On August 5, 2016, The Little Prince became available for streaming as a Netflix Original movie. This animated film is part computer graphics and part stop-motion animation. It actually premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year. Though it had a theatrical release in many countries, the deal to show it in the U.S. fell through. Netflix finally acquired the rights and now families here can enjoy this film.
The Little Prince Netflix Original — A Classic Story Within A Modern Story
The Little Prince is actually two stories in one. The main plot revolves around a little girl who has her life planned out for her. There’s no time to be a child as she must use each minute to prepare for the elite academy she hopes to enter. The eccentric next door neighbor gets her a little side-tracked though. He shares with her the adventures of the Little Prince, a boy he once met who embodies the wonders of childhood. The girl struggles with wanting to be a normal kid and wanting to please her ambitious mother.
If you case didn’t know, “The Little Prince” is an old children’s novel by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I heard of the book before but didn’t really know the story before watching this. The basic storyline carries over into the movie but several characters were omitted. Children may find what happens to the Little Prince at the end of the book part pretty traumatic. Mind that PG rating if your child is sensitive! Munchkin and I just found it to be kind of sad but it is open to interpretation.
I found the after-story to feel a bit out of place but, for the girl, it brings things full circle. It’s how she copes with what’s happening around her and shows how the story of the Little Prince affects her. This also allows for some closure for her as she is determined never forget what’s important.
At first, I had a hard time getting into the movie. It took a while to get past the fact that a little girl was sneaking over to an old man’s house, spending all day there alone, and lying about it. But, if you take out the creepy factor, then it’s not so bad. Just tell your kids not to copy that and give them reasons why it’s kind of dangerous…
The Little Prince Netflix Original — Art Style & Deeper Messages
I love the animation style. The CGI looks simple compared to the advanced animation in many movies today. But, the stop-motion art is so unique and captivating. The colors are vivid and the textures are like paper mache. It matches the charming illustrations from the original book.
This film touches on appreciating childhood, not taking the little things for granted, dealing with loss, and the value of close relationships. I would say that it’s best for children ages 8 and up. They need to be able to grasp abstract ideas without taking everything too literally. It could also lead to some deeper discussions about the film and the original book.
Overall, Munchkin and I enjoyed The Little Prince. It’s a very different type of movie and leaves a lot to the imagination. The ideas are simple on the surface but complex if you dive deeper. If you’re looking for a family film that’s a little more mature, this might be a refreshing departure from the norm.
I received a year subscription of Netflix and a device to stream the content as part of the Netflix Stream Team. All opinions are my own.