Artemis Fowl is an American science fantasy adventure film based on Eoin Colfer's book series of the same name. Directed by Kenneth Branagh and written by Conor McPherson & Hamish McColl, the film stars Judi Dench, Hong Chau, Josh Gad, Nonso Anozie and newcomers Ferdia Shaw and Lara McDonnell. It was released by Walt Disney Pictures on their streaming service Disney+ on June 12, 2020. The film was originally slated for release in theaters on August 9, 2019 and then on May 29, 2020 before the decision was made to move the film to premiere on the streaming platform in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The film is rated PG for fantasy action/peril and some rude humor.
- "Oh no. This isn't about the father. This is about the son."
- ―Mulch Diggums to a MI6 interrogator[src]
Disney's Artemis Fowl, based on the beloved book by Eoin Colfer, is a fantastical, spellbinding adventure that follows the journey of 12-year-old genius Artemis Fowl, a descendant of a long line of criminal masterminds, as he seeks to find his father who has been kidnapped. In order to pay his ransom, Artemis must infiltrate an ancient, underground civilization--the amazingly advanced world of fairies--and bring the kidnapper the Aculos, the fairies' most powerful and coveted magical device. To locate the elusive object, cunning Artemis concocts a dangerous plan--so dangerous that he ultimately finds himself in a perilous war of wits with the all-powerful fairies.
A ransom demand
- "I know it's been hard, but look, my work is coming to an end and, like the stories, you know, they all have an ending that just, well, it makes you smile. And this one will be no different. And when it ends, a new story will begin and maybe, just maybe, it'll be yours."
- ―Artemis Fowl Sr. promising his son a new beginning[src]
Artemis Fowl Jr. was a young genius who lived with his father in the estate of Fowl Manor. He cared deeply for his father, even though his father often went away on lengthy and secretive business trips. He often heard his father's stories of fairies, but did not believe them to be true. One day, Artemis Sr. told the young Artemis that he had to go away again. Artemis was upset, but his father told him that this time things would be different, that their time apart would soon be over and their story would have a happy ending.
Not long after Artemis Sr. left, Artemis was watching television when he started seeing news reports that his father's yacht, the Owl Star, was found abandoned in the South China Sea. The reports also claimed that Artemis Sr. had been linked to a number of high-profile thefts, but the young Artemis refused to believe that his father could be a criminal. His protector, Domovoi Butler, told him that he had people on the way to the wreck. Just then, however, Artemis Jr. received a phone call, with no caller ID available. A mysterious voice told him that she had his father. He demanded proof and Artemis Sr. came on the line, telling him to not get involved, that it was too dangerous. He shouted that everything he had told him was true. The voice then continued that her enemies had stolen something from her, the Aculos, and that she wanted him to retrieve it. He had three days, or he would never see his father again.
The young Artemis related this to Domovoi, who then showed him a secretive library inside Fowl Manor. There, Artemis Jr., guided by a poem his father often recited to him called the "Irish Blessing," discovered his father's journal. There, he learned that his father was trying to protect the Aculos with a fairy named Beechwood Short, but that a fairy named Opal Koboi was hunting them. He wondered if fairies could really be real as he stared at a message in the journal: "Time to believe."
- "'Time to believe.' Time to believe in fairies? But they're not real. Are they?"
"But as Artemis would soon find out, they are very real and they've been living right under your feet for a thousand years."
- ―Artemis Fowl Jr. reading from his father's journal and Mulch Diggums[src]
Down under the Earth, an elf of LEPRecon, was dealing with a "giant" dwarf named Mulch Diggums, who had been sentenced to a stay in the notorious prison Howler's Peak for his larcenous activities. As she did, she monitored a news report which branded her father, Beechwood Short, a criminal. Meanwhile, Opal Koboi visited another fairy, Briar Cudgeon, telling him that she had secured him a pardon and ordering him to spy on her behalf. At a briefing, Commander Root of LEPRecon told her team that peace was hanging by a narrow thread and ordered them to keep their eyes peeled. Recovering the Aculos was the top priority. Short then petitioned Root to allow her to investigate a lead she had found on her father, but Root wasn't interested. She told Short to let the others take care of the Aculos and that she would have plenty of missions to fly, so long as she didn't make things personal.
