The Little Prince is about a little girl who discovers a story that teaches her lessons that free her from an oppressive world of mediocrity, and introduces to her a world filled with hope and insights on the importance and beauty of things unseen. Philosophical, I know… But The Little Prince is a loose adaptation of its novel source, which happens to be a critically acclaimed literary masterpiece. The material is very powerful stuff, and this film does its best to capture a message for both adults and children.
Where do I begin? Honestly, I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I streamed this limited-release on Netflix. I thought this was going to be the usual run-of-the-mill computer-generated children’s animation, but to my surprise, The Little Prince is so much more. There is a message (several, actually) in this story that creates a heavily layered fruitcake of philosophical substance which might appear heavy-handed at first, but comes off as something so heartfelt that even I (a hardened stoic) caught feels.
What I loved the most about this movie was its ability to pierce the callused and aged leather of my being a grown ass man. This movie has dialogue–I mean BARS–that require some thought for those willing to listen. “It is only with heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” I mean, how in the seven hells do you even start pre-digesting that for your little millennial toddler child? Luckily, the movie does some hand-holding, but doesn’t explain the deeper matters with cheap exposition. The Little Prince SHOWS how The Little Girl comes to understand the deeper matters when she’s given a problem to overcome. One theme of the movie, and something The Little Girl had to come to grips with, was the subject of Death. It was heart-breaking to watch, but inspiring when done the way it’s done in The Little Prince. I thought this movie was beautiful.
The film employs two types of animation: the typical CGI we’ve all come to expect, but also this stop-motion style that gives the story some refreshing nuance. Also, the film has a star studded cast–I was actually surprised to note the voice of Paul Rudd at some point in this movie! Rudd is on fiyah. I recently caught him in the Netflix Original: The Fundamentals of Caring. Anyway, I mentioned before how this film came off a bit heavy-handed at first, but it was something I believe benefits children who catch this movie. The world’s setting is practically timeless, and it depicts a world filled with overworked dream-shattered shells that appear as lifeless, soul wretched grown-ups. They dress and move uniformly through a world that stresses standardized efforts of mediocrity. Much of it is depressing, but it helps to highlight the messages delivered throughout the movie.
I also love how much of the material here takes shots at certain archetypes of society, while jabbing at what an education might mean in today’s world. This film really does have layers, and is something that I believe adults should watch (and discuss) with their kids. There really is something beautiful going in this film, and if I had more time I’d definitely cover as much as possible.
I worry that some kids (and adults) might find this movie boring, because it isn’t exactly brimming with action or outlandish humor. Not saying that there isn’t humor, or action… Well, okay, there’s not that much action, but there is definitely some comedy happening. Also, the philosophical messages in this movie does raises some emoji question marks. I mean, I got it, because deep ass metaphysical conversations and cosmic talk is my deal–I’m all for it. But I can’t say the same for someone (especially a kid) who isn’t ready to step through the doors of perception, y’know? However, even with that worry, I’m confident that the writers of this movie did a great job of translating all that literary lingo.
I’ve said it more than once: I believe that people should definitely peep this movie if they have Netflix, and they should watch it with their kids. Keep the Kleenex on deck, just in case those tear ducts decide to put in some work. I was very touched, and impressed, by The Little Prince; I can honestly say I was not expecting this movie to come across the way it did. It’s not exactly a summer movie for kids who just want to have fun, but it’ll make them think and that’s where the heart of this film finds itself.
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‘The Little Prince’ Review: photos courtesy of: www.imdb.com