(detailed information about this entry from Wikipedia)
Arthur and the Minimoys (Arthur and the Invisibles in English-speaking territories) is a part-animated, part-live action feature film adaptation of the same-name, 2002 children's book and the 2003 sequel Arthur et la cité interdite / Arthur and the Forbidden City by filmmaker Luc Besson, who also directed the film. It premiered in limited release in France on November 29, 2006, and received wide releases in a number of countries in the following weeks. In the U.S., it opened on December 29, 2006, for one week in Los Angeles, California, with a wider release on January 12, 2007 (February 2, 2007 in the UK).
The film is rated PG. The DVD will be released on May 15, 2007.
10-year-old Arthur is living with his grandmother in a quiet country house. He has recently lost his grandfather, and sees little of his parents. His grandmother entertains him by reading stories to him. One of these stories is about the Minimoys — tiny elfin beings living underground in the garden of his grandparents' house. According to these stories, the Minimoys hold a wondrous and expensive treasure of rubies given by an African tribe to Arthur's grandfather. Arthur has become enamoured with a picture of Selenia, princess of the Minimoys.
Arthur's grandmother has been given a two-day deadline to pay a large sum of money to a building developer named Davido who has bought up her mortgage from the bank and plans to evict the two. Arthur takes it upon himself to find the rubies in order to pay off the debt. After stumbling across various clues written a few years previously by his grandfather, Arthur manages to find the key to the Minimoys' world. He is met in the garden by tall men resembling Masai tribals, who tell Arthur how to get into the Minimoys' world by way of shrinking down to their size. This is done by means of a telescope and the power of a shining full moon. When Arthur is underground with the Minimoys, he learns of a danger to the little people's future — the plans of Malthazar, the leader of an army of mosquito-riding rebels named Sades living in nearby "Necropolis", who plan to conquer the Minimoys by flooding their city. Malthazar was once a Minimoy himself; a war hero corrupted by a seductive weevil, by whom he has a son called Darkos. After his corruption, Malthazar became a warlord known only as the Evil M (people fear his true name will bring bad luck). Arthur's grandfather is his prisoner, and the rubies form his throne.
Arthur, in a moment reflecting his legendary British namesake, draws a sacred sword from its recess, which he then uses to protect his new friends from Malthazar's soldiers. The king gives permission for Arthur to travel to Necropolis, sending with him the princess Selenia as well as her younger brother. Armed with Arthur's new sword – the use of which they share – the trio embark. En route to Necropolis, they are numerous times put in danger by Malthazard's soldiers, who are making plans for the coming flood. Eventually, the questors arrive in Necropolis, where the stubbornly independent Selenia takes the sword and confronts Malthazar alone. She, and later her comrades, are captured and incarcerated.
In prison, they find Arthur's grandfather Archibald, who like his grandson after him has become a Minimoy. This transformation has altered the proportions of his body, giving him a larger head, thinner limbs, long ears, and broad extremities.
The four ultimately escape Malthazar just ahead of the flood, using as their vehicle a clockwork car that Arthur, in his human form, recently possessed (in an anachronism, however, it becomes a Ferrari). With the help of a royal advisor's long-lost son, Arthur is able to prevent the flood from destroying the Minimoys, redirecting it to Necropolis instead. Malthazar abandons the plan, as well as his army and his son, and flees. The rubies, recovered from Malthazar's flooded fortress, are used to pay off the human debts.
During the adventure, Arthur's infatuation of Selenia has been supplemented by comradeship, as well as by her own affection for him, which is seen to increase with the passage through time. The story closes with their vows, spoken by Arthur in his human form to Selenia who sits in a tree, to wait until the time is right for them to be together.
The ending credits then proceed, alongside scenes of every significant character (as well as the director, Luc Besson) appearing in Minimoy form to take a bow.
