur shows bravery).
  • MIA FARROW plays his grandmother who misses her long-lost husband and worries about both Arthur when he goes missing as well as the pending foreclosure on her land.
  • RON CRAWFORD plays Arthur's rascally, explorer grandfather whose diaries inspired the boy.
  • PRINCESS SELENIA is the fierily independent daughter of the king who's about to ascend to ruler of the land but must contend with and battle Maltazard along the way (while also putting up with Arthur and her younger brother).
  • BETAMECHE is her sibling, a typical younger brother who's occasionally a bit too overeager and gets on her nerves.
  • MALTAZARD is the dark lord of Necropolis who was once a hero, but turned evil and now wants to reign supreme over all of the kingdoms.
  • DARKOS is his son and lieutenant who does much of his evil bidding.
  • THE KING is Princess Selenia's diminutive but wise father who's about to transfer rule of the land over to her.
  • MAX and KOOLOMASSAI are two Rastafarian type characters who assist Arthur and their others on their quest.
  • MIRO is the old wizard who assists the King and worries about his missing son.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this adventure film that's been rated PG. No profanity is present, but a few colorful phrases are, as is a comment by some girls about the boy protagonist being "hot."

    Violence consists of several action/adventure battles where characters try to harm others with swords and the like, get knocked around, or bash into things. That material and various scenes featuring potential peril may be unsettling or suspenseful to younger viewers (and the villain might look scary), but probably to no one else.

