Ultra-charming animated fantasy about a brave little mouse in love with a fairy tale princess seems to borrow story elements from Ratatouille, but its even better than that 2007 hit, thanks largely to its artwork and characterizations. Fearless Despereaux (voice of Matthew Broderick) may be the cutest cartoon critter of all time, backed by a vivid cast of mice, rats, and grotesque humans voiced by Emma Watson, Dustin Hoffman, Ciarán Hinds, Stanley Tucci, Richard Jenkins, Kevin Kline, William H. Macy, Frank Langella, et al. Best of all are the extreme close-ups you can count the pores on a rats nose. Or not. The screenplay, by Gary Ross from the childrens book by Kate DiCamillo, seems to go off in all directions, but thats part of its charm. One look into Despereauxs face is all it takes. Grandly directed by Sam Fell (Flushed Away) and animator Robert Stevehagen (The Road to El Dorado) (94 min.).
Director: Sam Fell and Rob Stevenhagen
Writer: Gary Ross and Kate DiCamillo
Producer: Allison Thomas and Gary Ross
Cast: Matthew Broderick, Robbie Coltrane, Frances Conroy, Tony Hale, Ciaran Hinds, Dustin Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, Kevin Kline, Frank Langella and Christopher Lloyd