Back at Fowl Manor, Domovoi Butler brought in his niece Juliet Butler for additional protection. Artemis Jr. told her that he couldn't find the Aculos anywhere. He had no means of finding it himself, but was convinced that the fairies could help him. He spoke of a fairy who regularly appeared at the Hill of Tara. Back down below, the fairies received a report of one of their own unaccounted for on the surface. With all of the active-duty units on the search for the Aculos, Short was sent to handle the problem. She was warned by Root that her mission was containment only. On the surface, however, she discovered that the runner was a troll who was attacking a wedding party. She used her magic to heal an injured child, risking exposure. However, ultimately the fairies were able to enact a time freeze and mind-wipe on the wedding guests and the situation was contained. Short was congratulated on her good work and ordered to return immediately.
Short, though, did not return immediately but instead took an unauthorized detour to the Hill of Tara, hoping to find evidence of her father. All she found was her father's dog-tag and then she was shot with a tranquilizer dart by Domovoi Butler, who had set up there along with Artemis Fowl Jr. in the hopes of capturing a fairy. Seeing what had happened, Root announced that she was launching a full-scale recovery.
The siege of Fowl Manor
- "This has nothing to do with your father. Look at you with that grin, thinking you're outsmarting everyone with your little suit and sunglasses. You're enjoying all this. You think it's a game."
- ―Holly Short questioned young Artemis's motivations[src]
Holly Short woke up at Fowl Manor. There, she tried to use a mesmer on Juliet Butler, but the young Artemis had prepared everyone in his group with protective sunglasses. He then appeared to Short himself, telling her that she was part of his plan. She warned him that her people would come for him, but he just said that this was what he had hoped. She later told him that he would not even see her people when they came. The forces of LEPRecon came in force and began putting in place a time freeze around Fowl Manor. Their people then stormed the Manor, but Artemis Jr. and Domovoi were ready, and used the weapon they had captured from Holly Short to take out the fairy forces and then shoot the time freeze capsule, destabilizing it. The young Artemis then spoke into one of the fairy helmets, ordering that someone be sent in to negotiate.
Commander Root then showed up at the door. Artemis Jr. told her that he invited her into his home, but she told him that it was a nice try and she was here to negotiate. She recognized the Fowl name, telling him that the Fowls had been giving them trouble for centuries. She asked where his thieving father was, warning him that she would destroy the house and everyone in it if he didn't release Short immediately. He told her in return that he would expose her existence to the world. She told him that he couldn't, as he was in time freeze and he said it was only for another 27 minutes. He gave her his terms: to bring him the Aculos and Short would go free. She warned him that they had never paid ransoms and never would. He told her she would give him 15 minutes and that no fairies were allowed to enter the house while he was alive.
In response to Artemis Jr.'s demands, Commander Root's next move was to call in Mulch Diggums, which was all part of Artemis's plan. She freed him from Howler's Peak and the two bantered mulishly the whole while, him asking her to grant his wish of being small and picking her pockets all while claiming to be an artist. She agreed to greatly reduce his sentence and give him a single cell without any goblin cellmates. Meanwhile, the young Artemis had a chat with his fairy prisoner and discovered that she was actually the daughter of his father's sworn ally, Beechwood. He asked if he could trust her, and she told him that he was going to have to.
Mulch Diggums tunneled into Fowl Manor, where he went to work on an elaborate safe. Short recognized his signature sound and Artemis Jr. told her that he needed her help. Taking off his sunglasses, he asked if she would promise not to take control of his brain if he let her out. She agreed that she wanted nothing to do with his brain and so he released her. He told her that the rules were clear since he had invited her into his house. She agreed that they were, but asked if he thought he could trust her. She then decked him in the face, saying that now he could trust her. "Fair enough," he agreed and they went to find Mulch. They found him right in front of the safe, which he had opened, and which turned out to contain the Aculos. As the young Artemis reached for it, Short warned him that he couldn't use it, that no human could without being killed. He told her that he didn't need to because his bargaining position had gotten a lot stronger and that the fairies outside mustn't learn that they had this. Mulch Diggums, however, indicated an eye camera, telling him that they already had.
