The Importance of Childhood – The Little Prince (2015)

No rush to grow up.  Based on a French children’s book of the same name, this is about an aviator’s chance encounter in the Sahara desert with a boy who lives on an asteroid, but where the movie deviates from the book is that this is a story within a story.  The aviator is telling his tale to his young neighbor, a girl that preparing for adulthood by sticking to the life plan put together by her mother, and it is a thorough plan that is broken down to the minute.  Now I didn’t even realize that this was based on a children’s book until after the fact, so obviously I am not familiar with the source material.  I did some research afterwards, and it does look like they stayed true to the original author’s intent and then just expanded upon it.

2Just a boy and a fox that he domesticates.

I like the decision to put the story in the framework of another story, as this may have felt a little thin if they just had it be the story of The Little Prince.  They switch animation styles from 3-D to stop motion animation between stories, and it just works.  I really think this story will connect with both children and adults alike.  This movie is all about the pressure that we place on our children, so if you’re a kid watching it who has ever had to live up to any expectations that were placed there by your parents, this is going to feel like this movie is speaking to you directly.  Also, chances are pretty good that as an adult, you’re going to find something relatable about how this little girl was raised.  It’s a very human story and very accessible.

1And Jeff Bridges looks exactly like you would think that he would look like in animated form.

When this turns into an adventure in the last act, that’s when things gets really interesting.  I haven’t read the book, but from what I gathered in research, they deviate enough that it will keep you entertained and engaged even if you know it by heart, but still tell the original story as well.  I like how it deals with love and death in an abstract fashion, and these aren’t something that we should forever shelter children from, they deserve to know how the world works.  This film is available on Netflix streaming, it never overstays its welcome, and I really believe anybody who takes the time on this is going to connect with it, at least on some base level.

The Little Prince (2015) ****

– Critic for Hire

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