I took one of our sons and baby daughter to see the "The Tale of Despereaux" the other day, the film adaptation of the Newbery Medal-winning book by Kate DiCamillo.

The film was not only cute and fun and entertaining, it offered something that many films today fail to--a positive and encouraging message.

Despereaux is a mouse unlike other mice--he is born without the instinct to cower in fear of everything around him. His family, friends, and fellow mouse citizens are frustrated and discouraged by the fact that he just won't be afraid like all the other mice.

"Oh, he'll learn to be afraid. Just give him time," his family is told.

But not this mouse. He becomes the Don Quixote of rodents. After reading a book about knights and castles and dragons, he is determined to set out into the world with no regrets and no fears.

His chivalry and bravery lead him to ultimately rescue a princess, restore hope to an entire kingdom, and teach us all a thing or two about compassion, courage, and forgiveness.

"The Tale of Despereaux" calls each of us, young and old alike, to reach for the pinnacle of our potential. The seemingly simple story of a mouse becomes a broader vehicle to teach us all that who we are today is just a tiny shadow of what we are ultimately destined to become. You ARE someone special. You DO have something to contribute. And you CAN be more than who you are.

Don't be fooled. This isn't just a movie for the kiddies. Use it as an excuse to see it, if you must. But don't be afraid to open up discussions with them about the positive and beautiful and encouraging message behind the beautiful artwork and elegant story.

Go see this. It's a wonderful movie that makes you want to run out and read the book if you haven't already.

It provides a motivational message that is grossly lacking not just in movies, but in our society at large.