The Tale of Despereaux

  • Directors: Sam Fell, Robert Stevenhagen
  • Producers: Gary Ross, Allison Thomas
  • Writers: Novel, Kate DiCamillo, Screenplay, Gary Ross, Will McRobb, Chris Viscardi
  • Genres: Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Family, Fantasy
  • Actors: Matthew Broderick, Emma Watson, Dustin Hoffman, Robbie Coltrane, Christopher Lloyd, Kevin Kline, Tracey Ullman, Ciaran Hinds, Frances Conroy, Tony Hale, Richard Jenkins, Frank Langella, William H Macy, Charles Shaughnessy, Stanley Tucci

The film opens with a ship sailing into the kingdom of Dor’s dock. Roscuro (a rat) (Dustin Hoffman), is aboard a ship with his human friend Pietro, sailing to the kingdom known for its soup on “Royal Soup Day”. “Royal Soup Day” in this area is held in higher regard than Christmas.

As they are taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of the festivities, Roscuro is mesmerized by the smell of the huge pot of soup being prepared in the castle. He leaves his human companion in search of the aroma. Meanwhile, André (the royal head chef) (Kevin Kline), pressured into finishing the soup minutes before its presentation, sends out his staff, and argues with a sentient anthropomorphic “Soup Genie”, named Boldo, over the ingredients of the soup to be presented to the royal family. Roscuro’s search for the soup’s smell takes him to a chandelier directly over the royal soup bowl. Upon presentation of the soup to the queen and her subsequent first taste, Roscuro is overcome by the aroma, loses his grip, and falls into the queen’s soup bowl, causing her to have a heart attack, which led her to death.

Roscuro is horrified to see what he has done and tries to apologize but is chased through the castle, to which he sees Pietro’s ship leaving the dock with out him. Roscuro then falls down a grate into the castle dungeon, where he meets Botticelli (Ciaran Hinds), the leader of the Rat world. Botticelli dislikes Roscuro’s gentle ways and tries to force him to conform to the brutal nature of the other rats.

Mig is rescued by the jailer, who is revealed to be her father in an emotional turn of events. Roscuro is reunited with Pietro aboard the ship that brought him. The princess and the king decide to soothe their grief of losing the queen by relying on each other for love and support. And Despereaux is reunited with his family. Despereaux and the princess remain close friends and the little mouse continues his adventures.

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