The Little Prince

Review by Wilbur Charles-Roberts @WilburFilm

Directed by

Mark Osborne

Starring

Jeff Bridges Paul Rudd Rachel McAdams

Anticipation.

An animated take on a beloved children’s novel? From the man who introduced the world to Kung Fu Panda...

Enjoyment.

Charming and transformative.

In Retrospect.

Osborne respects the integrity of the original story in this charming adaptation.

Animator Mark Osbourne puts a contemporary twist on this much adored children’s classic.

Mark Osborne is best known for co-directing the martial arts-practicing animated family comedy, Kung Fu Panda, which explores the theme of a family growing up in much the same way as his latest, The Little Prince. Adapted from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s treasured novel, ‘Le Petit Prince’, which has been translated into 253 languages, this children’s classic was inspired by a real-life incident in which the author was left stranded after crash landing in the Sahara desert during a record attempt to fly from Paris to Saigon in 1935.

Saint-Exupréy experienced vivid hallucinations brought on by dehydration before a nomad on camelback saved his life. The film’s plot and visual style represents these delusions, with a unique mix of various animation techniques from computer-generated images and claymation used throughout. The story follows The Little Girl (Mackenzie Foy), who lives an adult lifestyle due to her mother’s desire for her daughter to attend an esteemed private school. After relocating, her new neighbour The Aviator (Jeff Bridges) shows The Little Girl a different way to view life, where the unimaginable is possible. It’s here she discovers the world of The Little Prince.

As the original story is barely enough for a feature-length film, Osborne introduces a meta narrative, allowing ‘Le Petit Prince’ to be told visually within the film while retaining its integrity as a short children’s novel. It’s clear that Osborne wanted to tackle this adaptation with the utmost respect for the source material, his love of this wondrous tale evident throughout. The dialogue runs quick and the cuts even quicker to conjure a fast-paced tone which communicates the efficiency of The Little Girl’s life. When she first receives the story of ‘The Little Prince’ the CGI animation gives way to claymation, this trading of techniques inducing an enchanting transformation within the story and the viewer.

The Little Prince is now available to watch on Netflix.

Published 5 Aug 2016

Anticipation.

An animated take on a beloved children’s novel? From the man who introduced the world to Kung Fu Panda...

Enjoyment.

Charming and transformative.

In Retrospect.

Osborne respects the integrity of the original story in this charming adaptation.

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