With the stakes dramatically raised, Opal Koboi ordered Briar Cudgeon to make his move. He did so, wresting command from Commander Root and ordering that a troll be sent into Fowl Manor. Inside Fowl Manor, Short realized what was happening. Artemis Jr. told her that he hadn't read about trolls in his father's journals, asking if there was anything he should look out for. "The teeth," she replied, and he answered that it was good to know. With that, the troll was released into Fowl Manor and the assault began. It was an epic fight, which ended when the troll fell from a chandelier. The young Artemis grabbed an energy weapon to deliver a killing blow. Domovoi, however, saw that the troll was about to fall on Artemis and shoved him out of the way, taking the blow instead.
As Domovoi lay dying, the young Artemis begged for Short to do something to save him. She told him, however, that she could not, as her magic had been blocked from the outside. Domovi told Artemis that it was the kiri oroshi, the fatal blow, and Artemis recited the "Irish Blessing," mourning his apparently lost friend. Outside, the captain Chix Verbil pleaded with Cudgeon to be allowed to restore Short's magic. He refused, calling Short a traitor like her father, but one of the other fairies shouted that she was one of them. Verbil then turned to Commander Root and she told him that she hadn't made him a captain for nothing. He then overrode Cudgeon's order, having Short's magic restored. As the magic surged into her, Short pressed her arms against Butler's chest, restoring him to full health.
Using the Aculos
- "Carry me always. Carry me well. I am thy teacher of herb and spell. I am thy link to power arcane. Forget me, and thy magic shall wane."
- ―Holly Short, reciting the spell to activate the Aculos[src]
Outside, the time freeze broke down and the LEPRecon forces were forced to withdraw. Artemis Jr. had the Aculos, but it was too dangerous for him to use, and too dangerous an artifact to hand to Opal Koboi. He needed a third option and fortunately, Holly Short appeared, honoring an agreement that they had made. He told her that he would turn the Aculos over to her in exchange for her using it to free his father. They went to the Fowl Manor library, where Short used an incantation to activate the power of the Aculos. Meanwhile, Koboi told Fowl Sr. that his time was up and readied a spell to finish him off. As the power of the Aculos activated, she began her spell, but he was snatched away through time and space, returning to Fowl Manor. Koboi reeled at the loss of her ambitions, while the father and son enjoyed a happy reunion.
The son introduced the father to Holly Short and he provided her with a list of individuals, accomplices of Opal Koboi that he and Beechwood Short had been tracking. Holly then used the Aculos to return to her people, holding hands with the young Artemis before she went. Back at LEPRecon headquarters, Commander Root told her that they now knew her enemies, thank to her. She told her that she would be a good officer someday, if she curbed her maverick streak, and ordered her to look into the list of accomplices. Short then stepped into the main office, where her team applauded her.
- "A tracking device. Designed by the kid. Clap your hands if you believe in fairies."
- ―Mulch Diggums to a MI6 interrogator[src]
Back at Fowl Manor, the father and son Artemises observed a large media contingent that had descended upon them. Artemis Jr., however, said that he was already dealing with it. Artemis Sr. then handed the young Artemis a ring of keys, telling him "Don't forget to wash it before you bring it back, okay?" Artemis Jr. asked if he thought he was ready and he told him he knew he was. The young Artemis then said he first had a call to make. He then called Opal Koboi and told her that she had failed, that she was wrong about everything, and they were coming for her. She told him he had no idea the world he had just entered, asking him just who he thought he was. "I'm Artemis Fowl," he replied "and I'm a criminal mastermind." He then joined his father in a helicopter which took off outside.
