I recently picked up the Tale of Despereaux by Kate Dicamillo and read the “Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread.” The novel had all the makings of a great story. You fell in love with Despereaux almost immediately and enjoyed his voyage from a misfit, to falling in love, to an outcast, and more.
I have a rule that when I watch a movie that was based on a novel I must read the book first. If I don’t do so, the book is pointless to read. My reasoning behind this is that a movie takes an hour or two to watch. A book takes a few days of enjoyment. There is no point in wasting the days of reading if you already know the ending from the movie. While on the vice versa if you read the book first you’ve had the enjoyment of the little things and the movie helps bring it to life.
When I received The Tale of Despereaux on DVD I was very excited to bring this story to life. Amazon.com describes this video as:
“The Tale of Despereaux looks a little like Shrek. The storytelling and animation draw on everything from Ratatouille and classic fairytales to Shakespeare, Jonathan Swift, Indiana Jones, and, in its action sequences, even Bourne and Bond. But this movie stands on its own; too dark and violent for very young children, perhaps, but for the most part it’s exciting and funny, and it delivers a message about bravery and forgiveness that is relevant to us all. Voiced by Matthew Broderick, the title character is a little guy, even by mouse standards, with enormous ears and an imagination to match; much to the dismay of his elders, he “never cowers, won’t scurry, and refuses to be taught to be scared” (he’d much rather read a book than eat it, a pursuit that fills his head with visions of valiant knights, damsels in distress, and a life defined by “courage, honor, and decency”). ” – Amazon.com
The story is indeed a violent one, especially the novel which includes many instances of death and torture. Though, the movie spins the story to include the bare minimum of this dark side. It includes many of my favorite actors including Matthew Broderick, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Watson, and Tracy Ullman. The comedic humor is made for children and adults, which makes it a great watch for parents and children.
This all star cast delivers a fresh and fun story that I would recommend to older children. This is a great family night movie, which is what we used it for. The Tale of Despereaux a Universal Studio movie is available on DVD starting April 7th, 2009. You can also preorder this movie from all major retailers such as Amazon.
About the Momma:
Andrea is a 26 year old work at home professional and mother to two beautiful little girls, Cayleigh (7) and Gabrielle (2). She is married to her one and only love Marc, they’ve been together almost 9 years and married almost 5. Andrea currently runs Mommas Review and handles the marketing and publicity for it. She is addicted to reading, social networking, and reality television.
Thank you to Extraordinary Mothers for this review opportunity.