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The Tale of Despereaux (2008)

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An unusually brave mouse helps to restore happiness to a forlorn kingdom after making friends with a gentleman rat.


(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:

mouse | dream | book | dungeon | darkness | See All (79) »


Small Hero. Big Heart. 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 (United Kingdom), 21 December 2008, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,103,675, 21 December 2008, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is the first Universal's animated film to be produced in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio; all of the studio's previous animated films were produced in 1.85:1. See more »


When Andre picks up Despereaux from the kitchen floor, he picks Despereaux by his body and in the next shot, he grabs Despereaux by the tail. See more »


Narrator: When your heart breaks it can grow back crooked. It grows back twisted and gnarled and hard.
See more »


Featured in Arcimboldo: Nature and Fantasy (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Charming story
1 January 2009 | by See all my reviews

After waking up with my usual January the 1st mother of all hangovers i wondered how i would manage to grab some recovery time in the form of some extra shut eye later on in the day? Bingo! why not take the family to the cinema? I great place to catch forty winks , or so i thought. Little did i know i would find a kids film that was so good , sleep was the last thing on my mind.

A long time ago, in the distant kingdom of Dor, A horrible accident broke the heart of the king, left a beautiful princess crestfallen, and filled the townspeople with despair. As the sun disappeared from the sky and the flowers were drained of color, the laughter slowly ceased in this once-magical land. It was into this darkened world that a tiny mouse named Despereaux Tilling was born, and while this virtuous little rodent may have been short in stature, his bravery was ultimately too big for such a small world to contain. An unlikely hero with over-sized ears and a discernible wheeze, Despereaux was taken with tales of chivalry, and longed to one day become a noble figure among his people. Sometimes in order to realize their true destiny, heroes must first experience great hardship, however, and when Despereaux fails to adhere to the rigid rules of his society, he is banished from Dor

I don't review Children's films very often . Maybe that's because they are on all the time in my house and i don't really take a great deal of notice of them.

To be honest i didn't even know of The Tale of Despereaux until i checked the listings but I'm glad i did.

This is a magical production that has a mesmerising story , some delightful characters and animation of the highest quality. It reminded me a little of some of the fairy tale books i used to read as a kid. The narration by Sigourney Weaver was perfect. It helped my children understand exactly what was going on when there was two or three sub plots going on.

The Characters voices are performed by Dustin Hoffman , Emma Watson , William H Macey , Tracy Ullman , Kevin Kline and Matthew Broderick but to be honest i only recognised the voices of Hoffman and Watson during the film.

It does make you wonder why studios pay massive wages to big film stars when a lot cheaper alternative could be used.

If you stuck for something to do before the kids go back to school next week you wont go far wrong if you take them to see The Tale of Despereaux .

Without a doubt this is the best film i have see this year......and its also the first!

8 out of 10

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