At an MI6 interrogation facility, the "giant" dwarf Mulch Diggums finished relating the tale of these events to a shadowy interrogator. The interrogator told him that it was an extraordinary ending to his "fairy tale," but that thief would be brought to justice and he would not leave until they assisted him. He offered him a deal, that he would walk if he helped them apprehend Artemis Fowl Sr. Mulch, however, said that he would offer him a deal: that he would walk out alone and the interrogator would leave the Fowls alone forever. The interrogator asked why he would do that and Mulch replied that it was so that they could all sleep at night, knowing the fairy tales they told their kids remained beautiful dreams and not living nightmares. "And the next time you see the Fowls," he said, "be sure to thank them for protecting us all. They keep the peace. Don't ever forget it." He continued that Artemis set up his arrest because he figured they would have to believe him. He then revealed his pointed ears and the interrogator called to alert the guards.
Mulch then unhinged his jar and the interrogator called for an immediate lockdown. Mulch then revealed a tracking device designed by Artemis. "Clap your hands if you believe in fairies," he told the interrogator, as the glass ceiling of his cell shattered and a rope ladder appeared. He climbed the ladder, up and away. "Get back here, you filthy little dwarf," the interrogator commanded and he shouted back: "Dwarfus Giganticus!" He boarded the helicopter and the young Artemis asked if he was ready to get back to work. Mulch replied that he short he'd never ask. The young Artemis then said that they had some unfinished business and Mulch replied that he loved his job, as Artemis Sr. flew them towards the sunset, Holly Short flying alongside. "Okay, let's go," said Artemis Sr.
Cast is listed in order of appearance, as credited in the film, except where actors are not credited.
- Michael Rouse as News Reporter
- Racheal Ofori as Reporter 2
- Josh Gad as Mulch Diggums
- Ferdia Shaw as Artemis Fowl
- Simone Kirby as Miss Byrne (Teacher)
- Joe O'Grady as Student 1
- Finian Duff Lennon as Student 2
- Grace Fincham as Student 3
- Toby Eden as Student 4
- Gerard Horan as Dr. Po
- Colin Farrell as Artemis Fowl Sr.
- Nonso Anozie as Domovoi Butler
- Emily Brockmann, Jessica Rhodes and Charlie Cameron as Shadowy Female Figure (Opal Koboi)
- Susannah Hewlett as Presenter (Haven City TV)
- Lara McDonnell as Holly Short
- Eleanor De Rohan as Haven City News Presenter
- Charlie Cameron as Goblin Clay
- Rachel Denning as Clay Moore
- Ben Goffe as Peaty Boggs
- Emma Lau as Goblin 1
- Conor MacNeill as Goblin Lieutenant
- Adrian Scarborough as Goblin Chief
- Arian Nik as Kanker (Verbil Squad)
- Michael Abubakar as Burr (Verbil Squad)
- Joshua McGuire as Briar Cudgeon
- Chi-Lin Nim as Trouble Kelp
- Lewy Xing as Grub Kelp
- Matt Jessup as Bud (Kelp Squad)
- Molly Harris as Chrys (Kelp Squad)
- Sally Messham as Sky Willow
- Judi Dench as Commander Root
- Jake Davies as Chix Verbil
- Tamara Smart as Juliet Butler
- Nikesh Patel as Chief Tech Officer Foaly
- Grace Molony as Jasmine Sapwood (Command Centre)
- Catherine Eva-Marie Palmieri as Italian Woman
- William Moseley as Italian Man
- India Lewis as Italian Bride
- Hamish McColl as Italian Singer
- Salome Cosgrove as Italian Girl
- Adam Basil as VFX Troll
- Taylor James as VFX Facial Troll
- Michael Peluso as Italian Groom
- Harry Lister Smith as Italian Brother of the Groom
- Ayesha Antoine as Italian Bridesmaid
- Jimmy Yuill as Fisherman (Time Freeze)
- Gavin Esler as Reporter 1
- Hong Chau as Opal Koboi (uncredited)
- Laurence Kinlan as Beechwood Short (uncredited)
- Miranda Raison as Angeline Fowl (uncredited)
The initial casting call for the film for the Artemis Fowl II character asked for auditions for any Irish male, age 9-12 of any ethnicity. A second casting call cast the net wider, asking for any male age 9-13, under 5' 3" and capable of doing an Irish accent. Though ultimately the physical appearance of the Artemis character in the film is a close match to that described in the novels, several major changes have been made in regards to certain characters.
