December 24, 2008


I may expound further later, but do not go see Tales of Despereaux. It is the grimmest kids movie since Babe: Pig In the City, but in place of blunt force existentialist/"you are all going to die", it's a post-Guantanamo didactic beat down about RIGHT and WRONG and rat terrorists that live in a dark cave (led by a way-too-tall rat who tries to goad the other rats misery into hate of the people) they feed upon trash and misery and live for watching gruesome death. Then there are fat little mice who live in proverbial darkness because they are supposed to be afraid, it's how they have always been. The first line in the movie "Once upon a time there was a mouse that loved Justice".

(Zut alors! If only!)

OH AND THERE IS A SUBPLOT ABOUT A SOUP BASED GIFT ECONOMY. And also a magical guy made from fruit suddenly appears, inexplicably, and almost saves the day! CEPT HE GETS EATEN! And dies.
Other subtle-as-a-caltrop morals on offer: fat people are people too. And so are ugly people. And the poor. But also rich people suffer and when the rich suffer we all suffer (Duh '09!). There is also a very dubious allegory about people being racists against rats, but not mice, and so the rats are just doing whats natural, reacting to that racism by letting "their hearts get hard" and so...can we blame them for wanting to eat the princess? Nevertheless, THEY DIE. It's not so much prescient as it is unbearably awful. Kneejerk liberal shaming techniques meets Charlottes Web=YOU WILL WISH THE CUTE MOUSE DIES AT THE END BECAUSE YOU WILL GROW TO HATE EVERY SECOND OF THIS MOVIES BILLION_DOLLAR EXISTENCE.

Posted by jessica hopper at December 24, 2008 01:09 PM | TrackBack