Ten-year-old Arthur, in a bid to save his grandfather's house from being demolished, goes looking for some much-fabled hidden treasure in the land of the Minimoys, tiny people living in harmony with nature.
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. Written by
Sylvain Chomet was originally set to direct before being dismissed by the production company, to be replaced with Sam Fell. Chomet stated his ideas were too dark for them, and that marketing would question his character designs with future merchandising in mind. See more »
When Despereaux is about to be dropped into the rat dungeon, he has red string wrapped around his waist. The camera cuts away to show the dungeon, and when it comes back to see Despereaux, the red string is missing for one shot. When the camera shows him again before being dropped, the string reappears properly. See more »
I just saw this movie again, and stand by my original assessment of it. It's an underrated classic, with far more depth than most family movies. On the one hand it's more simplistic than, say, a Pixar film. It's more of a fairy tale like The Little Prince. And while I don't care for the character designs too much (though they do have an artistic charm to them), from a writing standpoint I would put Despereaux on par with the best Pixar films, maybe more so.
Most of the main characters are seriously damaged, yet believably human (even the rodents). The way some characters fall from grace is more believable than anything Lucas came up with in Star Wars III.
If it has a failing it's with some of the secondary characters, such as the Soup Maker's assistant (made up of vegetables) which just didn't really seem necessary.
But the themes of anger, regret, sadness, depression, and the power of forgiveness makes this a movie I feel more children should be exposed to. It's a very much a children's movie, but deals very much with adult themes.
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