 Plot Similarities
There is a plot similarity to several books written around this time, in particular Suzanne Collins' Gregor the Overlander and D.J. MacHale's The Rivers of Zadaa. In the former novel, a boy or young man travels to an underground domain populated by diverse beings, which is surprisingly close to his home. There, he becomes a warrior-hero and develops affections for the stubborn, battle-ready princess. In the latter novel, the disaster that must be averted is a subterranean flood caused by people. Both stories feature a boy learning how to fight, an underground domain visited by him, a catastrophe he must prevent, and his rapidly maturing sexual/emotional relationship with a female fighter.
The character Malthazar is also similar to JK Rowling's Voldemort being an evil sorcerer with dark robes, pale skin, a skull-like face, long, spindly hands and a name people– with the exception of the protagonist– fear to speak aloud.
Arthur draws a magical sword from a stone where it was embedded for years and is hailed as a hero. This mirrors and is probably an homage to Arthur's legendary British namesake (King Arthur) and the Sword in the Stone (Excalibur).
Spoilers end here.
The film, budgeted at US$86 million, earned US$20,004,110 in France as of Dec. 26, 2006. By mid-January 2007 the film was successful enough for the approval of the making of two sequels.
In terms of critical response, its Los Angeles run garnered 20% positive reviews at the critics-aggregate site RottenTomatoes.com. Los Angeles Times reviewer Alex Chun wrote that, "Director Luc Besson admits he knew nothing about animation before he started this project, and it shows". Variety 's Robert Koehler called it "alienating and dislikable" and specifically noted that, "Having African-American thesps Snoop Dogg and Anthony Anderson voice creatures that are basically humanoid monkeys shows poor taste". Many found it derivative of sources ranging from King Arthur's sword-in-the-stone to the films The Dark Crystal and The Ant Bully, which itself was based on a children's book written three years before Besson's. "It all simply looks as if [conceptual artist Patrice] Garcia and Besson couldn't decide on any one thing to copy", said Frank Lovece of Film Journal International, "so they copied them all". Lovece also noted that, "the whole thing gets seriously creepy when [the animated versions of] the grown-up, pinup-beauty princess and the 10-year-old boy fall for each other. Mary Kay Letourneau comes uncomfortably to mind".
Certain technical complaints against the US-run version of the Minimoys included:
- Poor lip-synch of the English dubbing, during both the live action part and the CGI scenes (the Minimoys' lips were animated to match the original French voicetrack and the articulation of the languages differs significantly). The composition of target audience (mainly kids and youngsters) precluded the use of subtitling.
- The accelerated pace of the American dubbing annoyed many viewers. English sentences are slightly longer on average compared to French ones; thus American voice actors had to speak faster to say the same content during the same time limit. This was especially noticeable during the visually fast-paced CGI part of the movie.
- The second, animated half of the movie was deemed too fast "as if on speed". This later impression may have been induced by the fact that all the backgrounds, including the huge mushrooms, which are often seen in the film, were not animated from the ground up, but rather watercoloured from massive stage sets built to 1:1 size scale, contributing to their lifelike appearance.
 English-language version
 French-language version
 Portuguese-language version
 Main characters
- Arthur: The main protagonist, 10 year old Arthur largely lives with his grandmother because his parents don't have much time to spend with him, a fact Arthur resents. His grandfather has mysteriously vanished, and Arthur is determined to find him and the treasure of the Minimoys so that he can pay off the unscrupulous debt-collectors who covert his grandmother's land. Arthur, judging by his aptitude for finding clues and thwarting his enemies, has inherited his grandfather's intelligence. Critics criticised his romantic involvement with Princess Selenia because of the vast age-gap between them, as Selenia is 1000 years old and Arthur is 10. In Minimoy terms, however, Arthur is about the same age.
