This movie has so much back story, that even a half hour in, you still really have no idea what the movie is about. Come to think of it, I still really don't know what it's about.
There's really no reason why this movie couldn't have been called The Tale of (pick any character from the movie). Despereaux's actually not in it very much at all and his story is the least intriguing of the 5 different stories that are being told simultaneously. And that's saying a lot because none of them are even remotely interesting or entertaining.
One of the reasons for the lack of entertainment value is the way the characters are introduced. Each of the characters has a 5 to 10 minute back story that is told as they become known to us. Unfortunately, they are all introduced before any real plot is developed. Since we don't know what their impact on the story will be, it's difficult to care about them. It actually gets pretty frustrating. The one character that I wanted some kind of story about but never got was the fruit/vegetable man. I know what your thinking, What's so interesting about a man who sells fruit and vegetables? Well that's easy... he doesn't sell fruit and vegetables, he is made out of fruit and vegetables. No explanation... he just is.
Another reason is because of how dreary and depressing it is. Even Despereaux isn't adorable enough to liven this up at all.
I haven't read The Tale of Despereaux, but I really can't imagine it being a good book. There isn't much of a story... at least not a coherent one. I know that the movie is never as good as the book, but even if the book is 10 times better than the movie... it still couldn't be good.
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