Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 35 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Once upon a time, in the faraway kingdom of Dor, there was magic in the air, raucous laughter aplenty and gallons of mouth-watering soup. But a terrible accident left the king broken-hearted, the princess filled with longing and the townsfolk despondent. All hope was lost in a land where sunlight disappeared and the world became dreary gray. Until Despereaux Tilling was born... (Universal) Expand
  • Director: Robert Stevenhagen
  • Genre(s): Adventure, Fantasy, Comedy, Animation, Family
  • Rating: G
  • Runtime: 93 min
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 25
  2. Negative: 3 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Tracie Cooper
    A perfect fairytale, adhering to The Princess Bride's standards of fighting, fencing, torture, and true love, without the ham-fisted moral element of so many of its fairy-tale predecessors.
  2. May not be a classic, but it still has a lot of class.
  3. A pleasantly immersive, beautifully animated, occasionally sleepy tale.
  4. The flatly generic results certainly appear at odds with the picture's stirring visual style, which pays homage to the great Flemish artists.
  5. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    A little slow for the very youngest kids -- though the messages it imparts are certainly ones you'll want them to hear.
  6. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    This graphically well-rendered kidpic is less crass and mouthy than many recent feature-length toons, but also more sluggish and ungainly as it tries to approximate DiCamillo's singularly delicate tone.
  7. Kids will get antsy, wondering why their favorite characters disappear for long stretches of the film, while adults will wonder just when this scattershot approach to storytelling will congeal into something resembling coherence.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 21
  2. Negative: 7 out of 21
  1. ChadO
    Dec 31, 2008
    Very good movie.
  2. ParentofThree
    Mar 15, 2009
    I must have missed something. My wife and I took our 3 kids to this movie (7, 5 and 3) and we ALL loved it! It is multi-layered, requires some thought and attention and is a very enjoyable movie! A few scary parts? Yes, but my kids got passed that quickly. They enjoyed the dreamy sequences of the story, the drama and, especially, the chivalry of Despereaux. A real treat! Expand
  3. AdamB
    Apr 17, 2009
    Great Movie! So cute. Great Music. Very original.
  4. Lizziebeth-1
    Feb 15, 2009
    6/10, surprisingly, it should have been a lot better. Told by Sigourney Weaver as a narrator, it sounds just like a fairytale of an enchanted princess who confronts a talking mouse, who, just like in Ratatouille, is banished by his mouse clan for talking to humans. There are well-intentioned messages here about a rat and an Expand
  5. TimoV.
    Mar 8, 2009
    A food loving rat ends up messing around in the kitchen with a soup, which unleashes a mayhem like never seen before. Sounds familiar, a bit like Ratatouille? Well, it's not. The Tale of Despereaux has some very beautiful passages to it, some wonderful artwork, but the animation sucks and the story is a bit too fractured to really work for this type of a film. Expand
  6. Apr 4, 2012
    This film was a mess. The plot was like three very crappy early-morning children's TV shows stripped of all personality and quirk and rolled into an hour and a half of extremely dull, artsy-fartsy, fragmented storylines. They obviously pushed the 'morbid' theme as far as they could while still advertising as G-rated.
    I thought the voice acting was pretty bad despite all the big names that worked on this movie. Every time Sigourney Weaver jumped in to preach at us through the narration, I couldn't help groaning a little ... it was that bad.
    I haven't read the book, but I have a feeling that most of the parts I really loathed were invented for the film.
  7. DaliS.
    Dec 28, 2008
    i don't usually bother rating movies online but this atrocious mess prompted me to try and save someone from making the same mistake i did. do not go see this movie. there are no redeeming factors to be considered here, this is an utter stinker, not for kids not for adults. peeeeyouuuuuuu. Expand

See all 21 User Reviews