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Sigourney Weaver on The Tale of Despereaux

Published December 15, 2008 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Fox Searchlight
The Tale of DespereauxThe Tale of Despereaux

Sigourney Weaver narrates The Tale of Despereaux, a fairy tale about a mouse saving a kingdom from their own fear of rats. She reads the story as the audiences sees the animation come to life.

Sigourney Weaver Narrates The Tale of Despereaux

"Despereaux’s like this very ornate, beautiful orchid almost," Weaver said. "As you move one side another story comes up. What I think is so generous about the movie to children, they have confidence the children will be able to follow the twists and turns and ups and downs of this story. I think the big message that I just love from it and I loved it in the book too, is mice aren’t born knowing how to cower. They have to learn that. I love that. I think it’s a very inspiring story for all ages."

It's not just mice and rats. There are kings and princesses, stable girls and more. "It’s all about redemption and we all have it in us to make the right decision and be redeemed. I think I find the father story with Mig so moving and what Tracey Ulman does with Mig, that part of the story just breaks your heart. Also, Gary [Ross] and Kate [DiCamillo] bring everyone back together and it’s resolved, but I think it’s a really, it's really a story about big, big things like forgiveness and redemption."

The Tale of DespereauxThe Tale of Despereaux

The Tale of DespereauxThe Tale of Despereaux

The Tale of DespereauxThe Tale of Despereaux

The Tale of DespereauxThe Tale of Despereaux

Weaver's voice is there to help welcome audiences into the story, like they're hearing it from a close relative, if a bit eccentric. "That's the way I saw it and I think a lot of it came from Gary because I felt we were slightly trying to do something with the narrator that had not been done before. It wasn't just one of these 'Once upon a time in a long, long…' She had to make contact and that's why I appreciated when he brought some poor, hapless intern in for me to drone at."

The kids can enjoy the fantasy, but Weaver hopes the bigger picture sinks in. "I love the way the school was portrayed. As a mother, I really remember a teacher saying, 'Well, he's got this problem. We're going to handle it. It's fine.' And without making them bad or anything, it just tells the story of how Despereaux stands out in this school where he isn't interested in learning to be afraid, et cetera. There was such a realism and affection without making things good or bad. I think that's what I really admire about the film. I love that it's not an easy good/bad. It's complicated. I think it's very respectful to children."

The Tale of Despereaux opens to theaters on December 19th.

For the trailers, poster and more movie info, go to the The Tale of Despereaux Movie Page.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Fox Searchlight

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