Sunday, December 28, 2008
Movie Review: The Tale of Despereaux
If you saw the trailers for The Tale of Despereaux (2008) you probably thought it was a cutesy movie about a mouse, Despereaux (Matthew Broderick) who doesn't realize he should be afraid and how he overcomes the teaching. It was expected there would be several scenes of him in class learning mousely things and a few events around Mouse-town interspersed with occasional interactions with Princess Pea (Emma Watson).
Imagine our surprise when about ten minutes into the flick we still had seen hide nor hair of Despereaux. We had spent the time with Roscuro (Dustin Hoffman), a sailor rat, who was responsible for getting soup and rats banished from the island.
The school scenes I expected so much from were disappointing...there could not have been more than a minute or so of them I had not already seen in the trailer.
Essentially, everything concerning Despereaux was shown in the trailers and the majority of screen time was characters who never showed up in the trailers. This was unfortunate because it painted a very skewed view of what the movie would be like.
You went in expecting Shrek and got The Secret of Nimh.
This is not to say it is not a good film...it is hard to tell because it takes some time to readjust expectations and figure out the movie is not about what you thought it was.
Short form of the story; Roscuro wants some soup, startles the Queen who then dies, causing the king to banish soup and rats, then sit around playing his lute all the time. Roscuro banished to rat kingdom where he doesn't fit in. Despereaux doesn't fit in and is banished to rat kingdom. Farm Girl becomes Princess handmaid, wants to be princess, captures Princess, Roscuro and Despereaux rescue her, King sees error of ways, everyone is happy again.
Okay story, terrible comedy with very few laughs. Animation was decent at best. Nothign special here, this one is no better than a rental.