This is a computer-animated version of the illustrated children's books
by the Newbury Award winning author Kate DiCamillo
. Despereaux Tiling (voice of Matthew Broderick
) was born a disappointment. There was something different about him, right from the very start.
First, he had abnormally large ears. Secondly, his eyes, which
were supposed to be closed, were wide open, staring in wonder at the
light on the ceiling, reflecting off his mother's mirror shard. His parents (Willam H. Macy and Frances Conroy)
backed away. Disappointment was one
of his mother's favorite words, and he heard it often growing up, as he had few truly mouse-like characteristics. As his family scrounged
for crumbs and listened to falling food, Despereaux turned his ear
upwards, listening to a sweet sound only he could hear.
brother Furlough (Tony Hale) tries to give him lessons in scampering, but
Despereaux prefers to take in the splendor of the sunlight through
the stained glass windows. His sister tries to teach him the art of
nibbling books, but he just couldn't bring himself to do it. He knew
it would ruin the story, so he often went back to the library, but just to
One night Despereaux wanders into the room of Princess Pea (Emily Watson), where he becomes lost in the beauty of the
music he hears. When Desperaux reveals himself to the humans, the King is sure he is a bug, though his daughter insists otherwise. Soon
enough, Despereaux is sitting at the feet of the king, with Princess Pea
petting him. Then a lonely servant girl
named Miggory Sow (Tracey Ullman) becomes so jealous of the princess that
she tries to kidnap her and take her place, eventually
finding an ally in Roscuro, the rat (Dustin Hoffman), who wants to escape exile in the rat kingdom
and be welcomed by the princess the same way Despereaux is.
Then Furlough finds out where Desperaux is and reports his whereabouts to their father who brings out his drum
to summon the mouse council. Desperaux is led away to the dungeon and everyone know that no mouse ever
comes back from the dungeon, but this being a tale of an unlikely hero, Despereaux finds he's
facing a different fate. One in which he is rescued and set free.
Whether the convoluted story matches the gorgeous animation is a question, but this is still a delightful movie that will entertain the whole family, especially the kids.