    Some of that action and other behavior might be enticing for some kids to imitate, while various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes. Some characters (including a kid) may drink something that's alcoholic given to them by some Rastafarian type characters (they react to the strength of it), one adult is seen in a photo with a pipe, and tense family material includes a boy living with his grandmother rather than his parents who work in some distant city and thus miss his birthday.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, we see the zoom around point of view of mosquitoes and their riders zipping through a village.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • A Rastafarian type character, Max, drinks something called Genie Soda with Arthur, Betameche and Princess Selenia, with all reacting to its strength (we don't know if it's alcoholic or not).
  • Archibald, various tribesmen and others have wine (and a toast) with dinner.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Maltazard impales a small bug with his fingernail and then eats the insect.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Maltazard and his minions have bad attitudes for attacking innocent characters and wishing to reign supreme over all lands.
  • The developer trips on Arthur's new ball, so he picks it up and throws it into an open water tower. He also has a bad attitude toward Granny and Arthur, and latter purposefully kicks Arthur's toy car down into a storm grate.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" might also be unsettling or suspenseful to younger viewers but probably to few others.
  • The sight of Maltazard as well as that of his son (with their menacing appearance and sharp teeth, etc.) might be unsettling or scary to very young viewers.
  • The developer trips on Arthur's new ball, so he picks it up and throws it into an open water tower. Arthur goes up there to retrieve it and falls in the water, but is okay.
  • Arthur learns that if his grandfather doesn't sign a paper in 48 hours, Arthur and Granny will be evicted from their home.
  • Arthur tries to retrieve a key from Granny's room via a fishing pole, but she nearly catches him (he's outside her door, going through the top vent window).
  • We see shadows of several tribesmen approaching Arthur from behind, but they turn out to be friendly.
  • Having been miniaturized (and told his portal will close in 36 hours for the next 1,000 days), Arthur slides down the inside of a telescope and then panics when the end starts descending down toward him (thinking he's going to be crushed). It does hit him, but it only pushes him through a blob of goop as he enters the miniature world.
  • There's talk of the various lands of the tiny people, including that of Necropolis, the forbidden land.
  • Arthur recognizes a trap waiting for Princess Selenia outside the safety of their entrance wall. Suddenly, Maltazard's warriors -- riding huge mosquitoes -- come blasting in and shoot unknown objects at the inhabitants. Tomatoes are fired back at those riders, with one shot blasting a rider off his ride (we don't know his fate). Arthur ends up on one mosquito and its rider tries to hit him, but runs into something, knocking him off. Another rider tries to strike Arthur with a sword, causing Arthur to fall off and down a long distance before landing on another mosquito, while another mosquito crash-lands quite hard.
  • Arthur, Betameche, and Princess Selenia head off on a journey that starts with them walking under an enormous beetle that rears up, but doesn't seem to wish to harm them until they get to the other end when its large, sharp tail jabs down at them (once). They know it's coming and jump out of the way.
  • Arthur, Betameche and Princess Selenia are sent through the air inside an acorn (or similar nut), but hit a bug in flight and land in a stream, with the two halves separating. That frightens Princess Selenia and Betameche since they can't swim, but Arthur throws a sword (with rope attached) into something that allows Betameche and Princess Selenia to climb to safety just at the end of a waterfall. Arthur then nearly falls, and ends up on a log that nearly goes over the waterfall, but he jumps to the rope and thus safety.
  • Seeing Arthur's radish irrigation system (using a normal-sized straw), Princess Selenia worries that Maltazard will use that to flood her underground village.
  • Arthur, Betameche, and Princess Selenia hide inside a segment of a normal-sized straw, end up going over a waterfall of sorts, and must then avoid being hit by something akin to a chainsaw that cuts through it.
  • We see that Arthur, Princess Selenia, and Betameche have been captured and thrown into a cell with Archibald.
  • Maltazard gives Arthur, Princess Selenia, Betameche and Archibald a 3-minute head start in a tunnel that he's about to flood all of the way back to Princess Selenia's village. They try to run, but Archibald is too winded, so Arthur decides to transport them in his wind-up toy car (now full-size to them) that was earlier kicked down into the tunnel. The others urge him to hurry as the massive floodwaters race toward them, and soon they're off, blasting down the tunnel ahead of it. However, the car winds down and they have to run the rest of the way to the tunnel, knock on the huge door, and be let inside just in the nick of time.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Swords/Club: Carried and/or used to threaten or try to strike others. See "Violence" for details.
  • Some tribesmen carry spears.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Go fetch, rat boy," "You're a royal pain in my keister," "Chicks," "Mama mia," "Let's go dandelion," "Arrivederci," "Oh rats," "That's what I call a rude awakening," "Let's get this show on the road," "It's show time" and "You fool."
  • Some of the stunts and other behavior might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • After Granny locks Arthur in his room to keep him out of trouble, he goes out the window via sheets that he's tied together.
  • Some kids may be inspired to try to spike a parent or guardian's water (or other beverage) with some sort of sleep-inducing substance (which happens in the film, but accidentally).
  • Arthur tries to retrieve a key from Granny's room via a fishing pole, but she nearly catches him (he's outside her door, going through the top vent window).
  • Needing to shed light on the yard outside at night, Arthur takes the family vehicle but loses control before crashing headfirst into a tree (he's okay).
  • Princess Selenia wears a midriff-revealing top.
  • Princess Selenia half-playfully kicks Arthur to rouse him from his bed. She then dumps him and Betameche from their flower bed down to the ground below.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Arthur slowly comes out of a room, turns and is startled by Granny who's there.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful and ominous music occurs in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 uses of "Oh my God" and 1 use of "My God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see some miscellaneous cleavage.
  • Some tribesmen are shirtless.
  • Princess Selenia wears a midriff-revealing top.
  • About Arthur's new miniaturized, elfin look, some elfin girls say he looks hot.
  • SMOKING
  • We see an old photo of Archibald with a pipe.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Granny sadly comments on her long-missing husband's greater interest in other tribes than his own (meaning his family).
  • Arthur gets a call from his parents, both of whom are working in another city (saying that jobs are scarce) and won't be home to see him for a while, including on his birthday (but Granny has a cake and gifts for him). Arthur then comments on having been off to boarding school for a year and when he came home, they weren't there (but they otherwise seem loving and care about him).
  • Every day, Granny tears the next daily sheet off a calendar and puts them into a box labeled "Days Without You" (referring to her husband).
  • Miro says that his son has been missing for three months.
  • Granny worries about Arthur when he ends up missing (to her).
  • Arthur's parents show up at Granny's house and wonder where he is and then worry about him.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The comment that your heart is the strongest of all weapons.
  • The comment that knowledge is the true source of power.
  • What sort of life exists on miniature or microscopic levels.
  • Arthur living with his grandmother rather than his parents who work in some distant city.
  • Arthur learns that if his grandfather doesn't sign a paper in 48 hours, Arthur and Granny will be evicted from their home.
  • The fact that Maltazard was once a hero, but then turned evil.
  • VIOLENCE
  • The mean developer purposefully kicks Arthur's toy car down into a storm grate.
  • Needing to shed light on the yard outside at night, Arthur takes the family vehicle but loses control before crashing headfirst into a tree (he's okay).
  • Princess Selenia whacks her brother to the floor.
  • Arthur recognizes a trap waiting for Princess Selenia outside the safety of their entrance wall. Suddenly, Maltazard's warriors -- riding huge mosquitoes -- come blasting in and shoot unknown objects at the inhabitants. Tomatoes are fired back at those riders, with one shot blasting a rider off his ride (we don't know his fate). Arthur ends up on one mosquito and its rider tries to hit him, but runs into something, knocking him off. Another rider tries to strike Arthur with a sword, causing Arthur to fall off and down a long distance before landing on another mosquito, while another mosquito crash-lands quite hard.
  • Various soldiers come at Princess Selenia with their swords and she battles them back, including kicking some (one to the crotch). Others come at Arthur with one kicking him back, but Arthur retrieves an Excalibur type sword from a stone and fights the others. That includes chopping off the front of one's mask (he's unharmed), and knocking two others to the ground to make them apologize to Princess Selenia.
  • Princess Selenia half-playfully kicks Arthur to rouse him from his bed. She then dumps him and Betameche from their flower bed down to the ground below.
  • A stool is thrown to Darkos' face, followed by a sword fight, where various characters are hit, while others run into a regular-sized tone arm on a record player. Darkos then repeatedly tries to smash Arthur and Betameche with a spiked club, damaging various bits of property in the process.
  • Arthur falls from a rope and lands hard on the ground, but is otherwise okay.
  • Princess Selenia holds her sword to Arthur's chin to force him to allow her to go off on her own.
  • Maltazard impales a small bug with his fingernail and then eats the insect.
  • Princess Selenia is captured and tries to kick those who've grabbed her.
  • Maltazard tries to kill Arthur, Princess Selenia, Betameche, Archibald, and everyone else by sending a massive flood their way.
  • The King accidentally backhands his wizard.
  • Maltazard throws a sword at his minion, but misses.
  • Arthur's full-sized ball falls down into Maltazard's lair, bouncing on and presumably crushing various minions. It also breaks Maltazard's flood-inducing structure, causing his lair to flood.



  • Reviewed December 19, 2006 / Posted January 12, 2007

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