Based on the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry 1943 novel, “The Little Prince” follows a young girl whose mother has her whole life planned out for her, every minute, hour and day and moment of her life. Overwhelmed by the life plan, she becomes hesitant to grow up. Her neighbor, The Aviator, then introduces her to an extraordinary world where everything is possible, the world of the Little Prince. The animated film is now available to stream on Netflix, this is what the critics are saying about the Mark Osbourne-directed adaptation.
IndieWire’s David Ehrlich gave the film a grade letter of B-, calling it “a strange, satisfying, star-studded adaptation.” He adds that “‘The Little Prince’ is probably too opaque for children, and it’s definitely too strained for adults, but it’s still refreshing to see a movie that flies with the untamed, sometimes illogical creative impulses of its target audiences.”
Scott Foundas of Variety applauds the movie by writing in his review: “A respectful, lovingly reimagined take on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic 1943 tale, which adds all manner of narrative bells and whistles to the author’s slender, lyrical story of friendship between a pilot and a mysterious extraterrestrial voyager, but stays true to its timeless depiction of childhood wonderment at odds with grown-up disillusionment.”
Entertainment Weekly’s Leah Greenblatt gave the film a B+, enjoying the picture she notes, “One of the most inspired choices Osborne makes is to build such a striking visual contrast between his two scenarios…The seams of the film’s parallel plots don’t always come together quite as neatly…But at its inventive best—like the creation of a little cloth fox who never speaks but steals almost every scene he’s in—it does capture the odd, tender wonder of his world.”
On the less than positive side is Leslie Felperin from The Hollywood Reporter. The critic writes, “At heart, the film’s biggest flaw is that it doesn’t seem to have any faith in its audience’s emotional intelligence. It effectively neuters all the original story’s elusive, poetic, melancholy qualities by spelling things out in capital letters.”
Charles Solomon from the Los Angeles Times also critiqued the piece by writing, “Although Mark Osborne’s new CG/stop-motion feature succeeds in bringing the essence of Saint-Exupéry to life in the lovely stop-motion sequences, there are only a few of these delightful moments in an otherwise muddled movie that feels like three films ineptly grafted together.”
“The parts of this animated adaptation that work are so delightful that they make the parts that don’t even more glaring,” is what The Wrap critic Claudia Puig said who had mixed thought on the feature. “The novella’s tale of the power of love is essentially a graceful story within that larger, clunkier contemporary story, beautifully rendered in stop motion.”