What parents need to know

Parents need to know that although it's animated, this adaptation of Kate DiCamillo's popular Newbery-winning fantasy about a brave mouse tackles mature themes like longing, grief, loyalty, and hurt. There's nothing worrisome in the story aside from a relatively minor character's sudden heart attack and a few scenes of implied violence (there isn't any blood or guns, though Despereaux has a fascination with swords). But because the story's pacing is slower than most animated films and the themes could be difficult for preschool children to grasp, it may be hard for the family's littlest members to understand what some of the characters are feeling.
  • Families can talk about typical fairy-tale adventures. How is this movie similar and different from other fairy tales?
  • How many "heroes" are in this story? What makes Despereaux a different kind of hero?
  • What messages does that send to people watching his story?
  • Kids who are familiar with the book can compare the novel with the film. Did it meet your expectations?
  • What changes were made? Did the changes help the movie? Which adaptations of your favorite books do you like, and which were disappointing? Why?
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