6.1/10
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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.

Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew Broderick ... Despereaux (voice)
Dustin Hoffman ... Roscuro (voice)
Emma Watson ... Princess Pea (voice)
Tracey Ullman ... Miggery Sow (voice)
Kevin Kline ... Andre (voice)
William H. Macy ... Lester (voice)
Stanley Tucci ... Boldo (voice)
Ciarán Hinds ... Botticelli (voice)
Robbie Coltrane ... Gregory (voice)
Tony Hale ... Furlough (voice)
Frances Conroy ... Antoinette (voice)
Frank Langella ... Mayor (voice)
Richard Jenkins ... Principal (voice)
Christopher Lloyd ... Hovis (voice)
Charles Shaughnessy ... Pietro (voice)
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Storyline

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) »

Taglines:

Small Mouse. Big Dreams. See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 December 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Despereaux - Un pequeño gran héroe See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$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:

$50,877,145

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$90,482,317
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A couple of characters have names that are artistic references. "Roscuro" refers to the "Chiaroscuro Movement", Botticelli is a reference to the artist Sandro Botticelli of "The Birth of Venus", and Boldo is named after Giuseppe Arcimboldo, a famous surrealistic painter who composed faces and figures out of various objects in the way that Boldo himself is made out of fruit, vegetables, and kitchen utensils. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Queen: This is...
Roscuro: Whoa!
Queen: ...absolutely...
[Roscuro lands into the Queen's soup. Both she and Andre looked]
Queen: Oh, it moved! My soup moved!
Andre: No, it isn't... It did not move.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Troldspejlet: Episode #41.2 (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Good message, better visuals, best vocal work!
22 December 2008 | by jsmith-348See 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!


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