by Heinrich Domingo
The film adaptation of the much beloved novel Le Petit Prince teaches us that there is no monopoly of narrative. Once texts that are etched in books are turned into motion picture, stories are rehashed. This is the nature of cinema. This is the nature of media. They are particular, subjective, and personal.
A young prodigious girl living in a “perfect” adult world is groomed in order to enter in a prestigious academy. Her mother crafted a life plan schedule detailing how her summer is to be spent mainly on academic preparation. Suddenly, a retired aviator befriends the young protagonist and tells her the story of the little prince. Their friendship seemed to badly influence the task in front of her often making the girl wander off from her schedule. This did not make her mother happy. The aviator eventually fell ill. In the hope to make amends with the sick aviator, the girl decided to embark on a solo journey to find the little prince.
While the novel might have gained a mass of audience, it also set unattainable expectations. The never-contented viewers are offended with the supposed ‘bastardization’ of the story. Some conservative folks have not yet reconciled the reality that novels are stories and they can be interpreted and reinterpreted in several manners. To judge the film because of extending the novel’s plot is unfair and superficial.
It is true that the movie took liberty in extending the plot of the little prince’s journey. Yet, the moral of the story remained intact and untouched. The film continued to be a social commentary on the pressures of life, of taking responsibilities, of forgetting, and of saying goodbye. Depicted in the story of the young girl is the same story of the little prince in the current generation.
Moreover, the movie’s visual artistry is a breath of fresh from the digitally created animated films today. Viewers can easily recognize the hard work needed to pull off a stop-motion animation. This technique paved way in the film’s purpose to ignite nostalgia among the audience.
Adding to the emotions in the film is the beautifully created soundtrack. Hans Zimmer and Richard Harvey’s genius composition of French songs brought back the viewers to their childhood. The enticing rhythm and melodramatic melody jibe with the story that unfolds before the eyes of the audience.
Despite deviations from the book story, The Little Prince movie is sure of its message and outstanding in its presentation. It was able to supplement the excitement and nostalgia set by the book. It was stirring, magical, and full of wonder. It brought us the Little Prince.