So a few days ago, I reviewed the book The Tale of Despereaux… it was just fantastic and because of how much I enjoyed it… I then went and watched the movie. The movie was also pretty good but there were a few things that I wanted to discuss.
The book was split into four mini books or parts. These covered three different characters and the final part brought them all together. I really enjoyed this and thought it was a brilliant way of getting he story across, however in the movie this was all blurred together, there wasn’t as much of a separation and this worked well, but I definitely preferred the other.
I loved the art in the book but to be honest I found the art of the animation in the movie much more exciting and fitting. There were parts of the book that were so dark I couldn’t tell what was even meant to be happening and the rats were hard to differentiate between. The movie was better for this and I really loved the way a lot of the characters were portrayed.
The movie took a lot of liberties with the story and I guess that is why it says it is based on the book… Things were changed which I didn’t agree with, like Despereaux’s mother wasn’t as awful in the movie as she is in the book, and the family was reduced to make it more nuclear. Despereaux’s dad didn’t show as much despair for what had happened to his son and there was none of the silent forgiveness that there is in the book. I thought that the movie went along with stereotypes in a bigger way and that upset me a fair bit… it also wasn’t as harsh as the book so I think there was a lot of thoughts about how sad a movie for children can actually be when they were making it.
I thought that the voices fitted the story well and recognised a lot of them from other films and stuff. The strangest had to be Emma Watson as the princess because she just sounded exactly like Hermione so that took some getting used to Sigourney Weaver as the narrater was a bit odd but she did it well and I liked Robbie Cultranes voice as Gregory… however Gregory in the film isn’t the same character as in the book which was another thing I found a bit silly… Other actors included Matthew Broderick as Despereaux, Dustin Hoffman, Stanley Tuchi and Tracey Ullman
There were also things added in the movie that just weren’t there at all in the book and o be honest, I really didn’t like them. There was one thing in particular that just made the whole movie seem ridiculous to me and I got a bit annoyed at it… it probably would have been ok if I hadn’t read the book but because I had, I wasn’t impressed.
The movie was good but it honestly did cement the idea that the movies are never as good as the books in my mind… I always think that but in this case the only thing I preferred was the art. I would definitely recommend the movie for kids to watch but I think I’ll be more likely to recommend the book to read!