Sunday, September 25, 2016

Movie Review: "The Little Prince" (2016)

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Movie"The Little Prince"
Director: Mark Osborne
Year: 2016
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 48 minutes

An old man (Jeff Bridges) tells the story of the little prince to a girl (Mackenzie Foy), who up until now has spent her whole young life preparing for her future.

"The Little Prince" is directed by Mark Osborne, who takes a different approach in the telling of this classic children's tale BigJ and I both read at some point in our younger years. It stars the voice talents of Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, Marion Cotillard, Ricky Gervais, James Franco, Benicio Del Toro, Paul Giamatti, and Albert Brooks, just to name a few. In the world that exists in this movie, everything is about business and everyone is focused on preparing for, getting, and having a career. Even children spend their lives meticulously curated down to the second, being groomed for their futures by their parents who are never around because they are too focused on their own careers. Everyone in this world acts this way except for the old, crotchety Aviator, voiced by Jeff Bridges. In a world full of squares, he is the only circle. He is an artist and a dreamer who looks for hope and inspiration wherever he can find it. The little girl who has just moved in next door, voiced by Mackenzie Foy, is being groomed for her eventual success in business. Her mother, voiced by Rachel McAdams, plans out every second of every minute of every day of every month of every year as a path to success. Unfortunately, she didn't count on the oddball Aviator next door, who gives her little girl pages and drawings of his story called "The Little Prince." As the audience, we get to experience the story with the little girl and see her transformation from a career-oriented child to a person willing to dream about the fun, endless possibilities life can have if you stop planning out every second of every minute of every day of every month of every year of your life.

From a visual standpoint, the way the story of "The Little Prince" is told is visually striking and extremely beautiful. The world where the little girl, her mother, and the Aviator live is shown as one animation style, closer to a typical cartoon, while the drawings and story by the Aviator are shown in a different way, like paper come to life. As these two simultaneous animation styles intertwine, we are fully drawn to not only the story itself, but how it relates to this business-oriented world we find these characters living in, much like our own. The actors who lend their voices to this project are perfectly fitting, especially Jeff Bridges, who can do the grizzled old guy voice extremely well. Each piece of the equation comes together in a near perfect manner full of true but somewhat harsh commentary on our modern society, imagination, and of course, tons of charm. Sometimes, BigJ and I feel like dreamers in a world so focused on money and business and success. We always strive to forge our own paths in life, even if it makes us the oddball outcasts like the Aviator. Maybe this is why we relate to the story so much, or maybe, it's just because all the pieces of this beautiful film fall into place to make one magnificent, gorgeous movie kids and adults can love together and separately.

"The Little Prince" serves as a reminder to not forget to have a childhood. It also wants its audience to remember that all of us adults were kids at one point and there's more to life than what is efficient and profitable and scheduled and regimented. This is a heartfelt tale we really relate to on a personal level and it even brought us to tears. This movie was originally supposed to get a wide theatrical release in the U.S., and after seeing it, we are very sad it didn't. We are glad it was picked up by Netflix and is able to be viewed there for all of time. We loved this film's touching allegories on life, love, and the importance of dreaming, as well as what it has to say about never fully losing the heart you once had as a child. This is absolutely worth checking out, in fact, we implore you see it as soon as possible.

My Rating: 9/10
BigJ's Rating: 9/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 93%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

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