The Tale of Despereaux


The Tale of Despereaux

Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 109
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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.

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Critic Reviews for The Tale of Despereaux

All Critics (109) | Top Critics (33)

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

    Jan 9, 2009 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Dec 22, 2008 | Full Review…
  • It's like Ratatouille meets Upstairs Downstairs to go sort of cross-generational but it didn't work really on any level.

    Dec 22, 2008
  • . The plot is too convoluted and there are too many characters to keep track of.

    Dec 19, 2008 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • [The directors] can't quite locate a core of buoyant energy in the film as a whole.

    Dec 19, 2008 | Rating: 2/4
  • The Tale of Despereaux may not be a classic, but it still has a lot of class.

    Dec 19, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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