Variety Review: The Tale of Despereaux

At heart, "The Tale of Despereaux" is the story of a rat that nearly ruins a kingdom and of a mouse that valiantly saves it. Like a classic fairy tale, Despereaux's story changes a little with each retelling: Between the book, the film, the DS game and the Wii game, key plot points change, and even major scenes -- like the first encounter between the titular mouse and the beautiful princess -- play out differently.

But from the game's standpoint, the story hardly matters: While both the handheld and the console versions give perfunctory nods to the film, they pare the story down to help Despereaux speed through a castle in which everyday objects become an oversized obstacle course and dodging a ladybug can mean life or death.

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