It was two years ago when I first saw the world of the Little Prince in book and last October 29 during the QCinema Film Festival, I re-entered his world through film with a higher expectation. Not only mine, but the eyes of the whole world are all set on this ambiguous adaptation of this well-loved book that’s why everyone hopes it would not disappoint.
I am happy to say it did not.
The Little Prince turned out to be a respectful and lovable re-imagination of its original source that beautifully uses two different animation techniques in a slow-paced storytelling. It may lack heart-pounding action that the usual animated films have today but it sure appeals to the whole family by effectively translating the life messages and values of Saint-Exupery’s story.
Published in 1943, The Little Prince was inspired by a real life air disaster involving the author in which his aircraft crashed in Sahara desert near the Nile Delta. From there he wrote a tale in which an airman meets an interesting young boy with blonde hair who claims to be from a distant asteroid (#B-612) before he fled away and reached different planets including earth.
Apparently, the film was not a direct adaptation of the book since the material was scarcely long enough to be a feature film. The filmmakers added a disneyfied storyline that weaves the story of The Little Prince. It involves a girl whose strictly monitored life meets a crazily-eccentric old man living next door. He then gives her pages from his notebook that tells the story of the Little Prince complete with Saint-Exupery’s drawings. A few more additional adventures involving the girl meeting the Little Prince made the film more interesting because it took emphasis on the story of the Little Prince and brought it to a closer level of understanding with its audience.
The distinction between the two worlds, the real world and the Little Prince’s world was presented very clearly. With the girl and the old man, the film makers used a big-eyed CG for the characters more like the modern manner of human animation; but when it comes to the story of the Little Prince it turns to a very beautiful rustling paper stop motion technique. I never imagined that the latter technique in animation could be very effective for a film like this. It added magic to whole thing.
It’s a good thing that the screenwriters did not write a contemporary storyline as endearing or as mythical as Saint Exupery’s tale because it gave the Little Prince’s story the chance to stand-out, well in the first place the film is titled the Little Prince so he should definitely shine the most. The story of the unnamed little girl served both as a thread that carefully weaved the story of the Little Prince and at the same time, a loudspeaker that amplified the tale’s true message and that is to never forget how it is to be a child again. Growing up is not wrong but always remembering the innocence of being a child, that simple and uncomplicated life, and most especially the joy of being one will help you become a better grown up. If you did not have a good childhood it’s okay cause it’s not too late to. You could always learn how to enjoy life through looking at children. This is your time to make up for those lost years.
Accompanied by Hans Zimmer and Richard Harvey’s beautiful scoring that brings dreamlike calmness, this film should be a good watch every night for children or for adults who want to relax.
More than being a good looking film, every adult and child should see this for the societal flaws it tries to present. It is not often that we see animated films for children that tackle adult issues in a …..well…..”cute” way; therefore we should go see one when it does. We need more films like this. But of course the credit goes all to Saint Exupery. Thank God he was lost in that desert. If not, I wonder if we’ll ever get to know that a Little Prince lives somewhere up there.
GO WATCH IT IN CINEMAS STARTING DECEMBER 2!