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: Rob Stevenhagen and Sam Fell
Producer: Gary Ross, Allison Thomas, William Sargent, Ryan Kavanaugh, David Lipman and Robin Bissell
Cast: Matthew Broderick, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Watson, Tracey Ullman, Kevin Kline, William Macy, Stanley Tucci, Ciarán Hinds, Robbie Coltrane, Frances Conroy, Tony Hale, Frank Langella, Richard Jenkins, Christopher Lloyd and Sigourney Weaver