If you were to ask me my first thoughts on The Little Prince, it would probably be a mixture of ‘WTF’ sprinkled with a side portion of ‘This is definitely not a kids’ movie.’ While I haven’t read the source material (it was originally published as a book), from what I’ve heard, it’s just as strange and philosophical as this movie.
Probably the most striking difference between this movie and a generic children’s Disney movie is the vastly different art styles that are used to separate the monotonous, stifling, pre-planned world of The Little Girl, and the wonderfully imaginative and creative scenes of the story told by The Aviator in the world of The Little Prince. The former is presented in the standard Disney/Pixar fashion we have come to know and love (example below), whereas the latter is drawn in this beautiful, almost paper-mache style which is both stunning and refreshing – in so much as it lets your inner child run free in the vibrant colours and dream-like surroundings. I think it’s very well done and instantly splits the movie into two very different tones.
The tone of The Little Prince is the main reason I liked it. I have just finished reading The Alchemist, a tale of a young Spanish shepherd who has a dream of treasure in the pyramids of Egypt, so sets off to find it and meets many characters along the way who pose philosophical questions about life and destiny. This movie has a similar feeling and both engulfed me into their worlds. The opening sequence of the film instantly drew me in, and any interactions between The Fox and The Little Prince caused me to break out into a grin while absorbing the heavy messages of friendship, love, and loss. The heavy handed metaphors about capitalism, greed and vanity were handled very well, with characters that were drawn and voice-acted impeccably.
Speaking of the voice-acting, what a cast! Jeff Bridges as The Aviator, Marion Cotillard as The Rose, Ricky Gervais as The Conceited Man… And that’s just a few! I am amazed this movie hasn’t got more buzz.
This movie proves (as if it still even needs proving) that animation can be just as effective at entertaining an audience of adults as it can children. This movie is trippy and fascinating and makes you remember. It reminds you of what it felt like to be a child, when the world was just one big playground. It made me sad that I have in many ways forgotten what it means to be a child. In the words of The Aviator himself, “it’s not the growing up that’s the problem, it’s the forgetting.”
Would highly recommend to anybody who feels a bit lost or down in the dumps. This movie will fill you with energy and inspiration. Before you know it, you’ll be picking up a pencil and doodling away with no purpose. Just for the joy of creating.