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The Tale of Despereaux [Blu-ray][Region Free]
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English, French, Spanish
- 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
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
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Top Customer Reviews
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!Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is really lovely. Non-mainstream. My daughter (3yrs) loves it.Published 23 days ago by Littleblue
My 3 year old daughter loves this film already only 10mins in and I like this film to. Came wrapped in film brand new. 😊Published 2 months ago by emma
I just love it !!! This type of movie is giving me the possibility
to forget for an hour and a half, the very strange world
we are living in, nowadays ...
DVD won't play at all :( I have two very dissappointed little girls.Published 11 months ago by Laura Durdy