There is a skill to adapting a book into a movie. The rise and fall of action in a series of chapters often doesn’t translate directly to screen and the necessary beats of a feature film.
The Tale of Despereaux isn’t a bad film. It’s got an all-star cast, sharp animation, and a lovable protagonist. It also has too many characters, a convoluted plot, and a less than satisfying ending.
It’s 20+ minutes into the film before we even meet young Despereaux (Matthew Broderick), a small mouse with a big heart who takes instantly the notion of chivalry. Despereaux doesn’t fit into a society that wants mice to cower and run; he dreams of adventure, and even doodles drawings of cats.
Events involving a rat named Roscuro (Dustin Hoffman) years before have led to the banishment of both ...