Like many people, I read The Little Prince as a child, puzzling over first the illustrations and later the themes of the novel. It was such a unique reading experience that I never thought it would be adapted successfully in any other medium. Yet here we are in 2015, and there’s a trailer (well, a couple trailers) for a Little Prince movie on the internet. I’m… cautiously excited?
The Little Prince is a beloved children’s book about a pilot who crash-lands in the Sahara desert. While stuck there, trying to fix his plane, he’s approached by a strange little boy whom he starts calling “the little prince”. The little prince, who soon reveals himself to be from a far-off asteroid, tells the pilot about his own planet, the people he’s met in his adventures, and what he’s left behind. Through his stories, we learn about love, loss, and that children are capable of far more imaginative and empathetic thoughts than are grown-ups.
Given all that, it’s actually pretty cool how they decided to adapt this book. It would be difficult to get a big blockbuster movie out of a short, allegorical story about creativity, imagination, and empathy. Instead, the creative team behind The Little Prince decided to use a framing device to both introduce us to and take us outside of the pilot’s story. They start the movie with a young child, whose mother has decided that in order for her child to be a successful adult, she needs to plan out every second of her child’s days, months, and years. The coolest part? That child is a girl.
The plot seems to be fairly straightforward—young girl’s overbearing helicopter parent ends up not letting her daughter be, in essence, a child—which is why it’s so cool that the creative team decided to go with a girl and her mother for their protagonists. Not only does this add female roles to a largely male story, it gives a girl the chance to be the star of one of our most timeless stories. Usually women are the love interests and the sidekicks—they aren’t the ones illustrating stories about childhood and the importance of human connections. I was already excited to see this movie, but now I’m even more pumped for it. On top of that, it has incredible animation, a beautiful soundtrack, and an A-list voice acting cast. It will be released later in 2015! Let me know if you go see it.