Dear Reader

Random musings on reading and books from a librarian in training.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Book vs. Movie: Tale of Despereaux

I recently took my niece and nephews to see a Tale of Despereaux. Now I try to always read the book before I see the movie. I really enjoyed the book - I thought it was sweet and fairly complex for a children's book.

For the uninitiated, Tale of Despereaux takes place in a kingdom that has banned soup and rats after an unfortunate rat in the soup incident. The rats have been banished to the dungeon where there's no light. Despereaux finds himself banished to the basement and likely death after he breaks a cardinal rule and talks to a human.

Some favorite passages:
Say it, reader. Sa the word "quest" out loud. It is an extraordinary word, isn't it? So small and yet so full of wonder, so full of hope."

"Is it ridiculous for a very small, sickly, big-eared mouse to fall in love with beautiful princess named pea?
The answer is ... yes. Of course, it's ridiculous.
Love is ridiculous.
But love is also wonderful. And powerful."

Wonderful book. The movie. Eh. Let's just say I fielded several questions from nephews mostly along the lines of 'Is this movie over already?'

The animation was great. However, I felt like they changed the story way too much - they drastically shortened Mig's backstory and altered what they left in. I felt like some of the changes were odd. For instance, they made the female cook a male cook, how Despereaux met the princess, how he met the jailer and... Really I could go on, there were so many changes.

I didn't really understand why the filmmakers felt they had to change so much, but it really prevented my enjoyment of the movie.

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