Movie: The Tale of Despereaux
Director: Sam Fell and Robert Stevenhagen
Runtime: 90 Min.
Plot: (from IMDB) The tale of three unlikely heroes - a misfit mouse who prefers reading books to eating them, an unhappy rat who schemes to leave the darkness of the dungeon, and a bumbling servant girl with cauliflower ears - whose fates are intertwined with that of the castle's princess.
My Opinion: This was one of the movies I took the two girls I've been a nanny to the past few weeks. I haven't read the book that this is based on but my understanding is that the movie didn't follow it very well. It certainly had a feeling of a better-told story within it, I might see if I can pick the book up from the library sometime just to see how it was supposed to have been told.
As you can guess, I didn't think very much of it.
What I DID like was the animation. It was supurb. The world -felt- real and understandable and solid. The characters were beautifully designed and Despereaux was very cute.
The story itself was not only fumbling and non-linear, but also just... really depressing. I kept feeling that bad things kept happening... and as soon as I think "okay, the worst part is over, now we get to the part where they make it all better again..." No. MORE bad things happen, just to OTHER people.
It's a very darkly coloured film (and the youngest of the two girls assures me the gladiator scene with the cat was a bit too scary).
There's very little humor in it; or because some of the previous mentioned "bad things" are so bad that they kind of overshadow the should-be-humerous bits.
Worst of all though is that the story was so confusing that the two girls (aged 6 and 8) couldn't follow it so we spent our lunch afterwards with me trying to explain the story to them again in a way that made sense.