The Little Prince: For the young at heart

Antoine De-Saint Exupery, the author of ‘Un Petit Prince’ or The Little Prince, published his novella in 1943 to much acclaim and surprise. It was neither a children’s book nor a strictly adult one, combining a multi-fold of stories within stories that would only capture the wildest of imaginations. I was quite taken aback by the film in quite the same way. I didn’t expect the film to be THAT complex. I think you will find this one a really nice surprise. Take the trip down memory lane and relive that inner fire and glow of childhood, the little prince we drew in fourth grade still exists somewhere out there.

Un Petit Prince is innocent enough to give you the impression that it’s simpler animation style and papery textures are child’s play. You get the feeling that you’re in for some half-assed animation, with budget visuals. Early scenes of boring infrastructure and greyish colour tones gave me the wrong impression. But you see the point afterward. Colours start popping up, characters start having more life and the inanimate transfigure themselves into wonderful little gems of childhood wonder. At first you’re introduced to a little girl (Mackenzie Foy) and her ambitious mother (Rachel McAdams) who attempts to lay out her life plans into a schedule that would dictate her daughter’s life on a day-to-day basis. Crazy right? As an asian child, this is still a tad preposterous but the idea behind it isn’t incredulous. Haha, I would have expected it to have been an asian mother, you know, like one of those asian immigrant ‘tiger-moms’ who have super unrealistic expectations and then somehow make their children abide by their standards. As a child who has and continues to grow up in an extremely competitive and a greyishly mundane society, The Little Prince hit home hard.

I found the explicit nature of the metaphors a nice touche. It didn’t just look nice, it was almost like the film itself wanted to break out of it’s confines; It wasn’t simply contented with being a film which meekly fills the middleground. Wonderful galaxies encompass a world just like our own and journeys through the cosmos represent a never-ending search for meaning in reality; The Little Prince’s allusions and personifications are wittily charming and painfully true. Do not be fooled by the unassuming title, the little prince is actually the film’s most complex creation and still gives rise to varied interpretations.

The Old Man (Jeff Bridges) is the one character who breathes life into all the stories. As he foresees his eventual passing, the narrative that one should hold on to the past shifts into something more nuanced as the film draws nearer to its close. It’s fascinating reading up on Antoine Exupery and watching the old man and the little prince, thinking that they might all be a reference to each other. The fox, the snake, the stars, the otherworldly characters and almost all symbols in the film contribute to the film’s overarching themes of memory and change. In a short amount of time, they quickly form a lasting impression on my mind, more so than what many other animated films can do.

Though the movie might have been quite comical and a little unsettling when mocking the draconian rigidities and materialistic fetishism that have become commonplace in the world, it’s more innocent symbols remain of greater intrigue. The significance of character relationships that seem the simplest become more and more interesting till the point where you forget that they are simply the Old Man’s literary constructs. In the latter part of the film, the line between reality, story-telling and perspective become transcendant. I became wholly transfixed on the film’s deepening perspective on life, love, guilt and the idea that we’ve done our best and it’s time to move on. It would not be a stretch to say that this humble and utterly heartwarming picture is among the best animated films ever created. It’s neither artsy nor dazzling, but it moves the child in us. Perhaps, it will also move the adult we’ve become.

Rating: 10/10 Β My first 9.5/10 for 2016 and that’s pretty early πŸ˜‰ If anything, it’s my best film of the year so far, so have a watch!

The beautiful poster artwork by Haleema Chaudary, a freelance illustrator
Check out her website here πŸ™‚

Ohh and Marion Cotillard as The Rose, Benicio Del Toro as The Snake and James Franco as The Fox. But they were all so good, I honestly didn’t even know they were voicing the characters. Didn’t matter, they were whoever they were and it’s just so damn good. Main credit to Mackenzie Foy and Jeff Bridges!

 

 

 

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15 Comments Add yours

  1. emmakwall says:

    My word you’re a terrific writer Jia! That was an absolute pleasure to read, so professional and informative and personal too (you know what I mean)

    I’m just looking at Haleema Chaudary’s site too, her artwork is utterly beautiful! I hope you’re feeling okay today?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jwforeva says:

      Thanks Em πŸ™‚ You brightened up mood with that πŸ™‚ I am feeling better, I guess it takes abit of time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. emmakwall says:

        Good! And yes it does take time, each day at a time. I meant what I said, the words you use and the way you link sentences and describe things. You’re awesome!!!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Almost went to see that film and cannot remember why we didn’t. Hopefully get to see it soon. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jwforeva says:

      Thanks πŸ™‚ ! I was reluctant too because the poster seemed a little childish, but boy you won’t regret watching it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. katelon says:

    I look forward to seeing this wonderful film. I love the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jwforeva says:

      I’ve yet to read it, so I’m pretty excited for the book!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. John Charet says:

    Great review πŸ™‚ I have not seen the film yet, but this looks really great πŸ™‚ Sorry, I have not commented on some of your blog posts recently, I have just been so busy πŸ™‚ Anyway, I plan on seeing Batman v. Superman soon to see If it is worth it even with what it says on rottentomatoes πŸ™‚ I have read your review btw and you did state what you loved and hated about it very articulately πŸ™‚ In other words, you did a great job πŸ™‚ Anyway, keep up the great work as always πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jwforeva says:

      It’s alright! We get caught up with things from time to time πŸ™‚ I wanna hear your thoughts on it, it certainly will polarize the audence. Thanks :)) You’re always so kind

      Like

  5. I love the original book so I’ll have to check this one out one day! Lovely write-up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jwforeva says:

      Thanks Anna πŸ˜€ I should really get to reading the book haha funny how I knew of the movie first. And aww thanks so much for that link to your March Favourites post, it really means alot!!! πŸ™‚ How are you btw? Sorry I haven’t read some of your blog posts, I’ll get to it right away

      Like

  6. erinb9 says:

    This looks wonderful. I remember reading this while growing up and there is so much depth beneath its apparent simplicity.

    “It was almost like the film itself wanted to break out of it’s confines.” I love this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jwforeva says:

      Glad you liked the book! I only knew of the book from the movie ha!…yeah i know,millenials kids. But now I’m really excited to read the book,it’s message is one that we were talking abt previously right? We can’t lose that child in us even as we grow to be adults :))

      Liked by 1 person

      1. erinb9 says:

        Yup, we Gen Xers always read the book first (I’m kidding. We didn’t). πŸ™‚

        I actually read it while learning French because it’s a classic French kids’ book, so it was easy enough for me to figure out πŸ™‚

        I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I don’t know how it compares, but there were lots of little stories in it with deeper meaning. I think the point was that the simpler world view of the child is sometimes clearer. Or that adults are blinded by their own delusions.

        Something very French like that

        Liked by 1 person

      2. jwforeva says:

        Haaha!!! I’m getting on with my french lessons I have twice a week, so hopefully I’ll be able to read it as well. The film surprised me, I didn’t think it would be so touching and deep. 100% recommend!

        Liked by 1 person

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