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The Tale of Despereaux [Blu-ray][Region Free]

4.1 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Directors: Sam Fell, Robert Stevenhagen
  • Producers: Gary Ross, Allison Thomas
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 20 April 2009
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001QOGS5A
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 85,155 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Audio tracks:

English, French, Spanish

Bonus Features:

  • Deleted Songs--"It's Great to be a Rat" and "Soup"
  • The tale of The Tale of Despereaux
  • Scene progressions
  • Top 10 uses for oversized ears
  • Interactive video game--make your own soup
  • Card creator

From Amazon.co.uk

The Tale of Despereaux looks a little like Shrek. The storytelling and animation draw on everything from Ratatouille and classic fairytales to Shakespeare, Jonathan Swift, Indiana Jones, and, in its action sequences, even Bourne and Bond. But this movie stands on its own; too dark and violent for very young children, perhaps, but for the most part it’s exciting and funny, and it delivers a message about bravery and forgiveness that is relevant to us all. Voiced by Matthew Broderick, the title character is a little guy, even by mouse standards, with enormous ears and an imagination to match; much to the dismay of his elders, he "never cowers, won’t scurry, and refuses to be taught to be scared" (he’d much rather read a book than eat it, a pursuit that fills his head with visions of valiant knights, damsels in distress, and a life defined by "courage, honor, and decency"). That leads to his being banished from Mouseworld to the realm of the rats, where, it is presumed, he will be eaten. But no. Ratworld--a dark, chaotic, genuinely scary place--happens to be the current residence of one Roscuro (Dustin Hoffman), a peaceful sort whose shenanigans in the human world have accidentally led to the death of the Queen, the imprisonment of the Princess (Emma Watson), and, worst of all, the banning of Soup Day (no small deal) and the end of soup itself! Roscuro and Despereaux join forces, inadvertently helped out by a homely but soft-hearted farm girl named Miggery Sow (Tracey Ullman), and, well, you can imagine how it all turns out. Directors Sam Fell and Robert Stevenhagen and scriptwriter Gary Ross (adapting Kate DiCamillo’s book) have concocted some vivid and interesting worlds for their film; the look is unusual, often washed out, muted, and bathed in hazy light; and the voice acting is excellent (others include William H. Macy, Kevin Kline, Stanley Tucci, and Frank Langella). All in all, despite a conclusion that’s confusing even while it’s predictable, The Tale of Despereaux is a worthy addition to the crowded animation field. --Sam Graham

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I stumbled upon this film whilst browsing the kids section in HMV, to see if there was any C.G.I efforts that I didn't own yet, I'd never heard of this movie and was surprised to see something I had neither heard of or seen an advertisement for! The artwork on the box made me pick it up, I scanned the blurb on the back and decided to buy it based on curiousity and the drawn in "Burtonesque" (my term for anything that reminds me of the artwork/style of Tim Burton the king) faces of the human characters on the cover.
I watched this with my 6 year old daughter as my 4yr old son was too busy playing "Sonic the hedgehog" to want to come and watch the film, (probably just as well, as I feel the film may not have been as 'engaging' for a younger child- as the other reviewer pointed out that the film sits somewhere between the lines of being an adult/child cartoon)
As an adult cartoon I very much enjoyed it and found the artwork therein to be absolutely stunning! yes it does look a little like "shrek" and it follows a somewhat "mish-mash" formula as does shrek but the film differs in that it has dark undertones and barely any humour at all. This did not make the feature boring, instead it gave it a mythical, epical and most importantly serious feel instead, there is nothing wrong with a cartoon being serious in my opinion and it made a refreshing change from all the other happy go lucky colorful stuff out there.
The story is not really all that epical after you've watched it but the general feel of the film due to it's style, themes and sound give it an epical feel. There are only a couple of laugh out moments, the rest of the film's focus is pretty serious and straight-forward with a few darker themes, It still held my daughters attention from start to finish none the less!
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Format: Blu-ray
The Tales of Desperaux. I am so sad that it did not perform better at the box office when it, in my mind, is one of the best animated movies for years.

I watched it yesterday and must say I would take my kids (if I had any) to watch this movie over most other animated films for the past few years, It is up there with ratatouille for me. It talks to the kids in a serious voice; it has scary, but true moments and teaches nice values that any kid, young or old, would love. The only downside of the movie is the princess that feels misplaced for some reason.

Why do I love it so much? Well, it is pure, classic storytelling, it reminds me of Don Blyth masterpieces of yesteryears, and with characters that does not need tie-in jokes and puns. It has dramatic tension, really scary scenes and wonderful voice acting from especially Dustin Hoffman.
I would guess that the voice cast, which is wonderful, came to this movie because of its script, a script that is pure Don Blyth, down to its bones.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a surprisingly good dvd. animation is very good. The story is interesting and insightful for ages 4+ to adult. It is about a mouse called Desperaux, a rat, a princess, a king and a servant girl -and the making of soup!
It is on the same level as the dvd about the boy who tames and befriends a dragon -can't remember the name!
Probably a bit boring for younger children since it includes certain perceptive observations that would be beyond their understanding.
Bought it for a 5 and 3 year old - the story was beyond the younger child.
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By anne on 18 Sept. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I got this for my kids and they loved it, charmingly sweet storey, lovely animation and sound quality. Brilliant value for money good family movie very watchable. my kids have had it on a few times now and we all like it.
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Format: DVD
I am amazed that this film does not appear to have received the praise that it so richly deserves. The voice cast is exemplary and the animation is wonderful, helping to draw you deep into a surreal world of Kings and princesses, terrified talking mice, evil self preservation fuelled rats and soup! The story itself is about a little mouse called Despereaux who believes in truth, honour and bravery - something that is severly lacking in the world today! After being thrown into Rat World for being too brave, he is rescued by a kind hearted rat called Roscuro, who had inadvertantly killed the Queen - by soup! Like all good fairy tales, this one is full of morals and warnings, beautifully illuminated through the main characters. One character in particular, a lowly servant girl who dreams of better things, travels from pig herder to being sold to the castle, to serving food to the princess, to kidnapping royalty. Her journey is heartrending because you can see how she is in her position and why she is so easily exploited. Because it is not served up with the usual thick coating of syrup, the story becomes quite dark in places as it explores how normally good people (and animals)can turn nasty when they've been hurt or offended. This attempt at reflecting the real world through an imaginary childrens story has (in my opinion) worked beautifully, but because of this it is not necessarily a good film for the very young or easily frightened. My own children (8 & 11) love this film and have watched it several times.
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By Ianski on 4 Mar. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
At under £3 it's cheaper than renting, but you'll probably only ever watch it once. Everything about it is average - the graphics, the storyline, the characters. There are a few good moments and it's a pleasant enough evening in with the family. Worth watching, but don't expect too much.
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