2.5 out of 5 stars (decent)
The kingdom of Dor was a happy, soup-loving place, where rats and mice were not considered vermin. Every year on Soup Day, Chef Andre would unveil that year’s soup. Until the day a rat named Roscuro fell in the queen’s soup, which startled her to death. It was on that day the king declared that soup and mice and rats were outlawed. But like the soup, the sun and happiness went out of Dor too.
The mice and rats who were banished went in the sewers and made two separate worlds, Mouseworld and Ratworld. One day, a mouse named Despereaux was born, and he was different from all the other mice. He was small, had big ears, and didn’t cower at anything. Despereaux was still the bravest mouse you would ever find, taking risks like activating mousetraps to get cheese. He didn’t realize how small he was, and if he had, he wouldn’t care.
One day, in an attempt to make him more like a mouse, Despereaux’s parents take him to the royal library to not read, but nibble on the books there. He reads one, and Despereaux suddenly decides to be like the knight in the book.
Meanwhile, the king and his daughter, Princess Pea have been mourning over the loss of the queen ever since her death. One day Despereaux gets in the castle and meets the princess. Despereaux tells Pea he is a gentleman and promises to tell her how the book he is reading ends.
Unfortunately, it’s against the rules to talk to a human, and Despereaux gets banished to Ratworld for doing it. Roscuro sees a good spirit in Despereaux, so instead of letting him die, Roscuro tells the evil rat king he’ll take care of him. Despereaux convinces Roscuro to go up to the surface and apologize to Pea about her mother. Roscuro does, but the princess freaks out, making Roscuro very angry. Roscuro teams up with a handmaid who wants to be the princess in order to get revenge on Pea.
Now Despereaux must save Pea from all the evil rats and get Roscuro back before it’s too late.
As you can see, this movie has a very complicated plot, with about twenty or more characters each having a separate story. All of these stories are attempted to be squeezed in the 90 minutes the film lasts, and they barely pull it off. When I checked online, some parents thought this G-rated film should have been PG because of the few adventure sequences in the film.
“The Tale of Despereaux” has good actors like Matthew Broderick and Emma Watson (Hermione from the “Harry Potter” movies.) Despereaux’s frequent cries of “Ha Ha” make you think this little character is cute. This movie is based on a book that I have never read, so I don’t know the difference between the book and the movie, but I might read it now since I enjoyed the movie.
I’m trying to decide which age group this age was designed for. Little kids, big kids, adults; it’s hard to tell. There were a lot of ladies who looked like elementary school teachers at our showing and they seemed to like it. Other then the scene where Despereaux runs into a dead skull, “The Tale of Despereaux” is a charming film for children and adults.
Rated G for Good show Despereaux!