I'm not sure what it is about these animated features (Easy paycheck? No make-up? They can work in their pajamas?), but everyone who is anyone shows up to lend their voice. Case in point: Universal has snagged one helluva cast for The Tale of Despereaux, based on Kate DiCamillo's award-winning children's book.

Story interwines the fates of three misfits: a banished mouse, a rat who loves the light and a young servant girl with cauliflower ears. Joining the pic's cast are -- deep breath -- Justin Long (as the mouse, Despereaux), Dustin Hoffman (as the rat), Tracey Ullman (as the young girl), Kevin Kline (as a cook for the king who is also banished), Robbie Coltrane (as a palace jailer), Ciarán Hinds (as the devilish leader of the sewer rats), Christopher Lloyd (as an old, blind mouse), William H. Macy (as Despereaux's father), Stanley Tucci (as a genie) and last, but certainly not least, is Sigourney Weaver (as the narrator).

Mike Johnson (Corpse Bride) will direct, while Gary Ross (Pleasantville) will pen the script. Currently, Universal is eying a late 2008 release. Though its cast isn't as grand, Pixar hits theaters this summer with their own mouse tale, Ratatouille.

categories Movies, Cinematical