The Tale of Despereaux

The Tale of Despereaux

If you know anything about fairy tales, then you know that a hero doesn't appear until the world really needs one.

This movie tells the story of a misfit mouse who prefers reading books to eating them, an unhappy rat who schemes to leave the darkness of the dungeon, and a bumbling servant girl with cauliflower ears - whose fates are intertwined with that of the castle's princess.

What I love about this movie is the different degrees of anthropomorphism. There is the mice of mouseworld, who grow up to be scared and timid. They learn to scurry and be afraid of everything. They act and think like mice (of what we imagine mice to think like I guess). Then there is the rats of ratworld. They are dirty and stay away from the light. They eat the scraps of revolting food and hate everybody and everything. These two groups have more animal qualities and act and make decisions based apon those qualities.

Then we have the heroes - Desperaux and Roscuro. Desperaux is a mouse, and unlike the rest of the mice in mouse world, he is brave and is curious about the world. Roscuro is not mean and dirty and most of all loves the light while the rest of the rats hate it. These two characters are much more human that animal, as they act, think and make decision based on their human qualities.

I like seeing these different levels of anthropomorphism in the same movie for it allows me to see to what degree I feel the character is believeable, to be thinking and have a strong character but to still allow its true animal nature and instints to shine through. For me I believe I enjoyed the mice from mouseworld the most in this movie. While they talked and wore tiny little mouse clothing, they still retained their basic mouse like characteristics and all their decisons were based around these qualities. I really enjoyed seeing this.


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