The Little Prince is originally a novella, written by Antoine deSaint-Exupéry. Netlfix and Paramount Pictures teamed up Mark Osborne to bring this children’s story to life. While not a direct adaptation, Osborne still succeeds in capturing the essence of the 1943 tale that is engaging enough for children and thoughtful enough for adults. The film blends together a modern narrative, in the 3d animation format, and an interspersed recollection of the story “The Little Prince”, in stop motion.
The presentation of the “adult” world as orderly, fiscal-centric, status- and vanity-driven is clear from the onset. A key aspect of the original story is the child’s inability to fully understand the adult way of life. This message is conveyed effortlessly throughout the movie. The dutiful little girl, voiced by Mackenzie Foy, trapped in between childhood freedom and a prison of structure, finds herself an unexpected friend that can teach her a lesson in how to appreciate life.
The themes throughout The Little Prince are overt and some sequences are far too drawn out for a kids movie. There is also little subtly to the narrative, not that there is anything wrong with that given it is targeted to children. It just comes across heavy handed at times. The messaging and morals that are permeating through this film are positive. The polar opposites of the role models in the film help paint clear lines for children. The contrast makes it easy and clear as to who is in the “right” and “wrong”. It is important to be responsible just as much as to have fun and experience life to the fullest.
The Little Prince is the first animated feature distributed by Netflix. It is not an original Netflix production, although likely their way of getting their feet wet in the animation world.
Directed by: Mark Osborne
Cinematography: Kris Kapp
Screenplay by: Irena Brignull, Bob Persichetti
Music by: Richard Harvey, Hans Zimmer
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Mackenzie Foy, Rachel McAdams, Riley Osborne
Runtime: 1h 48m
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Drama