Right in the feels.
Bringing Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic story sounds like a impossible. The Little Prince is short and abstract – making a full movie out of it is not easy work and filmmakers have failed before trying to translate the famous tale into the screens.
Miraculously, Kung Fu Panda‘s Mark Osborne and screenwriters Irena Brignull and Bob Persichetti achieved to bring an entertaining adaptation, true to the beloved source material. Osborne’s independently produced The Little Prince is really good.
The Little Prince is fortunate to have an amazing team behind it. Not only the good screenwriters and director. The cast is great as well where we can find people such as Benicio del Toro, James Franco, Marion Cotillard, Paul Rudd, Paul Giamatti, Rachel McAdams, Ricky Gervais and Jeff Bridges. Not only that, Hans Zimmer provided the beautiful soundtrack.
The new adaptation moves around a modern day story where we meet a pushy mother who planned the whole life of her little girl. The Mother, voiced by Rachel McAdams, wants her daughter to earn a spot in the prestigious Werth Academy, but after the little one fails the admission test, the family moves to another neighborhood where the girl gets derailed from the study schedule (to repeat the entrance test) her mother imposed by their neighbor, The Aviator.
Voiced by the great Jeff Bridges, The Aviator is the one who introduces to The Little Prince story as we now it. The old man gives pages to the little girl of the tale of the boy he discovered in a desert after his plane crashed. Progessively, the little girl gets more pages as she spents more time with The Aviator who is trying to start his plane to meet the Little Prince again.
The way story is told is beautiful, especially the animation when see the young Aviator interact with the Little Prince. The characters look like they are made with silk paper, giving another feel to the story. It’s amazing, it’s simply gorgeous. The scenes where we spent time with the young Aviator and the Little get you inside the classic book and have a different atmosphere from the modern day bits. It’s refreshing and eye-pleasing. Animation set in the modern day is also good, with a style that makes me recall Frozen and Brad Bird’s The Incredibles. Osborne also plays with colors during the modern day scenes, where he contrasts the boring grey town full of workaholic adults to the colorful weird house that belongs to the Aviator.
Osborne manages to extract classic parts of the book and to put them in the big screen in the best way possible. This might be the director’s best work to date and arguably the best adaptation of The Little Prince. The original story created by this team is good, but the story falls a little bit flat in the last 15 minutes of the movie after we are exposed to a tiny plot twist which changes the tone set early in the film. When the movie is about to reach its ending it morphes into to something entirely made for children (it’s a kids movie anyways) with the kind of action and dialogue you expect from a childish animated movie full slapstick comedy and characters shouting “Woah!” or “That was amazing!” after escaping from some dangerous situation. However, when we are back into modern day, the movie ends with a cute bow.
The Little Prince is very good, it pays off and this is also an important movie. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince is one of the greatest books ever in my opinion, and this movie is something that children and adults need. Osborne’s take is true to the book and it’s explicit enough for anyone to understand. It’s about the beauty of being a child but also growing up. The Little Prince speaks about jealousy, friendship, greed, vanity, love, selfishness, authority, protection, imagination – and this movie manages to talk about the same in an understandable way. The film also manifests that it’s good to be happy. It’s good to have fun, dream, love someone, to imagine.
I liked this movie. Take your children and pay attention to what it says. But I also recommend reading the book every once in while, it changes with your age. It’s amazing.
And don’t forget: “The essential is invisible to the eyes.”
The Little Prince gets 7.5/10