The Tale of Despereaux is a compelling morality tale where themes of acceptance, sacrifice, forgiveness, beauty, light, and love find their narrative voice and compelling action. It is a disservice to the young to think that these adult themes or heroic choices are limited to the grown-up world. In fact, reality knows no age limit to nobility of purpose, no size limit to the expanse of the heart. It’s best to learn these lessons when one is young – to work them out on the playground, in the classroom, around the kitchen table, or in this case, through a beautifully told adventure about a tiny mouse with big ears…and an even bigger heart. . . . Few movies depict forgiveness as central to a virtuous heroic life. . . . Imagination always precedes knowledge. It’s better to illustrate this lesson in a story, than teach it as a rule. For when the heart is engaged, the feet follow. The Tale of Despereaux is tale of redemption.
Read the whole thing, which also includes discussion questions.