Review: Arthur and the Great Adventure (PG)***

Released more than a year ago in most of the rest of Europe, the sequel to the 2006 fantasy Arthur And The Invisibles fails to live up to the superlative in its title.

Writer and director Luc Besson welds a rip-off of Toy Story with a B-movie about giant flying insects running amok through a backwater American town, and throws in some saccharine family bonding for good measure. Arthur (Freddie Highmore) is staying with his grandmother (Mia Farrow) and eagerly awaits the end of the moon's tenth cycle and his return to the Minimoy village.

Consequently, he will be able to venture back to his beloved princess Selenia (voiced by Selena Gomez).However, Arthur's parents (Robert Stanton, Penny Balfour) throw a spanner in the works by cutting short their stay. Poised to leave, Arthur is shocked when a spider deposits a grain of rice in his hand engraved with a plea for help.

Fearing that Selenia and her little brother Betameche (Jimmy Fallon) are in peril, the lad hastily improvises a passage back to the Minimoys where he joins forces with bar owner Max (Snoop Dogg) and his pickpocket cousin Replay (Stacy Ferguson) to locate Selenia.

Arthur And The Great Adventure plods from the start and barely moves into second gear when the action changes from live action to computer animation.

Highmore loses all emotion when he is reduced to a mere voice, matching lacklustre performances from his co-stars.

Action sequences are brief and the detail in the visuals is lacking next to recent Hollywood films.

Save yourself the trouble, a DVD replay of Toy Story 3 or How To Train Your Dragon are far 'greater' adventures than anything Besson can muster here.