The classic novella, The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery has been adapted many times, but never with the success of the original. The original is one of the most translated stories in the world.
Mark Osborne has done what many others failed to do. Find the magic.
Osborne took the source material and interwove into a larger narrative that found a young girl (Mackenzie Foy) moving next door to the old aviator (Jeff bridges), alone and living out his life remembering his adventures with the Little Prince (Riley Osborne). The Little Girl, whose loving, but overbearing Mother (Rachel McAdams) has her entire life pre-planned for her, comes across the eccentric Aviator and becomes enthralled in his stories, sparking the imagination and youthful hope that she was missing from her life.
It was truly wonderful.
The tale of the Little Girl took place in a present day setting, with one form of animation, while the flashbacks/storytelling of The Little Prince was told in a different animation style. These two worked together very well and brought something special to the tale. In particular, the flashback sequences are as artistic as you will ever see.
Other memorable voices were used in the story for some lesser characters, including Paul Rudd, Ricky Gervais, Benicio Del Toro, James Franco, Albert Brooks, Paul Giamotti and Vincent Cassel.
The story was full of emotion as well, playing each note with a perfect emphatic brilliance. I really found myself connecting to the Little Girl and the Aviator.
There are tons of themes beneath the surface of this beautiful film, many coming straight from the novella itself. It runs the gamut of the human condition and gives a wonderful point of view on how to live life.
The film was released in limited release this weekend, as well as on Netflix. If you are a fan of beautiful animation or a story of growing up, then you should make time for The Little Prince. But be warned…keep the tissues handy.