Reviewed by: Dymphna Meeds
Fear, Anxiety and Worry… What does the Bible say? Answer
How can I help my child to trust in God's care when she is afraid at night? Answer
How can I be and feel forgiven? Answer
If God forgives me every time I ask, why do I still feel so guilty? Answer
POVERTY—What does the Bible say about the poor? Answer
I’m ugly. Why was God so unfair to me this way? Answer
Are there biblical examples of depression and how to deal with it? Answer
What should a Christian do if overwhelmed with depression? Answer
|Featuring:||Emma Watson, Dustin Hoffman, Matthew Broderick, Frank Langella, Sigourney Weaver, Christopher Lloyd, Robbie Coltrane, Kevin Kline, William H. Macy, Stanley Tucci, Richard Jenkins, Ciarán Hinds, Tony Hale, Frances Conroy, Tracey Ullman, Bronson Pinchot, James Nesbitt, Sam Fell, Daniel Riordan, McNally Sagal, Patricia Cullen, Jane Karen|
|Director:||Sam Fell, Robert Stevenhagen|
|Producer:||Framestore Feature Animation, Larger Than Life Productions, Relativity Media, Universal Animation Studios, Universal Pictures, Laia Alomar, Robin Bissell, Celia Boydell, Ryan Kavanaugh, David Lipman, Gary Ross, William Sargent, Tracy Shaw, Allison Thomas|
“Small hero. Big heart.”
“When someone has grief, they need to take it out some way. They need to find someone else to blame it on.”
In the kingdom of Dor, this cycle of hurt and blame is exactly what happens. When a kind and friendly rat named Roscuro (Dustin Hoffman from “The Messenger,” “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium,” “Meet the Fockers,” “Rain Man,” “Wag the Dog”) accidentally falls into the Queen's soup; she dies of fright on the spot. Thus, the king banishes all soup and rats. Upon this proclamation, the light left the land and no rain fell. Yet, through all the darkness, one person continued to hope. Princess Pea (Emma Watson from the “Harry Potter…” series) longs for light, rain, soup, and even rats again. Little does she know that the very person… er, mouse to do it is just being born. After all, as fairy tales tell one, “A hero doesn't appear until the world really needs one.”
From an enjoyment point of view, I was a little leery about how far this movie would stray from the book. However, they did a pretty good job keeping them similar. The animation was beautiful, and many aspects were wonderful. Although I wasn't enthralled in this movie, the little four year old with me loved it and didn't want it to end. So I do believe that children will enjoy it, if they aren't scared.
Desperaux (Matthew Broderick from “The Producers,” “Deck the Halls,” “Good Boy!,” “Inspector Gadget,” “Ladyhawke,” “The Stepford Wives”) is said in the beginning to “love honor and justice and always told the truth.” And throughout the movie he lives up to those high standards. He longs to be a knight and fight for justice, truth, and bravery. And he truly upholds all these virtues throughout the movie and risks his life for his “quest.”
Roscuro breaks out of the rat stereotype by loving the light and talking to people in a friendly way. When the head of Ratworld, Botticelli (Ciarán Hinds from “Munich,” “Oscar and Lucinda,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Amazing Grace,” “The Nativity Story”) tries to turn him into a “real rat” by taking him to arena games and feeding him living creatures, Roscuro turns away. When Desperaux is about to be eaten by a cat, Roscuro saves his life. Slowly, we watch their friendship grow, and he also decides to be a knight trying to save Princess Pea. *SPOILER* Although he let's his revenge take a hold of him for awhile, in the end, Roscuro is willing to do the right thing. *SPOILER END*
Princess Pea refuses to lose hope throughout the whole movie. She is also shown as a sweet and wise girl. Although she makes a few mistakes, she repents later.
Miggory Sow (Tracey Ullman), a young servant girl, longs to be a princess. In the end, she learns that every little girl is a princess in the eyes of her daddy. We also see how hard it is on both the parent and the child when families are split apart.
Grief is shown as something that is normal, but must be dealt with in the right way. The King is so engrossed in his own grief that he doesn't care for anyone at all, not even his daughter. We see how that has an effect on everyone.
In a similar light, this movie shows how one person's choice effects everyone around them. The king hurts Princess Pea by ignoring her, and then she accidentally hurts Miggery by insulting her, as well as Roscuro. Thus, one sees how important it is to follow Christ's example with our actions.
However, we learn that grief is not the strongest emotion one can feel; it is forgiveness. Roscuro tries to right the wrong he committed accidentally to Princess Pea by asking forgiveness. However, she screams when she sees him and doesn't accept his apology. Thus, his heart turns hard, and he plots against her, along with Miggery. *SPOILER* But in the end, Roscuro realizes what is right and saves Princess Pea. All the characters ask forgiveness for what wrong doing they did, and everyone is reconciled with each other. *SPOILER END*
Although he is small, Desperaux is confident in himself. In fact, he believes himself to be a giant. Along with Roscuro being a noble rat, this movie shows that appearance and name isn't everything. What matters is what we choose in our actions; if we follow Christ or our own longing.
Bravery is upheld as a noble and good thing. Desperaux also learns to read books instead of eating them, thus teaching the importance of reading.
The biggest problem with this movie, as in so many other cartoons, was violence. Two characters push each other around, the Queen dies dramatically, several times knights chase Roscuro and throw weapons such as an axe or malice at him, a knight is hit in the head with a weapon, and another one is hit on the foot. Several characters fall a long ways into the dungeon; a coin almost runs mice over, Desperaux runs through mousetraps multiple times, crabs fight, a dragon attacks a knight, knights fight one another, a platform falls on some people, a human throws Desperaux, rats attack other characters, Miggory rips up Princess Pea's picture and steals a butcher knife from the kitchen to use on her (or to threaten her). Princess Pea is tied up and forced down to the dungeon. A man is stabbed in the foot by a needle, and Desperaux sword fights different rats.
By far the scariest parts of the film are when the rats have their “games.” Once Desperaux is thrown in the arena, and they watch him battle a cat. Another time, Princess Pea is dragged in and all the rats chant “Eat, eat!” and try to eat her. *SPOILER* Botticelli dangles Desperaux over the cat and contemplates on letting the cat have him or eating him. However, in a turn of events, Botticelli is pushed into a helmet with the cat, resulting in his off screen death.
Scary and dark images are, also, all around the castle. Many times skulls and bones are shown. The rats’ food is particularly nasty. Once we see a pile of dead things and rubbish, and other times wiggling worms are shown. A blind rat looks rather creepy.
Miggory's uncle is verbally abusive to her, although this is shown very briefly. He, also, sells her for money. Desperaux's father Lester (William H. Macy) never tries to save his son's life. Although this is shown in a bad light, it is still tough, especially for parents at the movie with their children.
Although Desperaux is trying to do the right thing, he does break many rules and does some foolhardy things as well. We should not obey rules that are against our faith, but we shouldn't be disobedient always, either. There is also a fine line between being brave and being unsafe in our decisions.
Something that looks like wine is poured into a soup. A drunk rat falls down on the street. Knights drink wine.
Andre the chef (Kevin Kline) has a type of vegetable spirit who helps him cook called Boldo (Stanley Tucci). A rat is shown charming a worm up like a snake. When Desperaux returns to the mice to ask for help, they think he is a ghost. The soup in the kingdom acts a bit like magic, making the light return when nothing else did.
Several characters call others names. Christmas is said to be nothing compared to Soup Day.
Although this is not one of best animated movies I have seen, ‘Desperaux’ displayed voice and artistic talent. Be aware that this movie should have been PG for violence, but otherwise is a pretty family-friendly movie.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.