- Princess Selenia: The daughter of the King of the Minimoys; the proud and headstrong Princess Selenia, despite appearing haughty and arrogant, is an honourable and caring individual who is determined to protect her people from the evil of Malthazar. She has a somewhat antagonistic relationship with Arthur at first (believing him to be her inferior). However, after he draws the Sword of the Minimoys from the Stone, she comes to respect him, and during their journey they fall in love. Selenia is a formidable fighter and possesses great intelligence. Her physical body seems to coincidentally resemble the virtual body of Aelita Lyoko from Code Lyoko (of which two of the French-language actors do voices for in the American English-language version). The two have similar hair colors, pointed ears, and both are treated as princesses, being both the daughters of "influential" fathers. Even their costumes are similar and they have similar fighting prowesses.
- Betameche: Selenia's rather annoying little brother, Betameche is 300 years old, quite young for a Minimoy. He is a mischievous young soul who enjoys teasing his extremely egotistical elder sister.
- Malthazard: The arch-villain, Malthazard, also known as Malthazard the Evil or Malthazard the Cursed is the insane corrupt emperor of the Forbidden City of Necropolis. With his army of minions, the Sades, he is determined to conquer the land of the Minimoys and claim the Princess Selenia as his queen. He possesses the treasure of the Minimoys and keeps it in his stronghold in Necropolis, where it forms his throne. Malthazar was once a noble warrior, but because of his pride and lust for power, he turned to the path of evil and betrayed his own people. Nevertheless, he still possesses something akin to a warped code of honour and clearly wishes to be thought of as an honourable being, but never lets it stand in the way of gaining power or revenge. He possesses a dark sense of humour and an extremely cunning intellect, typical of supervillains. People in the Minimoy Kingdom fear his name will bring bad luck and so refer to him only as "Evil M" (M the Cursed in the book). This runs along the theme of Dark Lords having names which people fear to speak. Examples of such characters include Sauron and Voldemort, both of whom Malthazard closely resembles. The name Malthazard is derived from the Old English word "Mal" meaning bad or evil. Although the film refers to him as Malthazard, his name in the book was Malthazar and some film versions refer to him as Maltazard. He was corrupted to the path of evil by a beautiful but seductive weevil and by her he is a father to a boyish bully named Darkos.
 Other characters
- Grandma: Arthur's long suffering grandmother is a major character in the film and book. She possesses a dry sense of wit and is very protective of Arthur given the fact that his parents aren't there most of the time on account of trying desperately to get new jobs in the wake of the Wallstreet Crash. Her husband, Archibald mysteriously disappeared a few years ago in search of the treasure of the Minimoys.
- Archibald: Arthur's grandfather, he mysteriously disappeared years ago during his quest for the Treasure of the Minimoys and the courts have declared him legally dead but he is actually alive in the dungeons of Necropolis. He is a brilliant explorer and adventurer and has evidently passed on his intelligence to his grandson, Arthur. He teaches the Sades something new in return for food during his stint in Malthazar's dungeons. He is known to the Minimoys as Archibald the Benevolent.
- Ernest Davido: A greedy and sisnister landowner who presides over the multi-national Davido Corporation which specialises in property development. Davido is determined to evict Arthur and his grandmtoher from their land so that he can demolish their home and build flats in their place however this is just a front for his real plan; obtaining the treasure which Archibald buried in the back-garden. Davido used to be friends with Archibald who told him about the rubies whilst slightly drunk. Davido's plan is foiled by Arthur who obtains the treasure and rescues his grandfather from the dungeons of Necropolis however the insane Davido threatens to shoot Arthur and his family unless they give him the treasure however he is thwarted by the Bogo-Matassalai and sent to gaol.
- Darkos: Malthazar's equally evil though somewhat less intelligent son, Darkos is one of seven children whom Malthazar sired through a union with a coleoptoris venemis however the Prince of Darkness killed his other children for some reason and left Darkos alive. Darkos is totally loyal to his father however Malthazar abandons his son to drown when his fortress is flooded.
- The King: The King of the Minimoys is the father of Betameche and Selenia and a benevolent and kind ruler however he is a coward in the face of any violence. Despite this is is very protective of his children whom he loves dearly. The King is a very small man even for a Minimoy and sits on the back of a gamoul, a large furry creature whom he conceals with his robes, giving him the impression of being incredibly tall.
 See also