Arthur and the Invisibles or Arthur and the Minimoys (French: Arthur et les Minimoys) is a 2006 English-language French fantasy animated/live-action film directed and co-written by French filmmaker Luc Besson, based on his children's books Arthur and the Minimoys and Arthur and the Forbidden City.
It premiered in limited release in France on 29 November 2006, and received wide releases in a number of countries. With a budget of €60 million, it was briefly the most expensive French film production until it was surpassed by Astérix at the Olympic Games.
It received negative reviews from critics, who criticized the animation and script, while praising its voice performances and visual aspects. It under-performed in the United States, but was successful enough in France and the rest of the world to have two sequels, Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard and Arthur 3: The War of the Two Worlds. It received the Imagina Award in the category Prix du Long-Métrage. Its soundtrack album was released on 9 January 2007.
The animation was produced by the French company BUF Compagnie, which hired approximately 100 animators, most of them from French animation schools and without any previous experience. Besson wanted a photorealistic environment, and BUF initially used microlenses to film physical environments, but eventually instead used photogrammetry, where a digitized photograph of a real object is manipulated with a computer. Sets were built to 1:3 scale, which allowed the animators to use natural elements, such as plants and grass. While the film did not use motion capture, real actors were used as reference, and recorded with 13 to 14 video cameras, but without the markers used in motion capture. Besson directed their performances. In terms of lip sync with actors' dialog, the French animators could not cope with the English phonemes. For Madonna and David Bowie, a camera was used to record their lips to help the animators. The animation was done with proprietary software
Arthur and the Invisibles - Official Trailer [HD]
February 29, 2012