REVIEW | The Little Prince (2015)

In a world of unevenly drawn stars, Antoine de Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince is magically breathed into life in Mark Osborne's (Kung Fu Panda) movie adaptation of the beloved 1943 novella. He and screenwriters Irena Brignull (The Boxtrolls) and Bob Persichetti created a modern-day story to blend with the philosophical fantasy of The Little Prince.

In a grey, coldly organized and austere business environment, The Little Girl (Mackenzie Foy), with her adorable crooked front teeth, is already being molded by her Type A mother (Rachel McAdams) to become the perfect, essential adult. The 9-year-old's life is strictly organized for every hour of the day, day of the week, the week of the month, the month of the year.

The Little Girl willingly submits to the Life Plan—but then she is distracted by their new neighbor, the eccentric old Aviator (Jeff Bridges), whose crazy, flighty, imaginative life is a contrast to the Little Girl's dull, exacting, systematic adult world.  The Aviator (the novella's narrator, of course) sends the child loose pages of his written account of The Little Prince (Riley Osborne), until the two are bound together by their love for the extraterrestrial guy.

The CGI animation of bobble-headed characters to depict The Little Girl's story is interspersed with the gorgeous, exquisite paper-made stop motion sequences of the The Little Prince's abstract story, which is a fitting homage to Saint-Exupery's beloved tale. The alternating stories are equally absorbing, fluidly merging together in a spellbinding and poignant experience.

The surprise revelation of the modern-day Little Prince, however, might be a little off and out of character, but the logical flow of the narrative makes it forgivable.

Along with a soaring film score by Hans Zimmer and Richard Harvey, infused with the enchanting tune of French singer Camille, the film feels like being sky-ferried by a flight of birds, transporting you to the mystical and melancholic world of The Little Prince.

The Little Prince, which premiered at this year's Cannes Film Festival, is a compact, artful, quiet little gem of a movie. An elegant reverence to the book—and a gentle, effective reminder for us to hold on to our childlike wonder. 

The English version has the voice cast of Rachel McAdams, Mackenzie Foy, Jeff Bridges, James Franco, Marion Cotillard, Benicio Del Toro, Ricky Gervais, Bud Cort, Paul Giamatti, Albert Brooks, and Paul Rudd.

Opens December 2, 2015 in Philippine cinemas

Photos courtesy of: