The Tale of Despereaux (Rated G)
On DVD and Blue-Ray April 7th 2009
Directors: Sam Fell & Rob Stevenhagen
Cast: Matthew Broderick, Emma Watson, Dustin Hoffman, Sigourney Weaver, Kevin Kline, William H. Macy, Tracy Ullman, Stanley Tucci.
Despereaux is a mouse with no fear who goes on various adventures that eventually lead him to rescue an endangered princess and an entire kingdom from despair and darkness.
I really wanted to like this video. With a voice cast such as Broderick, Hoffman, Weaver, etc., I thought it would light up the screen, and besides, who doesn’t like a small mouse with big ears?
However, the video couldn’t keep my attention. I kept wondering if I’d missed something important at each scene because the character progression seemed so concentrated and lacking of detail. The challenge I acknowledge is that you can only squeeze so much character development into a children’s movie, but then perhaps the problem is there are too many characters to develop. The voice narration tries to piece it together but fails to do so. The movie also failed my ultimate test of keeping my toddler engrossed, and she can easily sit through an hour and a half of Noggin without blinking. Perhaps she’s not the intended audience, or it may take 2-3 viewing to soak it all in. Based on the DVD criteria I created for The Father Life, this wasn’t the right fit.
That is not to say it is not a great story. I do plan to read the book, as the movie intrigued my curiosity. The DVD has some great features, like Despereaux’s Quest game, and a very cute bonus feature on the “Top Ten Uses for Oversized Ears.” But overall this looks like one for the “long trip the grandma’s” pile.
Your Daddy Time: Wasted or Worth it? Wasted! 2/5 Stars
Miguel Guadalupe is a Director at Gartner Inc, a technology research company. Miguel (he’s the one in the middle) grew up in New York City and currently resides in New Jersey. A graduate of Wesleyan University, he currently volunteers for various alumni and community organizations, and is the proud father of a two beautiful girls.