There's no arguing that little Despereaux Tilling, with his big ears, twitchy, whiskery nose, and dashing red hat, is a mouse to be adored. In The Tale of Despereaux - the elaborate, computer-animated adaptation of Kate DiCamillo's Newbury Medal-winning children's novel - the tiny, intrepid rodent is so cute it's impossible not to ooh and aww, just looking at him.
Which is a good thing, because you'll need something to get you through the long stretches of fairytale pastiche that make up this overwrought yarn about individuality, courage, grief and forgiveness.
With echoes of (in no particular order) Ratatouille, Flushed Away, Gulliver's Travels, Shrek, and at least a half-dozen Grimms fables, The Tale of Despereaux transpires in the kingdom of Dor, an island land presided over by a royal clan with a penchant for soup. Yes, every year brings a soup festival around, in which the royal chef creates an amazing new broth to set the people's tastebuds atwitter. The aroma wafts up from the palace kitchen, into the courtyards and around town. Gastronomic ecstasy ensues.