I saw the animated film long before reading this short book it was based on. Both are narrated and stylistically the same, but the film expands the story with details that make the plot more polished and the moral clearer (I would say the same of How To Train Your Dragon, by the way). The symbolism of the red thread/cloth/blood in the book is more appropriately replaced by the healing properties of soup in the film. Also, the mouse Despereaux here seems only circumstantially brave compared to the quixotic hero of the film. Regardless, both book and film will be enjoyed by young and old.