‘The Little Prince’ film review
By Lauren Paulsen, Senior Columnist
The Little Prince is a novel written in 1943 by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It is beloved by millions, and still inspires many people today. One of these people was Mark Osborne, who had been deeply affected by the book and chose to make a movie adaptation.
Osborne’s adaptation is the first-ever animated feature film adaptation of The Little Prince. It blends the novel’s story with a new narrative featuring a little girl who becomes friends with the now elderly Aviator after moving in next door. The Little Girl (Mackenzie Foy) is trapped in a grown-up world for which her Mother (Rachel McAdams) is trying to prepare her, but in doing so, she completely takes control of the Little Girl’s life to the extent of setting up an entire Life Plan with every minute of every day planned out. The Little Girl is able to escape this tedious reality through the story the old Aviator (Jeff Bridges) tells her about the Little Prince (Riley Osborne).
The story is beautiful and moving, bathed in symbolism and philosophy with incredible imagination. The narrative takes the viewer on an emotional journey that won’t soon be forgotten as the Little Girl learns that human connections are really what is important, and that what’s truly essential can only be seen with the heart. Although that may sound cheesy, the movie manages to deliver its message wonderfully.
Interestingly, The Little Prince uses a unique blend of stop-motion animation for the original story parts, and computer animation for the Little Girl’s story. The stop-motion animation is truly creative and aesthetically pleasing. The desert scenes were actually made mostly using paper, which gives it quite a unique feel since the majority of stop-motion animated films are done with clay. The colours are brilliant, and it is really a feast for the eyes.
Although first cast with English audio, The Little Prince was produced by French studios. It is the French version which was released in the majority of countries alongside their local versions. Since its first screening at the 68th Cannes Film Festival in May 2015, the movie has become the most successful French animated film of all time. Before it was even released in Canada, it had grossed $88 million worldwide.
Some of the story is really deep and meaningful, with enough hidden elements to keep an older audience interested, while the whimsy and imagination will enthrall a younger audience. The Little Prince is truly a masterpiece that all ages will love, and should definitely be added to every movie collection.