The Little Prince (Mark Osborne, 2015): France

Reviewed by Jessie Su. Viewed at the Arlington Theater, Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2016.

This is a gem that every child and adult should see. It has hidden, profound knowledge and wisdom. The crushing, high strung society in the movie relates to the world we live in today. I attended the movie premiere of The Little Prince, directed by Mark Osborne, at the Arlington Theater during the 2016 Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Mark Osborne is also known for directing Kung Fu Panda.

The film starts off with The Mother (Rachel Mcadams) trying frantically to get her daughter, The Little Girl (Mackenzie Foy) into a prestigious academy. The Mother coaches her and assumes what the recruiters will ask of The Little Girl, and therefore makes her memorize a canned response. Unfortunately, it is a false assumption, yet The Little Girl still blurts out what The Mother fabricated and faints shortly after. The scene cuts to where she exits the double doors of the room in a wheelchair, which frightens the other parents and children even more. Chuckles emerged from the theater audience. She is determined for The Little Girl to enroll in the academy to the point where she moves into the district, leaving them no choice but to accept her. The life The Mother portrays is systematic. Everything, including every second of The Little Girl’s life is planned out by her with a huge schedule board, called the “Life Plan.” She creates a haunting resemblance of how parents treat their children in such a suffocating matter. Mark Osborne, who also attended the premiere, could hear parents groan in the audience when they realize and relate to this.

Use of colors and music is brilliant! Dark colors are used to exemplify the monotonous, robotic city they live in. Every house looks the same except The Aviator’s. This first impression does not hide at all of his quirkiness. The Aviator’s eccentricity throws the people in the film off balance, so they shun him.

When The Little Girl walks into The Aviator’s neighboring yard, immediately there is a large contrast from dark colors to bright vivid colors and fun lively music. It is full of exciting toys, gadgets and an old, beat up airplane. Jeff Bridges succeeds in delivering humorous dialogue to the film.

The Aviator begins to unfold the story of The Little Prince to The Little Girl. The Little Prince (Riley Osborne) speaks in such a wise matter that we are constantly immersed with meaningful lessons throughout the movie. The Rose (Marion Cotillard), that represents all women, is The Little Prince’s true love. The Fox (James Franco) conveys how it is the time spent with the rose that makes it unique from all others.

The Aviator opens a whole new world of adventure, excitement, bravery, and hope for The Little Girl, allowing her to actually have a childhood.

The question I have is why they chose to name the film The Little Prince when it is not the book’s story. I have seen some bad reviews because the title created a false expectation of it actually being The Little Prince. Maybe if the film was under a different name it would cease the negative reviews? Osborne did not want to risk ruining the prized novel so he made a movie of someone’s interpretation of it. I thought this was an excellent approach since each person has a different experience when reading the book. The Little Prince deserves to be re-watched and motivates me to read the novel.

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