The Tale of Despereaux

December 19th, 2008







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more trailers The Tale of Despereaux

The Tale of DespereauxStill of Matthew Broderick in The Tale of DespereauxThe Tale of DespereauxThe Tale of DespereauxThe Tale of DespereauxThe Tale of Despereaux

Plot
The tale of three unlikely heroes - a misfit mouse who prefers reading books to eating them, an unhappy rat who schemes to leave the darkness of the dungeon, and a bumbling servant girl with cauliflower ears - whose fates are intertwined with that of the castle's princess.

Release Year: 2008

Rating: 6.1/10 (12,902 voted)

Critic's Score: 53/100

Director: Sam Fell

Stars: Matthew Broderick, Emma Watson, Dustin Hoffman

Storyline
The tale of three unlikely heroes - a misfit mouse who prefers reading books to eating them, an unhappy rat who schemes to leave the darkness of the dungeon, and a bumbling servant girl with cauliflower ears - whose fates are intertwined with that of the castle's princess.

Writers: Gary Ross, Will McRobb

Cast:
Matthew Broderick - Despereaux (voice)
Dustin Hoffman - Roscuro (voice)
Emma Watson - Princess Pea (voice)
Tracey Ullman - Miggery Sow (voice)
Kevin Kline - Andre (voice)
William H. Macy - Lester (voice)
Stanley Tucci - Boldo (voice)
Ciarán Hinds - Botticelli (voice)
Robbie Coltrane - Gregory (voice)
Tony Hale - Furlough (voice)
Frances Conroy - Antoinette (voice)
Frank Langella - Mayor (voice)
Richard Jenkins - Principal (voice)
Christopher Lloyd - Hovis (voice)
Charles Shaughnessy - Pietro (voice)

Taglines: Small Mouse. Big Dreams.



Details

Official Website: Official site [Spain] | Universal Studios |

Release Date: 19 December 2008

Opening Weekend: $10,103,675 (USA) (21 December 2008) (2758 Screens)

Gross: $50,818,750 (USA) (1 March 2009)



Technical Specs

Runtime:  |



Did You Know?

Trivia:
Justin Long was originally slated to voice the title character, Despereaux. Ultimately, the role went to Matthew Broderick.

Goofs:
Continuity: When Despereaux is about to be dropped into the rat dungeon, he has red string wrapped around his waist. The camera cuts away to show the dungeon, and when it comes back to see Despereaux, the red string is missing.

Quotes:
Narrator: Once upon a time, there was a brave, little mouse who loved honor and justice and always told the truth.
[Camera zooms in and we see a rat named Roscuro]
Narrator: No, that's not him. That's a rat. And anyone who knows anything, knows there is a big difference between a mouse and a rat. First of all, rats hate the light.
[Roscuro climbs on a barrel and looks at the sun]
Narrator: They spend their lives in the darkness. Also terrify the people which is why they're slinking and cover all the time.
[Roscuro goes to near of a sailor]
Narrator: And as far as telling the truth as concerned, well, that is impossible, because as everyone knows a rat can't talk.
[Roscuro starts to talk]
Roscuro: Tell me that thing again, please.
Pietro: Come on!
[...]



User Review

Good message, better visuals, best vocal work!

Rating: 7/10

Still wondering about the reviews above that insult this film's animation. I thought it looked terrific. (For the record, nearly every professional critic I could find singled out the film's strong visuals.) The character differentiation is very strong in the mice & rats -- and all that tender-loving detail in Ratworld and Mouseworld! You'd have to watch the movie 6 times to pick out all the tiny man-made objects the rodents have used for furniture, clothing, etc.

I see also several reviewers' concerns about the film's "darkness." Ummm . . . don't we find Hans Christian Andersen a bit dark too? Isn't there something about kids being baked in an oven? And doesn't someone's father die in "Lion King"? And a certain famous mother in that deer movie . . . ? For the matter of that, fans of DiCamillo's Newbery-winning book can tell that her version is a lot darker -- heart-breaking at times. At least one critic has scolded the film version for toning down the darkness, which concomitantly weakens DiCamillo's message of forgiveness and redemption.

AND: I don't think I've ever heard vocal work this good in an animated film. They're not big box-office names that will draw tons of kids to the picture, but real pros -- Hoffman, Ullman, Hinds, Watson, and that narration by Sigourney!! -- who bring an amazing richness and authenticity to the characterizations.

Plus, any movie that so convincingly counsels little kids to say "I'm sorry" -- well, even if it had no other merits, it's hard to argue with a message like that!









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