Despereaux

Plagues of penguins now plagues of rats. In animated feature films at least. The Tale of Despereaux? I wonder how Universal Pictures felt when Ratatouille came out? I saw this film this week and forgot to watch the animation because the story was appealing. So what did a renowned animator have to say? And what was your critique?

2 comments:

Kristi said...

Well, maybe I will see it after all, on your recommendation. I know a few people who worked on it, but I was still shying away due to the trailer being one of the ugliest things I've ever seen. The character design may be unique, but I just don't want to look at them. They're hideous!

Ed Hooks Craft Notes said...

""The Tale of Despereaux" is a beautifully animated jambalaya stew of a movie that is destined for the DVD racks. The main problem with the film is not the given circumstances, it is how un-original it is in the final analysis. I appreciate a brief homage (The deer-shooting sequence in "The Iron Giant") as much as the next guy. But it is something else again to borrow heavily from other work. You can make your own list, but I saw strong on-screen influence - or sometimes direct imitation -- of "Ratatouille", "Dumbo", "The Wizard of Oz", "Gladiator", "Shrek", "Three Penny Opera" and "The Man of LaMancha", just for starters.
In terms of scene structure, there is far too much talking. Movies "move", which is why we call them movies. Story and character will ideally be exposed through action, not verbal exposition. This movie is based on a popular children's book by Kate DiCamillo, and so it does a lot of telling rather than showing. Indeed, Sigorney Weaver provides an on-going voice-over narration to tell us what we are seeing."