Spoiler! The film takes an interesting change in the ending and while some may see this as an exploitation of the original story, I think it’s a beautiful way to make sure our Little Prince finds himself home and for a whole new generation to get to know him and to know that when they look up in the stars that there is a little Prince laughing back at them.
“The Little Prince” has always had a constant presence in my childhood. My mom would always quote from the book and I can remember that our worn, yellowed and tattered copy of the book would always be lying around the house.
So naturally, I was thrilled when I heard about a movie adaptation of the beloved book. I can still remember the boa constrictor drawn from the outside and the boa constrictor drawn from the inside and of the sheep inside the box. All of these images came rushing back to me once I started re-reading the book, in anticipation of the movie.
Before I got on to re-reading the book, I checked out the trailer for the movie first, because even if I was initially excited about the movie, I had reservations about how it was going to be adapted, becasue honestly it doesn’t follow a traditional storyline and is philosophical in nature and uses symbolism to relay it’s timeless lessons. When I saw the promotional posters and images for the film, I wasn’t too keen on the style of the 3D animation that was used either.
After seeing the trailer though, I was reassured that Kung Fu Panda director Mark Osbourne was going to do right by Antoine de Saint-Exupèry’s 1943 masterpiece. The novella The Little Prince is the 3rd most translated book in the world and was voted as the best book of the 20th century in France.
Osbourne’s The Little Prince is the first animated feature film adaptation of the novel. The film used 3D Stop motion animation to depict the story of The Little Prince as it was in the book, I was really impressed on their faithfulness to the books’ original sketches and lines. Computer animated graphics were used to tell a parallel modern story. Elements from The Little Prince are seamlessly woven in a modern narrative about a young girl who deals with a competetive, automated world and the pressures of a strong willed mother who wants her to become an adult right away.
As I am entering my 30s and where my life is defined by workdays, weekends, deadlines and must-do’s, I could really relate with the themes of the story, social criticism on the strange world of adults who ‘forget’ what it’s like to be a child. I could see myself in the blinded and busy adults in the film, who can’t even look up to appreciate the sunset or the stars, like the Little Prince. The story deals a lot with life and themes of death, big tears rolled down my checks as I watched the film.
I took my mom with me as my date during the press screening and she kept peering at me while I was crying and watching the film.
“Are you crying?”
“Why are you crying?”
“Is it because you remember your dad?”
(My dad died when I was just 10 years old). Yeah-my mom isn’t exactly an ideal movie buddy but yes! she was right that I thought about my dad, among other things while watching the movie. There are just so many themes and lessons in the movie that you can’t just contain in a box (with a sheep)- so to speak. It’s a beautiful visual experience, without loosing the essence of the timeless classic.
For me, an audience that claps at the end of movie is a good indication of how much a movie has touched them and I’m more than happy to say that after the film, there was a steady clap from the audience, as they probably wiped tears from their eyes and their hearts echoed sighs of happiness.
Aside from the animation and the story, I also enjoyed the soundtrack of the film from Hans Zimmer (whose work includes The Lion King, Interstellar, Inception and The Dark Knight Trilogy) which also included cute French songs. I already downloaded the soundtrack on Spotify! (I’m currently listening to the soundtrack while writing this).
The film also features a line up of renowned actors & actresses who lent their voices to the charactes.
Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, Marion Cotillard, James Franco, Benicio Del Toro, Ricky Gervais, Paul Giamatti and Mackenzie Foy. Honestly I didn’t think that the film would still need an all star line up for the characters’ voices since people would be going to see the movie for the story.
When the cast of characters were already shown during the credits I could hear the people behind me being surprised since they had no idea it was famous actors and actresses lending their voices but it’s still a nice to know information you may want to be armed with before seeing the film.
10/10 ⭐️ Make sure to catch this timeless classic with a modern twist! The Little Prince is in cinemas on December 2 and is distributed by Captive Cinema.