The Little Prince (2016) Movie Review

By: Oberst von Berauscht –

A little girl and her mother have just moved into a neat and orderly new neighborhood, with plans to have a neat and orderly summer vacation where her daughter is expected to spend every waking hour preparing for her entrance into “Werth Academy” an upscale private school with a strict admittance policy. The girl’s mother is obsessed with her daughter’s future, and designs an elaborate life plan to dictate and organize everything she does.

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What you are “Werth”?

One day the girl meets her new neighbor, an old man living in the only disorderly house in town. The old man tells the girl a story about a little prince he once met a long time ago, and the story draws her in. Eventually, the girl goes on her own journey in search of the prince, and discovers the truth behind the story.

A Toast

Growing up isn’t always easy, and The Little Prince doesn’t make any case for the behavior.  As we get older, we often sink into routine that results in our inability to feel any new or exciting experiences. The hardships of finding and doing steady work come into constant conflict with the need for adventure. The story aims to teach its audience to make room in their lives for a little wonder from time to time, and does so skillfully.

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Nobody’s last words are “I wish I’d been a banker…”

All scenes taking place in the real world uses CGI animation, which allows for the filmmakers to make the neat and tidy suburbs as sterile and clean as possible, bereft of individuality. Only the home of the old man contains color, and it clashes heavily with the surroundings. The girl’s imagination of the world of the Little Prince is shown in stop-motion, which is bright and vividly colored.

The cast is full of famous names; Paul Rudd, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, James Franco, Paul Giamatti, Albert Brooks, Benicio Del Toro, Ricky Gervais, Bud Cort, and others. Normally when I read the voice cast of an animated movie and see that it is dominated by celebrities, even in minor roles, it is cause for worry.  If a production company is more focused on marquee value than anything else, it is sign of mixed priorities. This is not the case with The Little Prince, where every voice is a perfect fit for the personality of their respective characters. Some voice choices are so accurate they’re almost alarming.

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I wonder if Ricky Gervais knew he was going to be playing “The Conceited Man”?

Beer Two

My one criticism of the film is that it really tells a larger story than just that of The Little Prince and the title is quite misleading. Those looking for a straight-out adaptation of the novella are bound to be confused and disappointed by the fact that the story is used more as a jumping off point than anything else. The story is a good one, and it follows through on many of the book’s themes, if not quite all of the exact story elements. A cynical critic might speculate that the filmmakers wanted to write a happier ending to the story.  Even if true, the end result works splendidly.

Verdict

The Little Prince says that always living with the future in mind will cause you to lose focus on the present, and those around you. A fable that tells its story with visual flourish and true artistry.

2beers

The Little Prince (2016) Drinking Game

Take a Drink: any time the mother mentions her daughter’s life plan

Take a Drink: any time “Little Prince” is said

Take a Drink: every time the animation style switches

Do a Shot: every time you recognize a celebrity voice

About Oberst von Berauscht

Oberst Von Berauscht once retained the services of a Gypsy to imbue in him the ability to accurately describe the artistic qualities of a film up to seven decimal points. To maintain this unique skill, he must feast on the blood of a virgin every Harvest Moon, or failing that (and he usually does), he can also make a dog do that thing they do where they twist their heads slightly (you know, when they're confused about something) at least a few times a week. I've gotten way off track here... The point is, Oberst is one of the website's founders, so... yeah

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