Before the start of the film's production, author Eoin Colfer met with director Kenneth Branagh regarding casting. They agreed that Artemis Fowl must be cast an Irish boy, but beyond that, anything else was up for grabs. He feels that those cast for the film were the best for the job.
Although Hong Chau, Laurence Kinlan and Miranda Raison were all announced as having been cast, none of them appear in the final film. Hong Chau's Opal Koboi character is instead presented as a shadowy female form portrayed by three different individuals and almost entirely unseen, covered by a hooded cowl. Laurence Kinlan was announced as playing Holly Short's father, Beechwood Short. In the final film, however, Beechwood Short is dead and the only thing Holly Short finds of him is his dog-tag. Miranda Raison's Angeline Fowl character is also stated to be dead before the events of the film. The only known portrayal of Raison as Angeline Fowl appears in the supplementary book Artemis Fowl:How to Be a LEPrecon.
- Kenneth Branagh - director and producer
- Judy Hofflund - producer
- Conor McPherson and Hamish McColl - screenwriters
- Patrick Doyle - composer
- Haris Zambarloukos - director of photography
- Jim Clay - production designer
- Carol Hemming - hair and makeup designer
The film is known to have certain differences from the novel in regards to the cast of characters. One of the most notable is that Commander Root is a female portrayed by Judi Dench, whereas in the original novel Holly Short was the first female member of the LEP. Additionally, the character of Domovoi Butler is described as Eurasian in the books, but is portrayed by an African American actor for the film. Holly Short is a child in the film, as opposed to an adult. Despite these changes, director Kenneth Branagh has stated that the film's story is that which the readers of the series know and love. The film's full trailer confirms that Opal Koboi is a part of the film, despite not appearing in the book series until the second book, Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident. It also reveals in the film, Artemis's father is part of a secret group dedicated to protecting the fairy world, with Holly Short and Mulch Diggums among his allies.
In an interview for Sky News, Colfer took a question from a 12-year-old fan who stated that he was worried that adapting for a movie would destroy his image of the character that he has built up. Colfer replied to not worry, as he had seen the movie a couple times. He praised the actors playing Artemis Fowl and Holly Short (Ferdia Shaw and Lara McDonnell) and stated that they would sync closely to everyone's image of the characters, and that they certainly sync with his.
The final film, as released, contains numerous differences from the original book series. In the film, Artemis's mother, Angeline Fowl, is dead, and it is his father that he must save. His father is kidnapped by Opal Koboi, who desires the Aculos, a powerful fairy artifact created for the film. Whereas in the novels, Artemis was unathletic, in the film he enjoys pastimes such as surfing and is also a capable physical fighter. In the original novel, Domovoi Butler reveals his first name only when he is dying, but in the film it is regularly used and he also sometimes goes by the nickname "The Dom." In the novels, Artemis seemingly knows nothing whatsoever of fairies at the beginning of the novel. In the film, he has learned all about their lore from his father, and simply does not believe it until after his father gets kidnapped.
After years of production delays, the film was announced for a release date of August 9, 2019, before later being delayed until May 29, 2020. In early April of 2020 it was announced that, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the film would be releasing directly on Disney's streaming service, Disney+, and forgoing a traditional theater release.  In an interview regarding the move to Disney+, Colfer stated that Netflix and Disney+ numbers are mysterious to him and that the measure of the film's success will be if Disney asks to do a sequel. Rita Dorsch of the website Comic Book Resource (CBR) described the decision as a sign of Disney's considering the film a likely "box-office loser." Colfer, however, waas one of those who pushed for the film on Disney+, stating that if it didn't, it would likely be delayed again for two more years.
