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

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 34 Ratings

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  • 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. Mar 22, 2011
    Two years ago during Christmas of 2008, I got this book of the same name written by author Kate Dicamillo. I read it, enjoyed it, and was desperate to see this CGI movie-adaptation of a great book. I did saw it at the Clifton Park Mall at Albany, New York during my visit with my cousins at Christmas. Throughout the whole movie, it didn't meet my expectations, but for a kids movie, its just pretty decent.

    The storyline was weak and scrambled, it had some very dark moments and the villain's death in the movie was very mediocre, but the animation was excellent, The characters were worth-seeing, The acting was great, and The music score by William Ross was lovely.

    Although, did I forget to mention that it had every single actor I've known for the past few years? Man, was that awesome! H*ll, Even Matthew Broderick (The Lion King, Bee Movie), Emma Watson (The Harry Potter Series), and Dustin Hoffman (Kung Fu Panda) were so freaking good.

    Bottomline: "The Tale of Despereaux" isn't the best CGI cartoon and its not intended for adults, but for the kids, its definitely worth a watch on DVD rental only.

    Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars
  2. Mar 27, 2013
    They changed several things about the book that simply didn't work for the film. One thing, where Despereaux is a just a boy and has Dustin Hoffman's older than dirt voice, the cook' s friend made from kitchen ingredients and the bad rat just kept jumping around the side he was on. Expand
  3. 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.

See all 21 User Reviews