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"The Tale of Despereaux" - Movie Review

I took my kids to see "The Tale of Despereaux" earlier this evening.  It's rated G, which always makes my life easier, since there are no worries about language, or super-scary scenes for our kiddos. 

The title character is a small mouse with giant ears, who is essentially fearless.  In fact, his teachers and parents are concerned about him, because he doesn't cower or scurry like the other mice.  Instead, he seems to possess an inborn calm.  The setting appears to be during medieval times.

The opening scene involves a rat that causes someone to die (by fright perhaps?), which leads the king to make a series of proclamations that steal the joy from the kingdom, along with the very sunlight itself.  Dreariness covers all during this time.  As with many movies of this genre, our intrepid hero is placed in a tough position, and has a chance to save the day.  I won't give away any key plot points beyond that.

I mentioned to my wife that the animation was fantastic, much like a lushly illustrated storybook.  Clearly, over the past decade, they have made huge strides with animation, so I guess that's not as surprising anymore.  What made this movie unique was the fact that they used multiple types of animation, some for the primary story and some for Despereaux's daydreams, which look more like they were created with actual paper.

I would highly recommend this movie for the whole family, especially if you have kids aged 5-10.  The story is engaging and entertaining, and it wasn't terribly long, clocking in at around 85-90 minutes. 

My seven-year-old daughter loved the movie so much that she proclaimed, "That was a GREAT movie!!" as the closing credits began to roll.  We are going to buy the book so that she can enjoy that, too.

Thanks for reading!

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