Movie Review: The Tale of Despereaux

I was fortunate to receive a pre-release copy of the DVD version of The Tale of Despereaux to be released on DVD on April 7, 2009–that’s tomorrow.

As soon as it arrived at our house, my 4 year old daughter was super excited that we got a copy as she had seen commercials for it. I have to say, after having watched it now myself, she is going to have to wait a couple of years for this one. Although it is rated G for a General audience of all ages, I do feel that some of the scenes are not fully appropriate for young children, however they can be explained if need be. It depends on the child’s sensitivity level.

In the far away kindgom of Dor lived a brave and virtuous mouse with comically over sized ears who dreamt of becoming a knight. Banished from his home for having such lofty ambitions, Despereaux sets off on an amazing adventure with his good-hearted rat friend, Roscuro, who leads him, at long last, on a very noble quest to rescue an endangered princess and save an entire kingdom from darkness.

The voice cast was definitely impressive with:
Matthew Broderick as Despereaux, Dustin Hoffman as Roscuro, Emma Watson as Princess Pea, Tracey Ullman as Miggery Sow, Kevin Kline as Andre, William H. Macy as Lester, Stanley Tucci as Boldo, Ciarán Hinds as Botticelli, Robbie Coltrane as Gregory, Tony Hale as Furlough, Frances Conroy as Antoinette, Frank Langella as Mayor, Richard Jenkins as Principal, Christopher Lloyd as Hovis and Charles Shaughnessy as Pietro.

The animation is impressive and certainly does help set the mood for the movie. Admittedly, I found the mood to be very dark throughout the entire film, again making it not the greatest for young children. I found the “lighting” and colours to be very dark (I know, it takes place underground for the most part, but still). The characters (other than Despereax of course) were also very “dark” and depressing looking.

Although there is a happy ending, I just wasn’t left with a warm fuzzy in my heart about this one. It’s not that I don’t recommend it for watching, because I can see how some would enjoy it, it just wasn’t for me.

Feel free to check out the official Despereaux website for more about the movie as well as games etc.

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3 Responses to Movie Review: The Tale of Despereaux

  1. I haven’t seen the movie. But we read the book and it would seem that the movie is not at all like the book. How disappointing. For example Roscuro and Desperaux are definately not friends in the book. Guess we won’t bother picking this one up unless we can find it in the library for free.

  2. Alisha Referda says:

    Our whole family loved this movie. My children are 6 and 4 and I thought the message of chivalry and courage is one that is sadly missing in much entertainment aimed at children today. Forgiveness is also a major theme that I enjoyed. Not to mention the stunning animation – like something out of a renissance painting.

  3. Debbie White-Beattie says:

    I seen this movie and it was really good but I must say they make these movies for adults as well

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