The film was originally a production of 20th Century Fox, prior to the studio's acquisition by the Walt Disney Company. The turmoil of the acquisition resulted in the reshuffling of release dates for a number of films, however, unlike certain other films caught up in the acquisition, Artemis Fowl did not undergo any reshoots. The film was at also one point a production of Miramax in association with Harvey Weinstein. However, Disney cut ties with Weinstein in 2017 following bombshell revelations alleging decades of sexual harassment by the producer. Weinstein originally picked up the rights to the franchise back in the early 2000s while running Miramax and the rights reverted to Disney when he and his brother left the company to form Weinstein Co. in 2005.
In advance of the film, Disney recorded a live show by Eoin Colfer, Fowl, Fairies & Family, to air on its streaming service Disney+, to celebrate the film and introduce the franchise to a global audience. On June 6, an episode of Disney Insider, a behind-the-scenes program produced exclusively for Disney+, featured Eoin Colfer taking the Disney Insider crew on a tour of Ireland in anticipation of the film. This program included brief footage at the end of Eoin Colfer and the audience at the Fowl, Fairies & Family program.
In the Arabian Peninsula, or simply Arabia, Artemis Fowl was made available to stream on June 13 on OSN.
Although the film was released directly to streaming, it has seen limited theatrical broadcast at some drive-in theaters, sometimes as a charity event.
Artemis Fowl author Eoin Colfer has stated the film's production has been largely stress-free for him, mainly because his not really involved in it. While he could have tried to be more involved, he knows the screenwriter Conor McPherson and feels that the film is in good hands. As of January 30, 2020, he had not seen the full film, but had seen a good bit of it and described as looking fantastic.
The film was first optioned for production in 2000, following the release of the original book. In early 2001, Lawrence Guterman boarded the project as the director, with Jeff Stockwell as the screenwriter. A petition was then launched online to remove Guterman as a director, due to his previous Razzie-award nominations for films like Cats and Dogs and Son of the Mask. In 2008, the film was reported as being written by Jim Sheridan and Simon Carmody. The film's screenplay was later announced as being by Michael Goldenberg, screenwriter of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, when the project was still a collaborative involvement of the Walt Disney Company and Harvey Weinstein in 2013. Some articles also credit Adam Kline as being with the project, though he does not appear on the entry for the film on Disney's official website. At one point, Robert de Niro and Jane Rosenthal were both also attached as executive producers.
Portions of the film were filmed in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and the film features a Vietnamese-American actress, Hong Chau, as the villain Opal Koboi, though ultimately Hong Chau is not credited as Opal Koboi in the final film.
In 2018, author Eoin Colfer stated that the final film would be based only the first novel in the series and would not combine elements of the first two novels of the series, as had long been rumored. This, however, ultimately proved untrue. The film contains numerous elements from Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident, including the characters Opal Koboi and Briar Cudgeon, the film being about Artemis attempting to save his father rather than his mother, and Artemis's chat with the psychologist Dr. Po, among others.
Director Kenneth Branagh describes the film as not being "Gothic" in comparison with the Harry Potter films, that "We were an outdoors and daylight kind of movie. A modernist thriller with folkloric origins rather than a gothic mystery." Author Eoin Colfer described the film as being one big postcard for Irish heritage and stated that he hopes after seeing it people would say to their partner that "We've always said we were going to visit Ireland and after seeing that movie, I really wanna go."
The following scenes were deleted from the final film, but were made available by Disney+ for viewing separately at the same time that the film was released. Some of the material from these scenes was featured in trailers for the film:
- Search for the Book (5m)
- Armed and Ready (1m)
- Negotiations (2m)
- Mulch's Enhancements (1m)
- Safecracker (1m)
- Mulch Meets Butler (2m)
- More Troll Fight (2m)
- "Any Ideas, Commander?" (1m)
Disney is releasing merchandise in advance of the film's release. These include FunkoPop toys of Artemis Fowl, Holly Short and Mulch Diggums, as well as several tie-in books:
- Artemis Fowl: Guide to the World of Fairies - Illustrated novel written by Andrew Donkin with illustrations by Gonzalo Kenny. Described as a compendium of Artemis Fowl's knowledge.
