Matthew Broderick plays the big cheese in tasty Tale Of Despereaux.
THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX (Sam Fell, Robert Stevenhagen). 95 minutes. Opens Friday (December 19). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NNN
The Tale Of Despereaux might be too scary for the wee-est of kidlets. Or so a parent whispered to me as he led his boy out while the mouse Despereaux was being menaced by a fearsome, vicious cat. It might also be a bit long, especially since it takes forever for our tiny hero to appear.
But for older kids, there's outstanding animation (particularly during the storybook sequences) and some irony-free humour. Matthew Broderick, whose flat, nasal voice might seem an odd choice for vocal work, is great as the small rodent who befriends a kind rat (Dustin Hoffman) and a sad princess (Emma Watson). The life lessons imparted by narrator Sigourney Weaver are unsubtle, but there are worse things to do during the holidays than teach kids about honour, tolerance and friendship.