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Arthur and the Invisibles

New movie opens starring Freddie Highmore

By Alameen Rahman | January 17 , 2007

Alameen Rahman and actor Freddie Highmore
Kid Reporter Alameen Rahman and actor Freddie Highmore. (Photo: Suzanne Freeman)

January 17, 2007

Arthur and the Invisibles, a movie from the creative mind of Luc Besson and based on the book Arthur and the Minimoys, is now playing in theaters nationwide. The movie is rated PG and is about 1 hour 40 minutes long.

The part-animation, part live-action film is about a boy named Arthur and his brave journey to the world of the Minimoys, who are very small people. They are considered invisible because of their tiny size.

With help from the Minimoys, Arthur embarks on a mission to save his grandfather’s property and find a lost treasure of rubies. It’s an inspiring adventure story of a quest for hidden treasure. While on his search, Arthur also learns that success comes from never giving up your dreams.

Young British actor Freddie Highmore, who plays Arthur, said he was excited to be involved in making this movie. “If there was a land of the invisibles, I would definitely want to be there,” he told Scholastic News Online. This was his first animation film and he said that when he was being filmed he really felt like Arthur.

animated characters from Arthur and the Invisibles
Betameche (Jimmy Fallon), Arthur (Freddie Highmore) and Princess Selenia (Madonna) appear in Luc Besson's Arthur and the Invisibles. (Photo: Courtesy of The Weinstein Company)

The movie took seven years to make. Director Besson got the idea from a photograph sent to him by Patrice and Celine Garcia. Besson wrote four books based on the imaginary world of the Mimimoys: Arthur and the Miminoys, Arthur and the Forbidden City, Maltazard’s Revenge, and Arthur and the War of the Two Worlds. The movie is based on the first two books.

Besson worked closely with the Garcias to bring their ideas to film.

“I really liked the idea of a place where children are as big as the adults, control their own destiny, and are capable of doing everything they dream of,” said Celine Garcia when asked about creating a world of tiny people.

Creating that world took about 200 people working on computers, said Besson. As a live-action director, it was something he had never done before.

“But it truly is the film of a director using a different technique rather than that of a technician trying to direct a film,” he said.

The film is different than most animations as it was filmed on a three-dimensional set with actual models. For instance, designers really built a giant mushroom—it’s not just a computer-generated picture!

The star-studded cast includes the voices of Madonna, Snoop Dog, and David Bowie. Star Freddie Highmore, who also starred in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, was chosen for more than his talent. He’s young enough, said the director, to star the next two Arthur movies. Although he’s now 13 years old, he looks much younger and is expected to be part of a trilogy of movies based on Arthur’s stories.

About the Author

Alameen Rahman is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

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