The Tale of Despereaux
On the surface, The Tale of Despereaux is a story like many others. Another foray into the rapidly over saturated family animated movie genre. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find an amazing parable in this story of a mouse that broke the rules and refused to live a life of fear.
The Tale of Despereaux has all the essential components, A King, Queen and a princess in a far away land. There is an adventurous rodent who gets into trouble, happiness, joy, sadness and despair, but best of all, an unlikely hero.
With no pop-culture references in sight, or any forced humour, Despereaux relies on old-fashioned tales of honour and doing what is right. Its humour comes from human nature, from seeing ourselves in the characters and there choices, its warmth comes from the soft organic animation with restrained pallets and through the characters themselves.
It’s a pure joy for the whole family to watch and as I said before, if you dig a little deeper, there’s a great parable bubbling beneath the surface.
The narrator (Sigourney Weaver) rounds out the movie’s main story by saying that luck had a large role to play. I prefer the term providence. The movie plays out much like the Biblical story of Joseph, not in the interpreting dreams way, but in the way that nothing ever seems to be going right for Joseph, he goes from bad to worse, but ultimately God’s hand was on his life, directing him to a place where he would save his nation. Along the way we discover the power of forgiveness and reminded of the fact that if we allow God to direct our lives, good things will ultimately come of it.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Duration: 100 mins.
Genre: Fantasy, Family, Comedy, Animated, Adventure, Adaptation.
Director: Sam Fell.
Voice Talent: Emma Watson, Sigourney Weaver, Dustin Hoffman, Matthew Broderick, Christopher Lloyd, William H. Macy, Kevin Kline, Stanley Tucci, Robbie Coltrane, Ciarán Hinds, Tony Hale, Tracey Ullman.
Release Date: 8th January 2009.