One of the films I anticipated more than anything within the past year or two was Mark Osborne’s The Little Prince. It wasn’t because it was directed by him, or even that it was about The Little Prince. It was the beautiful artwork, and the acclaim it was reaching. After seeing Paramount drop it, I was deeply saddened, but then Netflix picked it up and everything was better.
It is finally streamable, and I really want to talk about it before I go any further.
The reason that I am talking about this now is because I haven’t read the original novel, nor have I seen any other interpretations of the story. This gives me a very unique perspective because the only thing clouding my mind is hype. I don’t get to compare it to another adaption or source, which otherwise would change my expectations. I think that a clearer perspective like this can be very helpful to someone experiencing it for the first time, and for me it absolutely worked.
Now I also knew going in that it wasn’t going to be a direct adaptation, instead using it as a framework to watch a different character in her growth. What I like about this perspective is that it allows us to see 2 stories, but also a first hand study in seeing how people are effected by art. As someone who spends his free time watching and participating in art debates, as well watching how people interact, this is a cool way to tell a story that is otherwise well known. The thing is, that this doesn’t make it good. The Book of Life was a movie almost ruined by the fact that it was being read to children in an outside perspective, since it ruined the pacing and literally took us out of the story by destroying our suspension of disbelief. The Little Prince makes this work using focus. The story isn’t focused on one of these things over another, instead focusing on how they bounce off of each other. We watch characters grow because of it, and we see how art can change people.
But more important than that, it’s the context we see this growth for this film.
Our main character starts off as a child who is definitely growing up too fast. She is in a society that doesn’t let kids be kids, because it doesn’t have room for anything but to grow up fast. Through the Little Prince, we watch this girl learn about the grown up world, but also spend her time as a kid. Her creativity and imagination is ignited by this story, and this sort of enchantment is necessary for kids to just be themselves with. As the story progresses and we see more of society and it’s kid-unfriendly nature, the impact of the theme becomes more important. The film is not subtle about this, using small visual cues to support this as well as lines of dialogue that scream “THESE PEOPLE AREN’T GOOD WITH KIDS OR IMAGINATION”.
The plain art style in the real world shows this as well. Since the whole neighborhood is a colorless grid of houses, with the exception of the neighbor who introduces the girl to the story. The story itself is filled with color, and a vastly different art style that doesn’t just differ from the real world in this film, but is different from most other stop motion we see today. A lot of visual subtleties and design perspectives support the themes and story very well, in ways not enough films do.
So, as much as I’d love to go on and get really deep into what makes this film so good, but I want to try something.
I have this titled as a “First Thoughts” for a good reason. I want to record my initial impressions without any prior knowledge of the source or it’s adaptations. So now I plan on reading the original story and then maybe seeing some of the other interpretations in film to see what the Little Prince is. Then I want to watch the film again, and sink my teeth into everything the film has to offer, and make a final judgment on it. So until, then I give the film a STRONG seal of approval.
This has been Animated Monologues, slicing into animation in every post. Thanks for reading and have an animated day.