Tale of Despereaux (Blu-ray)

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Product Overview

Damon stars as roy miller, a rogue U.S. Army officer who must hunt through covert and faulty intelligence hidden on foreign soil before war escalates in an unstable region.

Specifications

Studio Universal
SKU 210687512
UPC 025195053051
UPC 14 00025195053051
Format Blu-Ray DVD
Release Date 1/24/2012
Rating Rating
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  2.35:1
Reviews
ReviewSource Reel.com
Review The Tale of Despereaux began life as a children's book and the animated film version does its best to reproduce the sounds of a storybook. The characters, especially the brave little titular mouse, are earnest rather than wisecracking, and Sigourney Weaver speaks in soothing, empathetic tones as the narrator, just like Mom. The movie might have looked a bit more like a lush picture book, though, if it had been hand-drawn rather than computer-generated...Computers are now the default tools of the animation world, of course, and animators have produced many stunning and even personal images using them. But the animation in Despereaux is hardly state-of-the-art, and so in exchange for that token modernity we get the same waxy, deformed humans a computer could've struggled with in the late `90s. The mammals fare a bit better, but the movie's limited charm comes from its old-fashioned, homespun quality, not the CGI breeze rustling through tiny CGI mouse hairs...If computers have indeed turned animation into a more competitive game than it was a few decades ago, The Tale of Despereaux is ill-equipped; an unfair observation, perhaps, but difficult to sidestep...Allow me then to delicately mention that following Flushed Away and especially Ratatouille, Despereaux's world of aspiring rodents is a little mustier than its predecessors...As children's entertainment, The Tale of Despereaux has its heart in the right place, and might rightly be taken as an antidote to its screechier, talking-dog-laden, live-action cousins. But with Pixar's advances towering on one side and classic Disney features on the other, this wan little picture might just as well slip, mouse-like, into the cracks.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer Jesse Hassenger
ReviewRating 6
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review "The Tale of Despereaux" is one of the most beautifully drawn animated films I've seen, rendered in enchanting detail and painterly colors by an art department headed by Oliver Adam. With a story centering on a big-eared little mouse named Despereaux, a sniffy rat named Roscuro and various other members of the animal and vegetable kingdoms, it is a joy to look at frame by frame, and it would be worth getting the Blu-ray to do that...I am not quite so thrilled by the story, which at times threatens to make Gormenghast seem straightforward. There are three societies with interconnections (mouse, rat and human), plus a man made of vegetables who possibly runs his social life out of the produce market and maybe dates dates...Roscuro (with a Ratso voice by Dustin Hoffman) is first on the scene, racing from a ship in port to sniff at the kingdom's annual spring festival, celebrated by the royal chef Andre (Kevin Kline) by creating a new soup to be shared by every citizen. Alas, he falls in the soup of the queen, who then falls in the soup herself and puts the king in mourning. The king then banishes soup and rats from his realm, which is little matter to the rats, who have a highly evolved civilization somewhere belowstairs...The movie is based on four Newbery Award-winning novels by Kate DiCamillo, all unread by me, but somehow reminded me of another wonderful mouse story, Ben and Me, by the great Richard Lawson...I suppose the plot will be easier for DiCamillo's readers to untangle, and that those too young or too old to have read them will nevertheless appreciate the look of the film. What I'd like to see is this same team take on a better-organized screenplay. Has anyone read the Gormenghast trilogy? There's a classic that would look just about righty with this look.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 8
Features
Widescreen
Product Attributes
Video Format Blu-Ray
Quotes
Claudia Puig, USA Today ...the themes of courage, hope and decency are sweetly inspiring.
Dove Foundation A delightful story that the entire family will enjoy!
Film Advisory Board Heroic, charming, stunning! Flat-out fantastic!
Shawn Edwards, FOX-TV Enchanting, heartwarming and fun!
Tracie Cooper, TV Guide A perfect fairytale, adhering to The Princess Bride's standards of fighting, fencing, torture, and true love...

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