The Tale of Despereaux is an clever, high-caliber animated movie about an undersized mouse with over-sized ears voiced by actor Matthew Broderick. Although the movie is animated and based upon a 2003 Newbery Medal winning children’s fantasy bookThe Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread, the movie’s story line will appeal to adults. The Despereaux books are quite deep and even dark in places. The movie version waters down both the depth and darkness of the books to make it more of a children’s film, but much of the essence of Despereaux survives the Hollywoodization.
The Tale of Despereaux is the story of four principal characters. Although Despereaux is the main character in the move, the film begins with the tale of Roscuro (Dustin Hoffman), a gentle rat who learns to love the light and talk to humans. Through his desire to smell the famous soup of Dor, he climbs a chandelier and falls into the Queen’s soup bowl, causing her to have a fatal heart attack and die. Roscuro is heart sick at what he has done and tries to apologize, but no one listens as he is chased through the castle by people who want to kill him. Roscuro falls down a grate into the castle dungeon, where he is found by Botticelli (Ciaran Hinds), the ruler of Ratworld. Botticelli is the villain of The Tale of Despereaux, and he desires to turn Roscuro into a lover of darkness like the other rats.
Princess Pea (Emma Watson) is the heroine of The Tale of Despereaux. She is a kind-hearted girl who is terribly lonely after the death of her mother and subsequent inconsolable grief of her father. Once Despereaux sees her, he falls in love with the human princess and speaks to her. Princess Pea finds Despereaux adorable and becomes fond of him. However, some of her actions born of fear, misunderstanding, and thoughtlessness trigger some of the tragic elements of the story.
Read the complete review at: The Tale of Despereaux with Matthew Broderick Arrives on DVD and BluRay on April 7
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