The Tale of Despereaux 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… The Tale of Despereaux 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… 2008-12-19 G PT87M Animation Comedy Kids and Family Matthew Broderick Emma Watson Dustin Hoffman Sigourney Weaver Universal
Movie Review

The Tale of Despereaux (2008)

MPAA Rating: G
The Tale of Despereaux | MODEST MOUSE Despereaux 's tale misses the mark
MODEST MOUSE Despereaux's tale misses the mark
EW's GRADE
C+

Details Release Date: Dec 19, 2008; Rated: G; Length: 87 Minutes; Genres: Animation, Comedy, Kids and Family; With: Matthew Broderick and Emma Watson; Distributor: Universal

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+

Originally posted Dec 17, 2008 Published in issue #1029 Jan 09, 2009 Order article reprints