Arthur and the Invisibles

Eric Serra

" Wondrous fantasy in Serra's answer to all you fans out there he can't write good music "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

Eric Serra was condemned never to write again after fans and people spitted out his Goldeneye. He destroyed ultimately what Bond stood for and from then on nobody gave him a second chance. Good thing we aren't the ones who make the final decisions around here, because then we would never have heard this. Arthur and the Invisibles (or known in France as Arthur et les Minimoys) is Luc Besson's work, based on his own book. This was considered long time to be his last projector as director. However 2 more Invisibles projects are in the making, and it seems for now Besson isn't done with directing yet. That Serra, his long trustworthy follower and composer is there to sign the Besson product is only proper, but that Serra reacted in a professional manner by creating his most thematic work is nonetheless wonderful. Because it surely shows a different Serra at work here, because a large orchestra and choir surely sounds so much more enticing in tonal wonder than atonal droning cues.

And the wondrous result is this CD, the music may start with the songs but the score starts with "The Minimoys Overture" and the Minimoys stand for the invisibles of course. The cooing choir supports a light version of the main theme, while a blossoming wonder enlightens "Nice Town". Many would have sworn that Serra couldn't write something like this, but he just did. "Arthur and the Aqueduct" is the same with a rising string alteration on his theme. The piano, guitar and cooing choir adds some emotion to "The Phonecall and the Waxcake" which is really lovely while the mischievous "Davido and the Watertank" is just the opposite.

The cooing choir in "Small as a Tooth" ads some life into the main theme before "The Cloth Ladder" is more on the tone of adventure. "Bogo Matassalai" is the second longest track and it's a darker one at that, full of male ominous choir and a ominous string theme with it. "Try to be Convincing" has the drama theme soft and sweet, and what about "Third Ring for the Soul"? A sweet Arthur theme and a truly explosive percussion led finale enlightens you once again.

"Land of the Minimoys" has the main theme sweet again, tinkling with choir, and it's in these relaxing oases that Serra isn't far from a John Debney sound. What's more ingenious is the fact the love theme of Goldeneye gets a small breathing moment in this track. The first real sign of any action suspense is in "Central Gate" and "The Blueberry Catapult", and the whirling strings and strong brass surely feels powerful and cool.

Yet "Lovebirds" surprises you the most with a phenomenal adventurous stroke, only aided by that equally brassy feast in "Feeding Time" (capturing more sinister flutes). It's actually amazing that all this comes from Serra because the good tracks just don't stop. "The Sword of Power" is another sign where Serra brings us amazement in a bottle, and here alone through a choral fanfare that knocks your socks off. "Arthur the Hero" captures more of those heroics yet only in the first minute.

It isn't always high art though. Some micky mousing is noticed in "Patchimole" and "Cosmonut" (covering a brief but great main theme) before we're back with goodies in "Nutboat and Laces" (not a promising title per se but covering a heroic jump of delights). Piano in "A Ballad for Granny", some relaxing choral breezes of the main theme "In Bed with Selenia" and some guitar and flute for "Red Poppy Night", it is what makes the mood gentler again. This all before "Evil Straws" brings us the evil theme in bad form. "Koolo" lets Arthur's theme rise from a twinkling version to a stunning climax and "Malthazar" doesn't give you much hope with 4 minutes of sinister play and theme.

"No Kiss but Tradition" has that Goldeneye moment of love once again until the gong brings "Showtime in Necropolis" in motion, and this is the start of Serra's end battle. It's a darker begin all right with a marching evil theme and a dramatic end fanfare, but it's "Solid Gate" with its returning brass that answers back the powerplay, until all is well in "Eternally Grateful". In here Serra delivers his most powerful main theme version yet, with additional climatic choir. Strangely this is not the end, so we keep moving on with "A Beautiful Sunday".

"Destruction of the Seides" is the answer to all you Serra haters out there, because he can surely deliver a great climax to an action piece of severe potential. The marching evil theme is reused here in a more climatic march and when the last minute choir is added, you hear a Serra at work that mixes atonal and tonal brutality together in one mean piece of work. The main theme is heard in the last tracks, especially in "The Minimoys Finale", covering the final versions heard in majestic proportions.

Yes, it's true, this is Eric Serra we're reviewing here and I was astounded to hear something this good. So hate Serra all you will, but Arthur and the Invisibles is nothing like his other soundtracks. Like Howard Shore, this transformation to an orchestral pleasing sound is perhaps what Eric Serra needs. And if you give him a second chance here, you’ll discover magic in a bottle all right.


1. Quest for Love: Jewel (3.18)
2. Go Girl: Snoop Dogg (3.36)
3. It's A Beautiful Day: Elijah (3.23)
4. The Minimoys Overture (2.20)
5. Nice Town (1.25) Excellent track
6. Arthur and the Aqueduct (1.22)
7. The Phonecall and the Waxcake (2.44)
8. Davido and the Watertank (0.40)
9. Small as a Tooth (1.23)
10. Stolen Kiss (1.09)
11. Grandpa's Mission (1.07)
12. The Cloth Ladder (1.13)
13. Bogo Matassalai (4.02)
14. Try to be Convincing (1.53)
15. Third Ring for the Soul (1.29) Excellent track
16. The Land of the Minimoys (3.26)
17. Central Gate (1.18)
18. The Blueberry Catapult (1.15) Excellent track
19. Lovebirds (1.18)
20. Feeding Time (1.20)
21. The Sword of Power (1.52) Excellent track
22. Arthur the Hero (2.08)
23. Patchimole (1.34)
24. Cosmonut (2.18)
25. Nutboat and Laces (1.07) Excellent track
26. Ballad for Granny (1.06)
27. In Bed with Selenia (1.53)
28. Red Poppy Night (0.58)
29. Dragonfly Eggs (0.45)
30. Evil Straws (1.02)
31. Koolo (1.32)
32. Malthazar (4.15)
33. No Kiss but Tradition (1.04)
34. Showtime in Necropolis (3.18)
35. Timeballs (1.16)
36. Solid Gate (0.55)
37. Eternally Grateful (1.15) Excellent track
38. A Beautiful Sunday (1.30)
39. Destruction of the Seides (2.41) Excellent track
40. A Bowl of Rubies (1.16)
41. Greed and Loneliness (1.20)
42. The Minimoys Finale (3.07) Excellent track

Total Length: 77.52
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 4 votes - average 4.13/5)

Released by

Atlantic WEA 94675-2 (regular release 2007)

Conducted by

Eric Serra & Geoffrey Alexander