I broke from my normal schedule I have set to watch this movie after hearing many good things about it. I normally try to plan way ahead and figure out what movies I am going to be watching in the next week or so so that I don’t have to look through my enormous watch list to try and figure out what to view next. But The Little Prince stuck out as a movie that needed to be seen and needed to be seen soon. I have to say, I was thoroughly impressed and disappointed. While parts of this review may make it sound like I disliked the film let me reassure you that taken as a whole this movie is great, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its fair share of problems.
First the good stuff. In its use of music and visuals to set a tone this movie does better than most movies I have ever seen. Visually it creates a unique feel for both the storytelling and the real world aspects of the film. While the real world is somewhat visually boring in its style I get the sense that this was on purpose, this only makes the extravagance and unique style of animation done for the storytelling parts all that much better. Coupled with this is the music and sound design. Many times, in films both new and old music is used as a tool to tell you how to feel, not to help enunciate the feelings that are already present. The Little Prince makes no such mistake, each piece of music is clearly hand crafted for the scene it is present in, adding to the scene instead of dominating it with its presence.
Now, for the bad. The Little Princes main flaw is it’s somewhat clumsy story line and message. It’s not that the tale isn’t compelling or interesting, it’s just that it’s so transparent from the beginning that it leaves very little to personal interpretation. Now I understand that this is a kids movie, I shouldn’t be looking for the next “The Holy Mountain” here. I am not expecting to be able to watch the movie six times and still be discovering new and amazing things in its symbolism. But what I am expecting, is for the film to not show you a visual metaphor for its message in one scene and then either very soon or even sometimes in the very same scene literally tell you what the message you were supposed to take away is. On top of this the big dramatic event at the end of the movie is so predictable that it robs itself of any impact it may have had on you. SPOILER ALERT When the movie introduces the friendly and eccentric old man character at the beginning I almost right away knew that he was going to die. While The Little Prince at least has the sense to avoid actually killing him off, they heavily imply that he is not long for this world. END SPOILERS. Predictability like this prevents you from being invested in the plot as much as you should be. When I know whats going to happen why should I care whats happening?
The Little Prince kept grasping at being truly fantastic, and unfortunately had to settle for only being very good. I give it a 7/10
Available on Netflix Instant