Based on Kate DiCamillo’s children’s book about a chivalrous mouse, The Tale of Despereaux looks like an illuminated manuscript brought to life. The screen glows with Renaissance golds, mice dressed like serfs, and a princess with Botticelli hair draped over a permanently foreshortened face. Too bad the story’s such a mess. As Despereaux (Matthew Broderick) tries to foil a royal kidnapping, his tale snags on loose-knit subplots about a seafaring rat (Dustin Hoffman), and a kingdom-wide obsession with soup. The latter, involving a snooty French chef and visions of floating veggies, gives the movie a whiff of leftover Ratatouille. C+
Genre: Comedy, Kids and Family, Animation; Starring: Matthew Broderick, Emma Watson, Dustin Hoffman, Sigourney Weaver; Director: Sam Fell, Robert Stevenhagen; Author: Will McRobb, Chris Viscardi; Release Date Wide: 12/19/2008; Runtime (in minutes): 87; MPAA Rating: G; Distributor: Universal
Posted December 18 2008 — 12:00 AM EST
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