“The Tale of Despereaux”: Read the Book. (Don’t Wait for the Movie.)

“The Tale of Despereaux”: Read the Book. (Don’t Wait for the Movie.) December 13, 2008

My review of The Tale of Despereaux is coming to Christianity Today Movies next Friday. For now, I’ll just say this: Read the book before you see the movie.

Please. Pretty please. You’ll thank me for it.

It’s one of those classic books like Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth, or Barrie’s Peter Pan, or Tolkien’s The Hobbit, or Lewis’s Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe or Macdonald’s Princess and the Curdie, or Ende’s Momo. It sits on my shelf of personal favorites right alongside those volumes. This movie is as different from the book as the movie Prince Caspian is different from the book. It’s not a *bad* movie, but believe me… it’s better to experience this story as a novel first than to crowd your head with an altogether different storyline, and different personalities for DiCamillo’s wonderful characters. More details coming on Friday…

Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment

5 responses to ““The Tale of Despereaux”: Read the Book. (Don’t Wait for the Movie.)”

  1. Thanks Jeffrey – in those few sentences you confirmed my suspiscions from the Despereaux trailer that the movie would be dramatically different from the book. Seems like they “Shreked” the story.

  2. I’ll second your plea, Jeffrey. The trailer is horrifying, while the book is SUCH a gem. I actually found it through a recommendation you made awhile back, so thanks for that!

    Back to topic, though, while the movie isn’t as bad as I fear, the book is definitely the way to go.

  3. … And now it’s official. Wouldn’t it be interesting if the Mormon-inspired franchise helped release a Director’s Cut of “Compass”?

  4. I normally find that reading the book will often ruin the movie for me, but that seeing the movie doesn’t ruin the book. Maybe because I like the complexity of a book, and the greater degree of imaginative input that I have as a reader. Would your advice hold for someone like me? For instance, I saw The Children of Men with Clive Owens before reading the P.D. James book. They were vastly different stories, but the movie did not lessen my enjoyment of the book.