Most of us have read Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince at least once in our lives—personally, the tale of the stranded pilot and the little prince with the lovable laugh is intertwined with memories of my mother sitting in a rocking chair in our living room, patiently reading the tiny text of her battered copy to a six-year-old version of myself. I had been too young to understand it during that first reading, complaining instead that there weren’t enough pictures, but The Little Prince is the rare breed of book that grows with you—a rereading at one point of your life will hold a different depth than it will at another.
Since the first trailer released late last year, fans of this unique children’s book for adults have kept a keen eye on the internet for any other clues to the promising new screen adaptation. While the first trailer was exclusively in French, which most of us can’t speak to save our lives (Parlez-vouz Anglais, s’il vous plait?), the second trailer dropped today, blissfully in English, and here’s what we’ve gleaned so far:
Juxtaposed with the adventures of our beloved Pilot and his friend the Prince is the tale of a yet nameless child; a bright-eyed little girl who at first doesn’t seem to be having much of a childhood thanks to an over-achieving, over-bearing mother—a presence that most of us as offspring reared for “great things” can relate to. Mackenzie’s tale mirrors both the loneliness of the Prince and the enlightenment of the Pilot, leading what seems like a bittersweet freedom in the end—much like the ending of the novella.
Our generation is no stranger to gorgeous, seamless animation, but the new Little Prince trailer features paper cutout animation shockingly loyal to Saint-Exupéry’s beautiful watercolors from the original text. Suffice to say that we’re stoked to watch what looks like a visually mind-blowing film.
With Mark Osborne of Kung Fu Panda fame at the directorial helm, the trailer promises us a French premiere in July 2015. While no international release date has been announced, the fact that the English trailer has been released pre-Cannes Film Festival leads up to hope for a premiere around the same time. Fingers crossed!
If you close your eyes and listen to the trailer, it’s evident that Jeff Bridges is voicing the part of the Aviator, the little girl’s eccentric neighbor who sets her off down the road to reclaiming her childhood. Alongside Bridges, the film boats a star-studded voice cast including Rachel McAdams (as the Mother), Marion Cotillard (as the Rose), James Franco (as the Fox), and even Benicio del Toro (as the Snake)!
“When the moment does come for me to leave, I have to go alone.”
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO~ /sobs hysterically
Much like in the novella, the character of the Fox has ownership of some of the most poignant lines in the trailer.
Despite the tale of the Pilot and the Prince unfolding through the little girl’s imagination, we’re ecstatic at not just the animation’s loyalty to the original art, but with little clues to the film’s loyalty to the original text. If anything, the parallel storyline looks like it will add even more ache and intensity to a tale that’s already heartbreaking in and of itself.
Prepare your heart for explosions of glow-in-the-dark stars and dreamy afternoons buoyed by little else but whimsy. The trailer makes us want to fast forward to July, because honestly? Excited na ako iyakan ‘to, guys.
Remember, what is essential is invisible to the eye.