The Tale of Despereaux (2008)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

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

The Tale of Despereaux Videos

The Tale of Despereaux Photos

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.
Rating:
G
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Animation , Comedy , Kids & Family
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Matthew Broderick
as Despereaux
Emma Watson
as Princess Pea
Dustin Hoffman
as Roscuro
Ciarán Hinds
as Botticelli
Frances Conroy
as Antoinette
Richard Jenkins
as Principal
Tony Hale
as Furlough
Frank Langella
as Inquisitor
Kevin Kline
as Andre
Sigourney Weaver
as Narrator, The Narrator
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Tale of Despereaux

All Critics (107) | 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.

December 22, 2008
At the Movies
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | December 19, 2008
Toronto Star
Top Critic

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

December 19, 2008
Seattle Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | December 19, 2008
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Despereaux is a little too desperate to be loved.

Full Review… | December 19, 2008
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

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
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.

Bentley Lyles
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 Edwards
Michael Edwards

Super Reviewer

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Tale of Despereaux on our Movie forum!

News & Features