Making the Grades
Arthur's (Freddie Highmore) adventurous grandfather, Archibald (Ron Crawford), has disappeared, leaving the young boy and his Granny (Mia Farrow) to take care of the family farm. But doing the chores is the least of their worries when a greedy land developer shows up on their doorstep with plans to buy them out, raze the homestead and build an expansive apartment complex in the meadow.
With only 48 hours to stop the malicious takeover, Arthur searches his grandfather's journal to find clues to a treasure buried on the plot by the now absent ancestor. According to the diary, there's a group of tiny, nearly invisible people known as the Minimoys living in the backyard. Somewhere in this miniature world is hidden a pile of rubies that will pay off the family's debt.
Following the coded instructions, Arthur discovers a secret entrance into the land of the Minimoys where he meets the King (voiced by Robert De Niro), his son Betameche (voiced by Jimmy Fallon) and his daughter, the petulant princess, Selenia (voiced by Madonna). However Arthur also discovers that the evil Maltazard (voiced by David Bowie) is trying to destroy the little peoples' land and crown himself ruler of all seven kingdoms of the Invisibles.
So before the now-miniature Arthur searches for the hidden jewels to help Granny save the farm, he must make a treacherous trek across the backyard with Selenia and Betameche to stop Maltazard's villainous plot.
During the journey, the group of minuscule travelers is exposed to natural dangers and meet a fantastical array of characters including a Caribbean-inspired bar owner named Max (voiced by Snoop Dog) who's male region is scarcely covered by an itty bitty loin cloth. After offering the trio some refreshing drinks, Max and his sidekick, Koolomassai (voiced by Anthony Anderson), also help Arthur and his friends escape from the clutches of Maltazard's evil son Darkos (voiced by Jason Bateman) and his henchmen who raid the bar looking for the do-gooders. Hand-to-hand skirmishes, sword fighting and air attacks are all part of the resulting conflict that may scare young audience members.
Otherwise, blighted only by name-calling and some ill-used terms of Deity, Arthur's expedition to save the farm and in turn the kingdom of the Invisibles is full of the expected kind of good vs. evil adventure. With a pure heart and a hefty helping of ingenuity, the young boy tackles the evil forces that threaten his home and takes viewers along for a rollicking retelling of the age-old tale of King Arthur.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Arthur and the Invisibles.
Why is Arthur able to remove the sword from the stone? What does it mean to have a pure heart? Who is helped by his efforts to save the family farm?
The story Arthur and the Invisibles, a loose retelling of the King Arthur legend, is based on a book by the director Luc Besson. If you were to write your own version of the King Arthur story, what setting and the time period would you choose?