So I watched Arthur and the Invisibles today, primarily for Freddie Highsmith [luminescent and likeable], Mia Farrow [beautiful and engaging] and David Bowie [all-around kick-ass]. Apart from basking in these stars’ displays of talent, there wasn’t much else to do during the film. Sure, there were roller-coaster battles and chases to watch, but the film had no sense of plot, pacing, character development or emotional attachment. It seemed like a pastiche of disparate elements: live aciton vs. animation; the sexy Princess Selenia [voiced by Madonna] vs. the innocent and prepubescent Arthur [Highsmith]; the fascinatingly detailed Minimoys world vs. the utterly bland story. To give you an idea of how unenthralling it was…the four-and-a-half-year-old watching it with me and my wife wanted to leave two-thirds of the way through.
On the plus side, there was DAVID BOWIE doing a Jarethian turn as the elegant, smooth and seductively evil Malthazard, MADONNA doing a physically assertive and hip-swaying, butt-kicking princess who’s the most active female character I’ve ever seen in a kids’ animated film, plus the Minimoys themselves, who looked like plastic dolls and whose elvin ears fluttered when they were happy.