It has been a long time since I have seen a movie that I really enjoyed. Usually I get too bored or stressed out during the middle to enjoy myself. You can ask Ben how annoying it is to watch a movie with me.
This past weekend, we sat down to watch The Little Prince, which just recently came out on Netflix. I have been eagerly awaiting this movie since I first saw the trailer…which wasn’t even in English. I have always enjoyed the story of the Little Prince, and seeing it being made into a film got me all excited. Was I nervous that it wouldn’t turn out that great? Sure I was. However, the trailer made it look beautiful, so even if it wasn’t the best story wise, it would at least be pretty to look at.
The story, told from the point of view of a Young Girl, not only stays true to the theme and character of the original book, but takes it to a whole new level. I feel that it offers a light commentary on something that isn’t talked about often. That is, the worth of a person in society. It seems today that society calculates the worth of a human based on what you can do, contributing to the economy, or to scientific advancement, or any of a myriad of things. Those who don’t have anything “essential” to offer are often left by the wayside, or worse.
Based on this thought process, those who are very young, and those who are very old don’t carry much worth. This story shows, among other things, that what society deems to be unimportant, or non-essential, may be more important than we give it credit for.
I don’t really want to take this time to do a plot synopsis because I think you should just watch the film! Also it would probably be a total yawn. So in an effort to not be redundant am going to offer five things that I really loved about the film.
Some of my points contain spoilers…you have been warned!! 🙂
1. All the feelings.
It is really hard for a storyteller to create a genuine connection with their audience. Having gone to film school, I’ve had my fair share of scripts that turn out way too boring to be put on the screen. Creating a genuine connection with one person isn’t as hard, but being able to do it on a large scale is incredible. When a story is able to move people so that they are changed by watching it…well that just seems impossible. The original story of The Little Prince written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, has enchanted readers for over 70 years.
One point in the movie that strikes a very emotional chord with me, is when the Young Girl goes to find the Little Prince. She finds him on another asteroid where he has been turned into an adult. This new asteroid is a place where everything non-essential is ground up and turned into something useful. Things like bicycles are turned into paper clips. It seems to me that the world that the Young Girl traveled from, our Earth, is only a few steps behind this new asteroid. Rushing you through childhood so that you can become a worker bee.
The people in this city work to live, and live to work. There is nothing of beauty, nothing good, and no happiness.
As I think about this part of the movie over and over again, I can’t help wondering: What if we become like this? Losing sight of the things that are really important, like family, friends, and building relationships with people, and instead focusing only on making money to fill a hole that can never be filled.
2. Beautiful Animation
The movie is just so darn beautiful to look at. The cross between CG animation and stop-motion is done exceptionally well. The CG perfectly portrays Earth, it aligns with the world that the story tellers have created, smooth and precise with no rough edges. It contrasts well with the stop-motion that is used to show the story of the Little Prince, as the Aviator tells it to the Young Girl. It is very whimsical, and provides a good contrast to the clean look of CG animation.
3. What Is Essential
This movie gives a good view of what minimalism looks like when it is taken to an extreme. The Business Man, who runs the asteroid that the Young Girl finds, owns the entire planet. He makes sure that everything can be used for his own gain, and everything is put to a practical use. Even the stars that he keeps locked up in a snowglobe are used to provide power to the city. Any children that find their way there are forced to become adults, useful members of society.
4. Girl Power
Okay this isn’t really a girl power movie, however, the main character being a girl makes me so so happy. The fact of the matter is that today you still don’t see a whole lot of women who have the main role in movies, and if you do they are usually over sexualised, or totally nerdy and friendless (just waiting for a handsome man to come save them, if I might add).
In the Young Girl, we see what it is like to be a true friend. Where you risk all peril to do what needs to be done to help a friend in need. Sure there are moments when she acts like a child (because she is one), but I don’t think this should downplay the large amount of growth the she experiences during the course of the film. Learning to care about other people, becoming less selfish, and learning the value of real friendship.
5. Growing Up
On a whole I think that the movie is talking mostly about growing up, and what kind of an adult we will become. This is made clear during the movie when the Young Girl tells the Aviator that she doesn’t want to grow up, and made even more clear when the villain, the Business Man, tries to forcefully turn the Young Girl into an adult.
She doesn’t want to be like the adults that she is growing up around, her mom who is obsessed with school and work, or her dad who is completely absentee, aside from a snowglobe that he sends her for her birthday.
The Aviator reassures her that she will become a great adult. I think at that point in the movie the audience heaves a sigh of relief as well. We aren’t destined to become money obsessed and mean, like the Business Man, we too have the opportunity to be good adults, who are kind and generous to those around us no matter what they can offer us in return.
Overall I really enjoyed the movie and would watch it again. Were there portions where I felt that the story needed some more attention? Yes, for sure. But I think that what is gained from watching the movie profoundly drowns out those areas.
Have you watched The Little Prince yet? What were your thoughts on it?