The Little Prince (Mark Osborne, 2015): France

Reviewed by Justin Richard. Viewed at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2016.

images-2The novel The Little Prince published in 1943 navigates its way to an animated cinematic experience thanks to the director Mark Osborn (Kung Fu Panda). Opening night of the Santa Barbara Film Festival presented the film concluding the the audience in tears.

Color depicts the story of a little girl as the main character struggles between a dichotomy of lifestyles. The first, has two adult worlds where it illustrates either socialism or laissez faire capitalism to perceive a monotonous, dull, and dreary lifestyle. The second, is a child’s fantasy of living with no regulations and imagination is reality. Drastic color change hints the audience to understand which environment the little girl is currently living in.

Comparatively, the opening scene begins with low-key lighting of mostly grey colors where the little girl applies herself to a prestigious university in discovery that she was unprepared and failed the goal of being accepted. This scene is an example of a socialist atmosphere she conforms herself to. Throughout the movie she is scheduled to study repetitiously and times where she is or relating activities to it, the picture is a dull, grey color. The bleak image appears again in capitalistic approach. Towards the end of the movie a man capitalizes on stars in sense of owning real estate. This scene tries to articulate him monopolizing in all industries sucking the life out of every person within his world. The gloomy lighting compliments the acts of the scene for a better understanding of lifestyle undesired.

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Oppositely, bright colors flourish when she discovers her inner-child behavior. This is shown when the girl meets the aviator. The premise of his property enlightens imagination to be explored as he possesses unusual gadgets and toys to be worked on and used. Explosions of vibrant color fill the screen within the scenes of her and the aviator in his backyard. The color appears much more vibrant because of the contrast of the opposite lifestyles. This compliments the view of what a child sees. In example, a scene is shown where no laws/rules apply just the action of someones imagination. The girl operates a plane in the aviators backyard. As she starts the plane, a small little wooden runway with different color lights on both sides. The fence in front drops to be used as a ramp for the contraption to gain air. Then lastly, a string is cut by scissors for it to be launched. She takes flight and plane spirals into the air for the mission of navigating adults in discovering their inner-childhood as she found hers from her next-door neighbor, the aviator.

images-1After listening to Mark in a seminar the following day he disclosed the message of the film stating “The movie is for those who once were a child” Meaning, if an adult or child and whatever lifestyle a person is living there is still a child-like behavior within any person and this movie is to remind its audience not to forget it.

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