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Based on 25 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 24 )
  • 75
    Peter Hartlaub San Francisco Chronicle

    May not be a classic, but it still has a lot of class. show more

  • 63
    Claudia Puig USA Today

    While the story does not quite come to magical life, the themes of courage, hope and decency are sweetly inspiring. show more

  • 63
    Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer

    The tiny, intrepid rodent is so cute it's impossible not to ooh and aww, just looking at him. Which is a good thing, because you'll need something to get you through the long stretches of fairytale pastiche that make up this overwrought yarn. show more

  • 60
    Michael Rechtshaffen The Hollywood Reporter

    The flatly generic results certainly appear at odds with the picture's stirring visual style, which pays homage to the great Flemish artists. show more

  • 50
    Bob Mondello NPR

    A little slow for the very youngest kids -- though the messages it imparts are certainly ones you'll want them to hear. show more

  • 88
    TV Guide

    A perfect fairytale, adhering to The Princess Bride's standards of fighting, fencing, torture, and true love, without the ham-fisted moral element of so many of its fairy-tale predecessors. show more

  • 75
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    It is a joy to look at frame by frame, and it would be worth getting the Blu-ray to do that. I am not quite so thrilled by the story, which at times threatens to make "Gormenghast" seem straightforward. show more

  • 75
    Kyle Smith New York Post

    More like Disney's "Sleeping Beauty," somber, slow and elegant instead of frantic and dazzling. show more

  • 75
    Wesley Morris Boston Globe

    A skillfully managed fairy tale about a mouse, a rat, and fairy tales in general. show more

  • 63
    Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune

    I admired the craft more than I loved the results. But The Tales of Despereaux is still better-than-average animation. show more

  • April 15, 2011 Kristin M.
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    Ok, so it wasn\'t ratatouille, but it was an ejoyable film. I liked it. I never read the book, and only watched it because of Emma Watson voicing the princess, but I found myself liking it a lot. Personally, I think the reviews are a little unfair about this movie (I mean, it\'s not an Oscar-contending movie, it\'s just a cartoon), but whatever.

  • August 06, 2009 john
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    What a great movie! I went to see this on a "free movie" morning at the Regal Cinema, and I thought it was great! It was first class all of the way, and what a great story!

  • January 03, 2009 LorenaCA
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    I am tired of all the subliminal messages I am finding in kids movies, the middle easterners playing the bad rats, saying Soup Day is more important than Christmas, what is going on around here?!?! How come they didn't say Soup Day is more important than Hannukah or Kwanza? The editing was bad. The only thing holding this movie is imagary, nice graphics etc. Sigourney Weaver's voice was drabby as a narrator. We wasted $40 on nothing! Another Madoff scam!

  • January 02, 2009 roseannefuriga
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    Even though I read the "eh" reviews about this movie, my teenage daughter and I went to go see it anyway. It really was a waste of time. I like animated movies, and this one just didn't do it for me. I found the animation to be distracting and weird, and the mouths didn't move in time with the words, like a dubbed Japanese flick. I don't remember laughing once. It was just basically boring. I didn't feel anything for the characters, and it seemed to go on longer than it had to. Very disappointing.

  • January 02, 2009 SMH1621
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    Gorgeous book turned into a DREADFUL movie. Not sure how you could have screwed that one up. So excruciating to sit through.

  • January 02, 2009 MBat590432
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    I wonder who else noticed Rats (bad guys) playing Middle Eastern music. African drums and wearing a Fez?

  • January 02, 2009 DivaDancer1106
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    I loved The Tale of Despereaux! The graphics were amazing, the story was cleaver, it was just brillent. The moment I got home I made my mother (I'm 16) order the book and the coloring book for me online. The one downside I will say is that the begining credicts made me and my boyfriends very dizzy. Other than that its a must see!

  • January 01, 2009 missimin
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    I'm looking forward to seeing the film and buying it in a few months. I read the book and it didn't mention anything about Christmas as the film seems to have done. As for defying authority, I don't think Despereaux ever looked at his acts as defiance, he was a mouse who read "once upon a time" fairytales and projected himself into that world as a knight bound to honor the princess. I'm sorry any parents think the movie has a "wrong" message for children, they should let their children read the wonderful, award winning book instead then.

  • December 31, 2008 Tomcumminsufs
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    The movie is a sad fairy tale with a happy ending. Nothing at all like what we have become accustomed to. We welcomed the wholesomeness of the lack of sexuality and crudeness. Yet, we were disappointed in the statement about Christmas and with the typical stereo typing. It is not a sit back and roll out laughing one this time, although it told a very good lesson. At first I was unsure of what the writers were trying to get across. Is it was a punch in the gut to the christian community or was it a wake up call for the christian community. The mice are told that they are banished if they are brave, and that is exactly what the secular community puts on the Christians. Therefore, I found it very easy to sit back and soak in the bravery of Despereaux, as I thought about my stand for Jesus. Also, my 8 year old daughter found it easy to understand and she very quickly caught on to the moral that was mentioned at the end of the movie. In these hard times, many are struggling and feel hurt quite often. This is such a good lesson about forgiveness, humility and courage to stand up for what you believe in.

  • December 31, 2008 Onrelase
    Report This User

    Yes, people LIGHTEN UP. Forgot to add my stars. I cannot believe this movie is getting slammed by some really dull adults. Don't let them prevent you from going. Obviously their problem is that they don't want to devote time to real children's films instead of the junk they are used to watching that panders to a reluctant adult audience. Give this movie a chance.


similar movies

  • Ratatouille (2007)

  • Tinker Bell (2008)

  • Rio (2011)

  • Tarzan (1999)

  • Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue (2010)

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