The Little Prince is one of the most popular stories ever written. The novella from 1943 tells the story of a little boy who lives alone on an asteroid and the people that he meets on his way to ending up on earth. Now the classic tale has been adapted into an animated feature and the trailer makes it looks like the movie will be as magical a story as the book.
The story is told in two parts in a very unique way. The film contains an original storyline with a little girl, she is literally named "The Little Girl," whose mother has her entire life planned out so that she is properly prepared to be an adult. However, her neighbor, The Aviator, begins to tell her the story of The Little Prince. This is where the film becomes unique as the parts of the film that are based on the original story, are done as stop motion animation, in a completely different style than the computer animation of the rest of the film. It gives that aspect a much more surreal feeling. We assume that the story that The Aviator tells is "true" within the context of the film, but the change in style makes you wonder if it is, real or just a story within a story.
The stop motion aspects resemble watercolor paintings intentionally. They harken back to the book’s original illustrations which were created by the author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
The voice cast that has been collected for the film is stellar, including Jeff Bridges as The Aviator, and Albert Brooks as The Businessman. Rachel McAdams, James Franco, Paul Rudd, Benecio Del Torro, and Ricky Gervais are also involved. The Little Girl is voiced by Mackenzie Foy whose previous work includes The Conjuring and the Twilight films. The movie has additional top level animation help from Kung-Fu Panda Director Mark Osborne and The Boxtrolls Writer Irena Brignull.
While The Little Prince is currently set for a release next year in the US it’s actually already been released in several other countries already. It had it’s French language premiere back in July and has been very successful there. Much of the movie was actually produced in France. As the original story was written in French The Little Prince probably best known there. The US will actually be the last country to see the film when it is released on March 18, 2016. The film has made over $60 million already so it will likely already have been a success before we even see it.
It’s a shame that we’ll have to wait for March as The Little Prince looks like the perfect thing for a family outing to the movies this holiday season. I guess we’ll have to make due with our a more modern fairy tale in that case.