The Tale of Despereaux (2008)

Partial Overview:
The movie starts with Roscuro (Dustin Hoffman) who we are told is a rat that doesn't hold the qualities of a rat. Traveling on a ship, Roscuro gets off at the next stop, The Kingdom of Dor, where the Royal Soup Day is being held. Though he meant to return to the ship before it leaves, he gets himself into some trouble by falling into the Queen's bowl of soup. While he manages to escape, the Queen had died of fright and the King responds sorrowfully by banning all soup and rats in the kingdom. Roscuro finds himself in the dungeons among fellow rats and sees the ship floating away.

From here, the story moves to Despereaux (Matthew Broderick), who since birth did not hold the qualities of a mouse. He, for example, doesn't cower or scurry. Physically, he is shorter than other rats and has huge ears. Brave and fearless, Despeareaux eventually meets the princess of Dor and talks to her. This however, gets him banned from Mouseworld, and he is sentenced to the dungeon where the rats live. There he ends up meeting Roscuro and the two become friends.

Finally, we meet Mig (Tracey Ullman), a servant girl living in the castle who longs to be a princess. Mig's a life of hurt and depression, as she roasts over her envy of Princess Pea (Emma Watson). After we learn about Mig, the story continues with Roscuro trying to apologize to the princess. Still fearful of rats, she chases him away. Angered, Roscuro tricks Mig into getting the princess captured.

You'll have to watch the movie to find out how things play out, and while there isn't much left of the story, it's the most exciting part.

This was a good movie. The voices were great. We have Sigourney Weaver (Annie Hall, Avatar, WALL-E), Emma Watson, Matthew Broderick, Dustin Hoffman, Christopher Lloyd, Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid in Harry Potter), and other actors and actresses I don't know but you probably would.

The only thing is something my sister mentioned regarding some of the motives behind the characters' actions. That is to say, the actions made don't always seem properly motivated. But aside from that, there is a lot of action and adventure in the movie and that is good. The music is also good, one of the tracks sounds a lot like either the music that plays when mischief is happening in... Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) or Sherlock Holmes (2009).

I guess there's sort of a side story that goes on in the movie, and I don't entirely know how to view that. In the end it works out alright, but in the middle of the movie, it sort of takes you by surprise. I would have preferred just the scenes with Despereaux, and most of the scenes with Roscuro. But perhaps the movie followed the book closely and since I haven't read the book, I guess I can't really say how the movie should be. I'm just saying what I thought fit into the context of what the movie showed.

Reading my previous comments, I must have considered Mig's part of the story a side story. She is, however, important in the story's telling. In terms of character development, she shares Roscuro's pain and suffering. While we might not find Mig or Roscuro likeable to the same extent we find Despereaux likeable, we at least sympathize with them. As such, I no longer hold my previous opinion about Mig's part of the story.

Having read the plot summary of the book, I can say that all three characters (Roscuro, Despereaux, and Mig) are equally important, but the movie tweaks certain details here and there. As far as I can tell, the tweaks make for a more action-oriented movie.

Instant Comments:
2: Matches wouldn't last that long as a light source.
2: "Don't worry, he'll learn to cower."
2: "It's beautiful."
2: It's very humorous to hear the mice talk about the need to be fearful, as there must be things in our society to which we find others odd.
2: I love that. "I'm ready." "Good, then you need..."
2: The piano notes at around 45 minutes were similar to those in one of the Harry Potter movies. Wait, I think its some other instrument, and perhaps the notes aren't the same, but its the same instrument being used in both movies that makes the tune seem familiar. It might be a mandolin, because it has a sort of twangy sound.
2: Ha! I thought it was cool that Batman
2: Andiamo!


Watched 20100105 (DVD)
Watched 20130702 (Netflix, Instant, HD)
The Tale of Despereaux (2008) Sam Fell, Robert Stevenhagen. 93 min [botnotsn (2004) by Katie DiCamillo]

Relevant Links:
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