The Tale of Despereaux (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Tale of Despereaux (2008)



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

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 cowering, he befriends a Princess named Pea and learns to read (rather than eat) books--reveling in stories of knights, dragons and fair maidens. Banished from Mouseworld for being more man than mouse, Despereaux is rescued by another outcast, Roscuro, who also wants to hear the tales. But when the Princess dismisses Roscuro's friendship, he becomes the ultimate rat and plots revenge with fellow outsider Mig. After Pea is kidnapped, Despereaux discovers he is the only one who can rescue her--and that even the tiniest mouse can find the courage of a knight in shining armor. In this tale of bravery, forgiveness and redemption, one small creature will teach a kingdom that it takes only a little light to show the truth: what you look like doesn't equal what you are.more
Rating: G
Genre: Action & Adventure, Animation, Kids & Family, Comedy
Directed By: ,
Written By: Will McRobb, Chris Viscardi, Gary Ross, Will McRobb, Chris Viscardi
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 7, 2009
Box Office: $50.8M
Universal Pictures - Official Site


Emma Watson
as Princess Pea
Ciarán Hinds
as Botticelli
Frances Conroy
as Antoinette
Tony Hale
as Furlough
Richard Jenkins
as Principal
Frank Langella
as Inquisitor
Sigourney Weaver
as Narrator, The Narrat...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Tale of Despereaux

Critic Reviews for The Tale of Despereaux

All Critics (108) | Top Critics (31)

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.

Full Review… | December 22, 2008
At the Movies
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | December 22, 2008
At the Movies
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | August 16, 2011
East Bay Express

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

Full Review… | April 8, 2009
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

Full Review… | March 22, 2009
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.

Full Review… | February 11, 2009
Laramie Movie Scope

Audience Reviews for The Tale of Despereaux

Good animation, but a boring and unintellegent story. Really not very good, a better tale for a straight to DVD movie.

Jim Careter

Super Reviewer

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.

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

michael e.
Michael Edwards

Super Reviewer

The Tale of Despereaux Quotes

Despereaux: No... I'm a gentlemen.
– Submitted by Charles C (3 years ago)

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