The Tale of Despereaux - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Tale of Despereaux Reviews

December 22, 2008
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
It's like Ratatouille meets Upstairs Downstairs to go sort of cross-generational but it didn't work really on any level.
December 19, 2008
. The plot is too convoluted and there are too many characters to keep track of.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 19, 2008
[The directors] can't quite locate a core of buoyant energy in the film as a whole.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
December 19, 2008
The Tale of Despereaux may not be a classic, but it still has a lot of class.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 19, 2008
Despereaux is a little too desperate to be loved.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 19, 2008
There's precious little space in Despereaux's tale for heroism (save for the third act) and humor.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
December 19, 2008
[The directors] give their film a stately pace that's a pleasant break from the usual sugared-up kids' mayhem.
Read More | Original Score: B-
December 19, 2008
Their gentle care and attention help fill out this sweet tale. So, too, do the background artists who have created wonderfully intricate universes for the different rodents to inhabit.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
December 19, 2008
Somber, slow and elegant instead of frantic and dazzling. It works like a beloved fairy tale.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 19, 2008
Flat-footed when it should be fleet, scary when it means to be exciting, and only intermittently emotionally effective, The Tale of Despereaux does a disservice to Kate DiCamillo's well-regarded children's book.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
December 19, 2008
Despereaux is a rare creature, not only for the handmade look and subtlety of its computer-generated imagery but also for its irony-free embrace of once-upon-a-time storytelling.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
December 19, 2008
Like the old adage about too many cooks, The Tale of Despereaux is full of ideas, but the combination is more perturbing than satisfying.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
December 19, 2008
The film dispenses entirely with the bathroom humor that has become a standard element in so much kids entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: B
December 19, 2008
The imagery is colorful and artfully rendered, but the filmmakers, favoring technological wizardry over story, have beefed up the narrative with teeming rodent civilizations, a seafaring sequence, and gladiatorial action pieces.
December 19, 2008
Despereaux is a pleasantly immersive, beautifully animated, occasionally sleepy tale.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
December 19, 2008
A skillfully managed fairy tale about a mouse, a rat, and fairy tales in general.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 19, 2008
I admired the craft more than I loved the results. But The Tales of Despereaux is still better-than-average animation.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 19, 2008
While it's not animated with the breathless pizazz of a Pixar, 'Despereaux' is all the more affecting and dramatically successful for its contemplative pace and measured delivery of information. A lovely film.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/6
Top Critic
December 18, 2008
The Tale Of Despereaux may be a little slow for the very youngest kids — though the messages it imparts are certainly ones you'll want them to hear.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
December 18, 2008
It's a beautiful film, but in the end, Despereaux is esthetically charmed but dramatically inert.
December 18, 2008
Whereas the gorgeous, sophisticated Ratatouille was both a crowd-pleaser and a critical favorite, duly winning the Academy Award for best animated feature, Despereaux feels obvious, preachy and heavy-handed.
December 18, 2008
While the story does not quite come to magical life, the themes of courage, hope and decency are sweetly inspiring.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 18, 2008
The Tale of Despereaux looks like an illuminated manuscript brought to life. Too bad the story's such a mess.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
December 18, 2008
The Tale of Despereaux is one of the most beautifully drawn animated films I've seen, rendered in enchanting detail and painterly colors by an art department headed by Oliver Adam.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 18, 2008
The Tale of Despereaux gathers a host of vocal talent for a relatively complicated story of heroism and loyalty, requiring that its young audience pay attention and is all the more rewarding for it (for kids and grown-ups).
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
December 18, 2008
Clumsily wedged in like a TV commercial between deafening stunts, the emotional storytelling sinks without a trace.
December 17, 2008
It's hard to care what happens to Princess Pea when she's just a whiny British toff, waiting for a prince with a phallic-looking noggin to save her.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6
December 17, 2008
The Tale of Despereaux looks like it was made about 10 years ago and, at a time when even mediocre animated films can generally boast a stunning look, this movie's uninspired animation is a source of disappointment.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 15, 2008
This graphically well-rendered kidpic is less crass and mouthy than many recent feature-length toons, but also more sluggish and ungainly as it tries to approximate DiCamillo's singularly delicate tone.
December 15, 2008
The magic is minuscule in this handsome-looking but drearily told animated tale.