The Tale of Despereaux

Rated 4.0

In a land darkened by the grief of a king mourning his lost queen, the fortunes of a brave little mouse (voiced by Matthew Broderick), a rat (Dustin Hoffman), a princess (Emma Watson) and a serving girl (Tracey Ullman) intertwine in unexpected ways to return joy to their benighted land. Directed by Sam Fell and Robert Stevenhagen and adapted by Gary Ross from Kate DiCamillo’s novel, the movie isn’t perfect—the plot complications sometimes threaten to tumble out of control—but it’s awfully good and gets better as it goes along. The movie draws strength from its all-star voice cast (including Sigourney Weaver, Kevin Kline, William H. Macy, Stanley Tucci, Ciarán Hinds, Christopher Lloyd, Robbie Coltrane and Frank Langella), who for once seem to have been chosen for their voices rather than their names.