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The Tale of Despereaux (2008)



Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 107
Fresh: 60 | Rotten: 47

Despite its striking visuals, The Tale of Despereaux as a story feels familiar and unimaginative.


Average Rating: 5.2/10
Critic Reviews: 31
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 17

Despite its striking visuals, The Tale of Despereaux as a story feels familiar and unimaginative.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 163,175

My Rating

Movie Info

"The Tale of Despereaux" tells the story of several unlikely heroes: Despereaux, a brave mouse banished to the dungeon for speaking with a human; Roscuro, a good-hearted rat who loves light and soup, but is exiled to darkness; Pea, a Princess in a gloomy castle who is prisoner to her father's grief; and Mig, a servant girl who longs to be a Princess, but is forced to serve the jailer. Tiny and graced with oversized ears, Despereaux was born too big for his little world. Refusing to live his life

Apr 7, 2009


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All Critics (108) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (60) | Rotten (47) | DVD (3)

It just tries to take a little bit from some of the things we've seen over the past few years that have worked to make this work and it's just desperate and it doesn't work.

December 22, 2008 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's like Ratatouille meets Upstairs Downstairs to go sort of cross-generational but it didn't work really on any level.

December 22, 2008 Full Review Source: At the Movies | Comment (1)
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

. The plot is too convoluted and there are too many characters to keep track of.

December 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[The directors] can't quite locate a core of buoyant energy in the film as a whole.

December 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Tale of Despereaux may not be a classic, but it still has a lot of class.

December 19, 2008 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Despereaux is a little too desperate to be loved.

December 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Certainly bears a superficial resemblance to Ratatouille, but it's a better film in several ways.

August 16, 2011 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

It amounts to less than the sum of its artfully conceived parts but remains a nice and visually interesting film.

April 8, 2009 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

To gegonos oti sto eikosalepto mporei na se riksei se bathy ypno, mporei na einai kai to kalytero kamoyflarisma aytoy toy anapanteha anepeisodiakoy ki anyperblita baretoy kinoymenoy ap' ta shediastika grafeia tis Universal Animation, poy den ehei kan to t

March 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

The film looks great and the story is interesting enough for adults. It may be a little too complex and intense for young children.

February 11, 2009 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Bland, over-stuffed, chaotic and ultimately underwhelming for both kids and adults.

January 31, 2009 Full Review Source: NYC Movie Guru
NYC Movie Guru

The cinematic equivalent of a cozy bedtime story, warmly told with loving care.

January 29, 2009 Full Review Source:

Ego, fear and loathing will come between friends and drive family members apart in a surprisingly sophisticated journey for a kiddie flick.

January 9, 2009 Full Review Source: MovieTime, ABC Radio National
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

Scratch a CGI fairytale and you'll find an allegory about class, particularly if rodents are involved.

January 9, 2009 Full Review Source: The Age (Australia)
The Age (Australia)

If you're an animation fan, don't wait for the DVD - The Tale Of Despereaux deserves to be seen on the big screen.

January 8, 2009 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

There are no cheesy pop-culture gags or similarly wacky wisecracks; the emphasis is purely on action and adventure, and it pays off wonderfully by the end.

January 8, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph (Australia)
Daily Telegraph (Australia)

A thoroughly engaging, slightly offbeat adventure with solid themes running through it

January 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

For animation fans looking for a little more class and a lot less of the commonplace crass, this makes for a decent timepass.

January 1, 2009 Full Review Source:

Framestore Feature Animation makes us feel we've gone to the Louvre and walked right into paintings by Vermeer or Brueghel, scenes of breathtaking subtlety and texture.

December 23, 2008 Full Review Source: Christianity Today
Christianity Today

There's nothing actually wrong with Despereaux, but there's nothing all that right with it either.

December 23, 2008 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A beautifully animated film with a gorgeous soundtrack.

December 22, 2008 Full Review | Comment (1)
Kaplan vs. Kaplan

Better than this year's critical darling 'Wall-E'.

December 22, 2008 Full Review | Comments (7)
Kaplan vs. Kaplan

The animation quality is first rate.

December 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Houston Community Newspapers
Houston Community Newspapers

The story has a kind of primal, childlike sweetness, even as it grows unexpectedly complicated.

December 21, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Audience Reviews for The Tale of Despereaux

Oh my goodness gracious! They ruined such an amazing story with this movie. I love the book, "The Tale of Desperaux". It was exciting, funny, fresh, and original. You can easily see how much they tried to honor the source material but they easily failed at every chance they got.

The story is about a fearless mouse named Desperaux who has exceptionally large ears and a big taste for adventure. He live in a castle and a has crush on the princess, who is voiced by Emma Watson of "Harry Potter" fame. Thats one of the very few good things about the film. I don't want to give too much away about the story. Read the book for more.

To me, the animation was detailed and good-looking but was unoriginal. Its like they tried to mix Pixar with a Da Vinci painting! The voice acting was decent but not that pleasing. They've could've done a much better job with casting Desperaux. The most annoying thing about the film was Sigourney Weaver's freaking narration! It was poorly written and made me want to perform hari kari on myself.

They did not honor the source material, they raped it! They severely raped a wonderful tale with this. They failed to make it exciting like the book. This is sure to bore children to sleep. They also failed to add intereting humor. What kind of G-Rated animated movie contains no humor? There were like only two jokes in this. None of them made me laugh. I'd rather look at a pile of horse droppings for the entire film's runtime. If you plan to see this, read the book first. If you end up giving this a watch, you'll be saying "Forget this movie! The book was so much better!" when it ends.

It sucks so bad, I could not make it to the end, folks.
February 15, 2011
Movie Monster
Bentley Lyles

Super Reviewer

Though i havent read the book and i still care not to, i have to say the movie was pretty good
January 2, 2011
michael e.
Michael Edwards

Super Reviewer

the book was excellent. it was really sad and depressing and great. the movie was crap. its not anything like the book. everything that was great about the book they took out in the movie. this was a major disapointment. F
July 29, 2010

Super Reviewer

    1. Despereaux: No... I'm a gentlemen.
    – Submitted by Charles C (2 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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Foreign Titles

  • Despereaux - Der kleine Mäuseheld (DE)
  • La Légende de Despereaux (FR)
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