Sam Fell, Rob Stevenhagen
The animation in THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX is top notch, as was the voice acting (I never knew Matthew Broderick could sound so pretty). I dug the original (if not more somber) take on legends and fables, and what can I say, I’m just a sucker for good underdog story.
It felt a bit odd hearing Sigourney Weaver spin the story, she hasn’t exactly been around much lately. I guess all her royalty checks from the ALIEN franchise must be drying up so she’s turned to voice acting. Good for her.
What amazes me most about these films is how they come off like they’re aimed at kids, which isn’t completely the case here, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I did. But then again, you’re talking to a guy who’s watched HERCULES and ALADDIN like fifty times a piece (this being the FIRST and LAST time I’ll ever admit to it). We’re certainly not in SHREK territory here, but I do feel the story was intended for a slightly more mature audience. And for that reason, I can see this being a big hit with both young and old.
The Tale of The Tale of Despereaux: The Author reveals that the idea for Despereaux came from her eight year old son, who wanted her to write a story about a tiny mouse with huge ears. Having my mom write something like this for me would have been the coolest thing ever.
Interactive Map of the Kingdom of Dor: Man, I wish we had stuff like this when I was a kid. An interactive map would have been fun to play around with. I always wished my Lego could talk.
Top Ten Uses for Oversized Ears: Well, that about sums it up. You get a cutsie picture with each example. And here I thought this wasn’t for little kids.
Despereaux’s Quest Game: More interactive fun for the kiddies, only this time it’s a multiple choice game to further Despereaux on his journey to save the Princess. Again, this stuff trumps all the toys I had as a kid.
Build-a-Boldo Game: One final game involving soup ingredients as you try to build Boldo. They let you choose between “easy” and “hard” for difficulties, I guess they felt the final game needed some extra challenge.
Rom: An added bunch of goodies you can unlock by opening the disk on your PC. You have to be running Windows 98 or better, but I really can’t see that being a problem for anyone. There’s also three "kiddie" cartoon trailers.