The Little Prince is a story that almost everyone knows or at least have heard of. Written and illustrated by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in 1943, the story meant for children, but also loved by adults, impacted the entirety of the world. It’s a story about love, connections, and realizing the importance of home. There have been multiple stage adaptions of the story as well as films. It’s a story that some think had been overdone and I agreed. At least, that’s what I thought until I saw Netflix’s unique version of The Little Prince.
For those of you who do not know, The Little Prince is a story about a little boy who lives on a very small planet all by himself. Then one day, a pilot finds him alone in the desert. People will recognize the beautiful illustrations within the book. They will also recognize the poetic form of writing in the story. The brilliant, and somewhat controversial, way that Netflix took with the story showed the audience more than just the story of the little boy that was found in the desert by a pilot. It showed how children can be positively impacted by storytelling.
The main character is only known as “The Little Girl.” She’s in elementary school and lives with her mother. Her mother wants The Little Girl to spend her childhood working hard to become a successful adult and forgets that her daughter needs to live her life for life, not for a future job. They move next door to an aviator in order for The Little Girl to be near her new school. Yes, the aviator that is in the film is in the actual aviator in the story of “The Little Prince”. The written story is The Aviator’s “true” account of what he had gone through. The Little Girl is not supposed to talk to The Aviator, let alone form a relationship with him. And yet, she does. The Little Girl grasps the story of The Little Prince which helps her realize things about her own childhood. The Aviator gives The Little Girl the story of The Little Prince, piece by piece. She slowly takes it all in. One day, she takes a fox stuffed animal from The Aviator’s house which soon symbolizes her youth. Everything about the story made her feel happy and excited for the rest of her life. She believed in magic for once and grew into her own.
The Little Girl found life in the story. As anyone can understand, being a little girl is difficult. There is the pressure to be so many contradictory things that it becomes overwhelming and frustrating. I was that girl who would stay up all night with a flashlight, hiding underneath the covers, reading a book from start to finish. I related to her; I related to The Little Girl. My parents always wanted me to be something I’m not. They wanted me to major in business and be ordinary, but I found my desire to be extraordinary by reading about the incredibly adventures my characters had in books. This film shows the beauty in that. This film shows how one person’s written work can change the life of a child, or of anyone at any age really.
Beyond just the interesting take on the original story, there is something about all the other aspects to this film. There is certainly something to be said about the graphics. I always say that my favorite form of film is the animated film that occurs after the year 2000. That’s because not only did animated films become more generated for adults to enjoy as well, but it’s also because the graphics are absolutely different than those from fifty years ago. This specific film uses two types of animation. There is the animation you would expect in a current animated film, but there is also animation that is as though the original book came to life. Both forms of animation are absolutely beautiful in their own unique ways. Just as well, the purpose behind the two forms of animation are understood as the showing of the two different stories within one greater scale of a story. The trailer for the film somewhat shows the brilliance of the contrast of animation, but it really does take watching it to understand it.
The Little Prince has an all-star lineup including Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, Marion Cotillard, James Franco, Ricky Gervais, and Paul Giamatti (just to name a few). Usually what happens with such big names is that their voices distract from the film. In this case, that did not happen. It wasn’t even until after I saw it and then started researching it that I saw the all-star cast. These actors were picked because their voices specifically worked for the part they were portraying, not because of their name.
I feel like I’m gushing. Am I gushing? I’m truly not trying to be obnoxious about my love for The Little Prince film on Netflix; I just sincerely fell in love with it. Truly, this movie changed my life. Let’s just put it this way: I watched it originally on Saturday and then again the very next day. For any little girl who felt the pressure to be like everyone else when all she wanted to do was live the adventurous life like her storybook characters… this is the film for you. The Little Prince was already a beautiful story and this film only put that into a greater perspective.
Images from IMDB