- The Art and Making of Artemis Fowl - An extensive behind-the-scenes guide to the film, written by Brian Sibley.
- Artemis Fowl: How to Be a LEPrecon - Written by Matthew K. Manning and subtitled Your Guide to the Gear, Gadgets, and Goings-on of the World's Most Elite Fairy Force.
- Artemis Fowl Movie Tie-in Edition - A copy of the original novel, but with photos from the film included.
- Artemis Fowl: A Fowl Adventure - From the Disney Book Group, it covers a portion of events of the film and includes a poster.
- Artemis Fowl: Genius at Work: Codes, Activities, Puzzles, and More - 32 page sticker activity book featuring over 300 stickers and photos from the film.
The film's soundtrack was released digitally the same day as the film itself.
Although some adopted a wait-and-see approach, the changes to the film's story indicated the released trailers and publicity material have resulted in anger and skepticism from a certain segment of fans, who have expressed disappointment that the film seems to change the fundamental premise of the story and the nature of the Artemis Fowl character as an evil criminal boy genius. Other changes have been lamented as well, such as the Artemis Fowl and Holly Short characters apparently having a friendly relationship from the beginning, and changes made by casting, such as Commander Root being female, altering the dynamic of Holly Short being the first female LEP officer. The site Showbiz Cheat Sheet speculated in an article that the film would be the year's A Wrinkle In Time, stating the first of the film's problems was that most of the people reading the article were unaware of the film's impending release before reading it. They stated that while Disney clearly hoped to start a new franchise with the film, they had already managed to alienate the property's core fanbase. Despite the controversy, Artemis Fowl series Eoin Colfer has spoken in favor of the changes seen in the film, stating that he is, in fact, in some ways envious of the movie. He stated that the film adds a "ticking clock element to the siege which makes it far more exciting" and that he is "one hundred percent behind" the other changes seen in the film. Collider called the film's move to Disney+ a "win for everyone," stating that families get a brand new, handsomely produced Disney film to watch, while Disney avoids what could have been a box office bust that might have been embarrassing and very public. They further stated that they're in, thanks to trailers that promise "a diverting, visually rich adventure that could provide some low-stakes summertime fun."
Artemis Fowl proved a flop critically once it was released for review on the afternoon of June 11, 2020. As of the evening of June 27, the film holds a review score of 10% fresh on the review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes with 145 reviews, and 15% fresh with 27 reviews among those it considers top critics. The site's Critic's Consensus reading for the film states that "A would-be franchise-starter that will anger fans of the source material and leave newcomers befuddled, Artemis Fowl is frustratingly flightless." Among visitors to the site, the film currently holds a 20% fresh score with 1,777 ratings and an average rating of 1.66/5. Philip De Semiyen of Time Out described the film as "90 minutes of barely established characters doing half-explained things with mysterious objects" stating that the decision to place it directly on Disney+ suddenly looks a lot more like a banishment rather than a move to give the streaming service a hit film. Andy Lea of the Daily Star called it "A confusing mess populated by characters we hardly know and powered by a mythology we barely understand," noting that while most film adaptations cut subplots and cull characters, Branagh instead chose to cram content from the first two books of the series into a film that was only about 90 minutes long. Richard Roeper provided one of the rare positive reviews of the film, describing Josh Gad's performance as Mulch Diggums as a "scene-stealing delight" and stated that while he enjoyed the films colorful and diverse cast of characters, he actually prefers the film in its quieter moments.
- Disney official website
- Artemis Fowl Confidential movie page
- Artemis Fowl on Disney Wiki
- Artemis Fowl on Wikipedia
- Artemis Fowl on IMDb