The Tale of Despereaux - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Tale of Despereaux Reviews

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Super Reviewer
March 3, 2011
Good animation, but a boring and unintellegent story. Really not very good, a better tale for a straight to DVD movie.
Movie Monster
Super Reviewer
½ October 16, 2010
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.
michael e.
Super Reviewer
January 2, 2011
Though i havent read the book and i still care not to, i have to say the movie was pretty good
Super Reviewer
½ July 29, 2010
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
Super Reviewer
May 2, 2009
This flick was boring most of the time and scattered the rest. None of the characters were developed beyond the surface level except for the rat who started the whole thing. With the story jumping around from place to place and never really coming to any sort of satisfying conclusion. The animation was ok but it seemed like they worked the hardest on one or two of the characters looks and then the rest of the folks were just given a quick pass in the design department.
In the end I felt that this was a very forgettable movie.
Super Reviewer
May 10, 2009
Nothing special but still enjoyable while on a 8 hour plane ride.
Super Reviewer
½ April 26, 2009
Charming animated fairytale with beautifully rendered settings and solid voice acting.
Super Reviewer
April 12, 2009
Animated fantasy from Universal Studios about how the lives of a mouse, a rat, a servant girl and a princess intertwine within a dispirited kingdom. Features beautiful animation. Unfortunately the story is a chaotic mess that juggles multiple characters and shifting story lines, unsuccessfully. What should have been a sweet, whimsical story to watch, feels like a labored, heavy handed chore.
Super Reviewer
½ December 30, 2008
on the one hand, there are virtues in this film that i want my kids to know. the emphasis on courage, truth, and honesty are encouraging. the animation was also better than i had heard and the characters were very well done. however this film had too many problems to overcome. it started way too slow, there were moments that were contrived out of what seemed to be a lack of creativity, and there were a few scenes that looked significant until you realized that they werent, which got annoying a few times. good animated films are for kids but can entertain their parents, kids will love this, parents wont.
Super Reviewer
December 16, 2008
Here's a "kiddie" movie that is meant to be a little more and actually succeed at it. And it does so without resorting to gross-out humor to appeal to children or adult innuendo to appeal to adults. Instead, it does so through employing pure charm and an unadulterated measure of the cuteness factor.

Like Curious George did a few years back, The Tale of Despereaux brings to life one of the most beloved critters from literature.

The imagery is stylistically beautiful to watch and every shot drips with a syrupy quality and color palette that you won't be able to deny loving every minute of the movie based on that quality alone.

The story becomes dense in parts and may be a bit confusing or hard-to-follow for the younger viewers; but they'll be enthralled with the colors and Despereaux's adorable demeanor that they won't notice.

A fairy tale is a hard genre to make seem fresh nowadays with the post-Shrek aftermath. But this film brings something new to the table--old-fashioned feel-goodness.
Super Reviewer
December 2, 2011
Good animation, but a boring and unintellegent story. Really not very good, a better tale for a straight to DVD movie.
Super Reviewer
March 17, 2010
In "The Tale of Despereaux," Roscuro, a rat, arrives in the Kingdom of Dor just in time for Soup Day. Regretfully, he gets too close to the action, accidentally causing many health code violations and a chain of events that leads to the queen drowning in her soup. So, the king bans both soup and rats, which somehow causes it to not rain anymore. The mice already have enough problems, none of which concern young Despereaux, who is afraid of nothing despite his small size. He even dreams of becoming a knight.

"The Tale of Despereaux" is a charming animated film that suffers from unimpressive animation early on and does not do a very good job of juggling the storylines of the rodent leads, often abandoning either for long stretches of time, sometimes in favor of a dull servant girl. Personally, I would have liked to have known what the story behind the vegetable golem is. Most of the voicework does not really register except for Dustin Hoffman who does a wonderful job as Roscuro and Sigourney Weaver who makes for a marvelously arch narrator. In fact, the movie is surprisingly subversive as Despereaux and Roscuro both go against the grains in their respective communities.(Or maybe it's just that Despereaux does not have the brains to be afraid.) That does not include the narration bemoaning the banning of soup which reminded me of how Bill Hicks used to talk about the criminalization of marijuana. That having been said, I just hope there are no kids reading this...
Super Reviewer
½ January 4, 2009
The animanted equivalent of Masterpiece Theatre: beautiful to look at, largely British and slightly boring. Too complicated for kids, too odd for adults (there's a talking conglomeration of vegetables...), Pixar has nothing to worry about.
Super Reviewer
½ September 10, 2009
I like this sort of animations that are 3D-ish yet have a hand-drawn, painted quality. Not the worst animation I've seen, but somehow I was annoyed by the storyline.
Super Reviewer
½ May 12, 2011
a visually wonderful film for familys and kids. full of wonderful charecters here and there and the animatin is good looking. very imaginable and creative. B+
Super Reviewer
½ June 13, 2011
This is a very sweet and beautifully animated movie. I thought all the characters were memorable, and the story was very good and charming. I've read some reviews where people say that this movie is too dark and boring, but this is not true in my opinion. Animated movies don't need to be all pink and happy in order to be good, sadly it has become a common standard for people to expect this. I really liked this movie.
Super Reviewer
November 10, 2009
Technically, this film was good with its amazing animation but despite being visually spectacular, it was boring and dull. I had hoped for more character development and while the story tries to illustrate values such as forgiveness love, betrayal, and acceptance, it didn't quite seal the deal for me.

"Despereaux" features a great cast with William H. Macy, Kevin Kline, Robbie Coltrane, Christopher Lloyd, Emma Watson, Dustin Hoffman and Sigourny Weaver. As the title character, Matthew Broderick gives it his best shot. Sigourney Weaver was not bad as the narrator. However this is no Incredibles, Cars, Toy Story, Kung fu Panda or Shrek!
Super Reviewer
December 17, 2008
Despite being CGI, this charmer had the same flavor as old animated films like The Secret of N.I.M.H., one of my personal favorites as a child. It's not perfect, and it's certainly not going to appeal to everybody. But I thought it was pretty fun escapist fare, and it has a good message behind it without shoving it down our throats.
Super Reviewer
January 1, 2009
An increasingly convoluted, decreasingly charming animal-hero tale that often forgets to involve Despereaux.
Super Reviewer
½ September 24, 2009
Absolutely gorgeous animation...unfortunately that is all there is.
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