The Little Prince (2016)
“The Little Prince” stars Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, Bud Cort, Marion Cotillard, Benicio del Toro, James Franco, Ricky Gervais, Paul Giamatti, Albert Brooks, Riley Osborne, and Mackenzie Foy. Released in France on July 29, 2015 and on Netflix on August 5, 2016, the film is about a young girl who befriends an elderly aviator who tells the story about his meeting with the Little Prince.
The film is directed by Mark Osborne, who also directed Kung Fu Panda, and it is based on the 1943 novel of the same name by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Don’t worry, I’m planning on seeing Suicide Squad soon, but right now, this has to be taken care of. This film was supposed to be released in theaters a few months ago, but for some reason, its distributer, Paramount Pictures, decided to cancel its US theatrical release. I was pretty disappointed by the studio’s decision because it actually looked good from the trailer. Luckily, Netflix took over the distribution rights of the film and released it today, and I finally got the chance to view it. Thanks, Netflix.
The voice cast consists of many noticeable celebrities, such as Bridges, McAdams, and Franco, and they did a solid job at voicing their respective characters, especially Riley Osborne as the title character and Mackenzie Foy as the young girl. The story isn’t exactly a direct adaptation of the novel. The novel’s story is shown as flashbacks as told by the aviator (voiced by Bridges). The actual story is an original narrative that displays not only about the relationship between the young girl and the aviator, but also about the difference between growing up and forgetting. At least, that’s what I thought from my perspective. I thought the way they tell this story was very heart-warming and quite deep. It may look like a simple animated family film, but its themes are definitely relatable to the adults who may have experienced this situation before. Aside from its storytelling, the animation in the film was absolutely gorgeous. While the computer animated sections didn’t quite match the creativity of other CGI powerhouses like Zootopia and Inside Out, the stop-motion animation of the novel’s story is where the film shines the most in terms of the designs.
If there’s one thing that kind of threw me off a bit, it would have to be the direction it took in the third act. This is pretty much where the film’s two stories “collided” with each other. In my personal opinion, the third act does seem to lose itself in its “fantasy” vibe than what I saw in the first and second acts of the film. Does it lose my interest? Not really. I just didn’t expect the third act to be...you know, like that.
Overall, “The Little Prince” is a well-crafted, stylistic adaptation of the beloved novel that also explored some relatable themes such as growing up. The third act does feel like a misstep on where it wants to go, but thanks to its solid voice work, its beautiful stop-motion animation, and its storytelling, the only word I can use to describe this film was “marvelous”. If you have a Netflix account, I would definitely recommend this film to you.
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