Monday, March 26, 2007

[HKIFF] Arthur and the Minimoys

I'm Arthur. Who Are You?

Director Luc Besson is probably synonymous with movies laden with violence, like Nikita, Leon the Professional, and the science fiction fantasy The Fifth Element. The Taxi franchise too is associated with the French director, as are the other diverse variety of movies written by him, ranging from Danny the Dog to 13th District.

And finally, an animation which doesn't feature talking animals. Talk about a deserved break from animation of those sorts. Besson has weaved a magical fantasy adventure, combining live action and delightful 3D animation which is absolutely stunning, and not forgetting a memorable, simple yet strong story to carry the movie through, rather than rehashed juvenile tales that put you to sleep.

No doubt that you might think there are bits which makes it look like a distant cousin of Honey I Shrunk the Kids, or Ants / A Bug's Life, Arthur and the Minimoys has its own saccharine sweet backstory developed, leading to an inevitable ending of which it isn't pessimistic about. In fact, it ends on hope, and love, and there's always something special with movies that dare to end wit that.

The hybrid technique used in itself is special too, as there are too few movies which do so, one of which that comes to mind is Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Here, Arthur is played by Freddie Highmore, last seen in A Good Year, and I thought he's slowly adding to his resume with credible performances all round in the various movies he's in. Lending star power to the movie are the voice talents of (in the English version), check this out - Madonna, Robert De Niro, Jimmy Falon, Harvey Keitel, Snoop Dogg, and David Bowie, who seems to be on a slowburner to making movies these days.

Arthur and the Minimoys is full of love - between Arthur and Selenia the Minimoy Princess (all animated movies must have lovebirds, you know?), and more importantly, between family members. The message on nature and loving nature becomes secondary somewhat, but nonetheless still rings through. Highly recommended animated feature, a refreshing change from the usual style offered.

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