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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animnation > Comedy > Adventure > The Tale of Despereaux (2008/Universal Blu-ray)

The Tale of Despereaux (2008/Universal Blu-ray)


Picture: B+†††Sound: B+††† Extras: C+†††Film: C+



With the world of feature animation really being dominated by the Pixar feature films over the past few years itís amazing how many animated childrenís films really get lost in the shuffle.I suppose it primarily has to do with the consistent grade A level product that Pixar produces that makes so many other features pale in comparison, even some of Dreamworks better efforts like Kung Fu Panda lost out to Wall-E at the Oscars.Here we have an interesting tale from Universal in the form of a film called The Tale of Despereaux that plays off many of the charms that audiences found compelling in Ratatouille, and in many respects this film feels like Shrek meets Ratatouille, only not nearly as good as either film, a bit tedious with itís adventure story, and despite fairly good animation, a rather lackluster package in whole.


Here we have an outcast mouse (Despereaux voiced by Matthew Broderick) and his companions Roscuro the Rat (voiced by Dustin Hoffman) and Miggery Sow the servant girl (voiced by Tracy Ullman) and there involvement Princess Pea (voiced by Emma Watson).Itís a cute film for the most part and kids under the age of 10 will likely find the film appealing and charming to a certain degree, but when a film like this is against such strong competition, the quality marks across the board are not nearly strong enough to make it a memorable film for years to come.


For this Blu-ray release the film is presented in its original scope 2.35 X 1 framing that is suited up in a High Definition 1080p transfer that looks quite good in just about all departments.The animation is vibrant and colorful with loads of detail and definition that Blu-ray is fully capable of delivering well and the images are striking, itís too bad the story doesnít carry more weight to match up with a good transfer.Likewise the DTS-HD 5.1 mix is engaging with sweeping and heartfelt music that sets this score apart from so many drab kidsí films, so hearing all the nuances in a lossless mix is certainly a real delight and a stellar reason along with the picture to actually own this disc.


I think itís fair to say that this Blu-ray makes up for a relatively average film in its performance on this 50GB disc, there are also several extras that are geared towards kids, but most of the material is promotional type and will not really attract kidsí attention more than the first go around.


All in all itís a disc worth having if you have kids that can still appreciate even the most basic of fairy tales.



-†† Nate Goss


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