Disney’s Artemis Fowl is a readaptation of the beloved book series by Eoin Colfer. Is this film the next Harry Potter series? Is it kid-friendly? I’m breaking down all of the thematic elements in my Artemis Fowl Parent Movie Review to help YOU decide if it’s safe for kids. As always, no spoilers!
Artemis Fowl Parent Movie Review
I honestly have never heard of Artemis Fowl until Disney released its trailer. When I found out it was a book series, I was REALLY excited! Could this be the next Harry Potter for our kids?! My 10 year old is a huge Potter fan, and I was hoping he’d enjoy Artemis Fowl just the same. After all, Artemis is a 12 year old mastermind. What kid wouldn’t love that?!
Originally Artemis Fowl was supposed to premiere in theaters on May 29th. However, with the crazy state our world is in, it was decided to push it to Disney+ on June 12th. I think this was a very smart move on Disney’s part.
The movie jumps right in with Artemis Fowl, Sr. being kidnapped by an unknown source. And although you might think the story is about him, Mulch Diggums (Josh Gad), quickly tells us otherwise when he says, “This isn’t about the father. This is about the son.”
Artemis Fowl, Jr. is the story’s protagonist. He’s a smart, witty 12 year old boy, however, we don’t know too much about him otherwise. With his fathers disappearance, he is immediately introduced to a world of fairies, trolls, dwarves, and other mythical creatures from the family’s servant, Butler. Artemis just jumps right into the role like he’s been training for this moment his entire life. He doesn’t have any questions, he just gets to work.
And this is where the story lost me.
For starters. Please tell me you see the strong resemblance Mulch Diggums has to Hagrid from Harry Potter? I mean, they could be twins, right? Again, I never read the books, so I’m not sure exactly what he should look like, but I felt it was way too similar. No hard feelings for Josh Gad who plays Mulch, as he’s definitely a bright spot in this movie. Josh provides the humor we desperately need when our minds cannot figure out which direction this film is going.
I have heard from people who have actually read the books that they were extremely disappointed in this adaptation. It’s apparently a mix between the first two books, but it doesn’t necessarily go in any sort of order. It’s literally all over the place. I couldn’t keep up.
As with most Disney films, the visuals in Artemis Fowl are pure magic. The CGI effects of the fairy world was brilliantly done. Was it on par with films, like Disney’s live-action, Aladdin? No. Definitely not. But the visual representations were still good. However, great CGI alone cannot make a good movie.
Is Artemis Fowl Kid-Friendly?
When I posted on twitter and instagram my initial thoughts of this movie, my readers immediately assumed it might not be good for kids. But that’s not necessarily the case. Artemis Fowl is kid-friendly. I just don’t know if your children will understand it. Artemis Fowl is rated PG for for fantasy action/peril and some rude humor. It has a running time of 1 hour 35 minutes. Let’s break down the thematic elements and see how safe it is for kids.
Violence: There is a war with some scary looking trolls. There are weapons used that seem more like blasters than actual guns. Some of these shoot poisonous darts. The giant trolls also throws humans around a bit. This has the potential to be scary depending on your kids.
Language: I really didn’t catch any crazy language which is always appreciated in a kids film. There was the use of “shut up,” but it was pretty tame.
Adult Themes: Mulch Diggums is a mole like character in dwarf form that can dig with his mouth. It’s pretty gross and creepy, but what I didn’t expect was for the dirt to come shooting out of his butt! I mean, my son thought it was hysterical, but just a heads up.
Age Recommendation: Artemis Fowl is recommended for tweens and teens. My 6 year old watches plenty of PG movies, but this could not hold his interest for 5 minutes. And while my 10 year old watched it, he was very underwhelmed and confused. At one point he said to me, “Mom, I can’t tell who is the good guy and who is the bad guy!” I couldn’t answer his question, because I didn’t know the answer either. Maybe had I read the books I would have had the answer. But maybe not. From my understanding, Disney toned this movie way down and “disneyfied” it so to say.
Overall, I still don’t know what to say about Artemis Fowl. It’s definitely not what I was hoping for. The ending definitely left it open for a sequel, but who knows if that will actually happen. You all know I LOVE Disney and I love their movies, so it is hard to speak so negatively about this film. I was hoping for a fun sci-fi flick for my kids. What I got was a foul mess. Artemis Fowl is a mishmash jumble of confusion. Sure Josh Gad was on his game, but even Olaf couldn’t save this one.
About Artemis Fowl
Artemis Fowl is a 12-year-old genius and descendant of a long line of criminal masterminds. He soon finds himself in an epic battle against a race of powerful underground fairies who may be behind his father’s disappearance.
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