The Little Prince – Not Your Average Children’s Movie
Review by Jen Rush – 4/5 buckets of popcorn
There are a few things worth keeping in mind before going to see The Little Prince. The first is that this is not a film that will appeal to small children. It is rife with charm and whimsy, but does not have the bouncy, flashy aspects that hold the attention of little ones. It’s not particularly goofy, nor is it trying to be. This is a movie that is trying to show a great deal of emotion and sensitivity. It just so happens to be doing it by means of animation. The second item that I urge you to keep in mind, is that it is not a direct recreation of the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry that so many of us read in our youths. What we see is the beloved story we know so well being used as a framework to fit another story into. In this screen adaptation directed by Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda), we meet The Little Girl (Mackenzie Foy) who is being prepared by The Mother (Rachel McAdams) for a very grown-up world that is filled with corporate drudging and cookie-cutter lifestyles. She is soon introduced to her eccentric neighbor, The Aviator (Jeff Bridges) who shares his story of The Little Prince, a tale of imagination, love and friendship that brings him and The Little Girl close together. Mark Osborne does a wonderful job of using the relationship between The Little Girl and the Aviator to help draw out the story we know and love. As long as you allow yourself to go with it, you will not be disappointed.
While I don’t think this movie benefitted from the 3D technology, I do think it was a beautifully crafted piece of art. As the Aviator tells the story of The Little Prince, we see the story and the characters change shape before our eyes on the screen. They start off as being relatively paper-like in appearance, and as if they jumped off the page, they become more dynamic with every scene.
I couldn’t have cast this film better myself if I wanted to. Jeff bridges was the perfect character to carry the story along in an uplifting way. This was crucial to a movie that has strong messages of how to keep the memories of people that come and go from our lives. Without Bridges, the movie could have had an entirely different tone. With all the talent providing wonderful voice acting, my favorite character in the movie had no lines at all. A small stuffed fox put more personality into a shrug than most actors can put into their entire being.
The Little Prince is one of the most heart-felt animated films that I have seen since Up. I won’t lie to you, I was wrought with tears for most of the second half of the film. I was touched by the representation of different kinds of relationships throughout the movie. It was a beautiful reminder of how we keep our loved ones with us in one way or another through our lives.