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The Tale of Despereaux (2008)

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When you are so small, even for a mouse, the world can be a dangerous place, but when your heart is brave, nothing can stand against your dreams.


(book), (screen story) | 2 more credits »
1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Despereaux (voice)
Roscuro (voice)
Princess Pea (voice)
Miggery Sow (voice)
Andre (voice)
Lester (voice)
Boldo (voice)
Botticelli (voice)
Gregory (voice)
Furlough (voice)
Antoinette (voice)
Mayor (voice)
Principal (voice)
Hovis (voice)
Pietro (voice)


The tale of three unlikely heroes - a misfit mouse who prefers reading books to eating them, an unhappy rat who schemes to leave the darkness of the dungeon, and a bumbling servant girl with cauliflower ears - whose fates are intertwined with that of the castle's princess. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

book | dungeon | darkness | rat | princess | See All (77) »


Small Mouse. Big Dreams. See more »


G | See all certifications »





Release Date:

19 December 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Despereaux - Un pequeño gran héroe  »

Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£560,870 (UK) (19 December 2008)


$50,818,750 (USA) (27 February 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Sylvain Chomet was originally set to direct before being dismissed by the production company, to be replaced with Sam Fell. Chomet stated his ideas were too dark for them, and that marketing would question his character designs with future merchandising in mind. See more »


When Despereaux is about to be dropped into the rat dungeon, he has red string wrapped around his waist. The camera cuts away to show the dungeon, and when it comes back to see Despereaux, the red string is missing for one shot. When the camera shows him again before being dropped, the string reappears properly. See more »


Andre: You're a cute little mouse. Would you like some soup?
Despereaux: No I don't want... The princess is in danger!
Andre: And a talking mouse, too.
Despereaux: Listen, you gotta help me.
Andre: Perhaps a little cheese?
Despereaux: No I don't any Cheese! The princess, she's in danger! She's locked in the dungeon!
Boldo: In the dungeon?
Andre: Oh, don't be silly my little mouse. Everything is fine. The princess is perfectly safe up in her...
See more »


Featured in The 81st Annual Academy Awards (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Good message, better visuals, best vocal work!
22 December 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Still wondering about the reviews above that insult this film's animation. I thought it looked terrific. (For the record, nearly every professional critic I could find singled out the film's strong visuals.) The character differentiation is very strong in the mice & rats -- and all that tender-loving detail in Ratworld and Mouseworld! You'd have to watch the movie 6 times to pick out all the tiny man-made objects the rodents have used for furniture, clothing, etc.

I see also several reviewers' concerns about the film's "darkness." Ummm . . . don't we find Hans Christian Andersen a bit dark too? Isn't there something about kids being baked in an oven? And doesn't someone's father die in "Lion King"? And a certain famous mother in that deer movie . . . ? For the matter of that, fans of DiCamillo's Newbery-winning book can tell that her version is a lot darker -- heart-breaking at times. At least one critic has scolded the film version for toning down the darkness, which concomitantly weakens DiCamillo's message of forgiveness and redemption.

AND: I don't think I've ever heard vocal work this good in an animated film. They're not big box-office names that will draw tons of kids to the picture, but real pros -- Hoffman, Ullman, Hinds, Watson, and that narration by Sigourney!! -- who bring an amazing richness and authenticity to the characterizations.

Plus, any movie that so convincingly counsels little kids to say "I'm sorry" -- well, even if it had no other merits, it's hard to argue with a message like that!

83 of 102 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Walked out after 15 min. bastiaankoch
My poor daughter toughed it out as long as she could... Brooke123
Well... I liked it renardazur
What in the holy hell was up with the veggie demon? kindigth
Ebert: 'One of the most beautifully drawn animated films I've seen.' pennslate
It happened with Ratatouille and now Despereaux... mizpriz29
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