When you adapt a children's book that's been a giant in the culture for more than 70 years, you try like hell to do it right. It certainly looks like director Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie) managed it for The Little Prince, if the new trailer is any indication.
"Growing up is not the problem," a sagacious elder tells a young friend. "Forgetting is."
As Spike Jonze did with Where the Wild Things Are, The Little Prince finds a way to work the original story into a new-yet-faithful context without it being a "reboot." The parts written for the movie are Pixar-quality CGI; the storybook stuff is crisp stop-motion. The voice cast includes Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, Marion Cotillard, James Franco, Benicio Del Toro, Jeff Bridges and Ricky Gervais.
The movie has already premiered in more than 50 countries in at least 10 languages, been shown at Cannes Film Festival and won a César Award for Best Animated Feature Film. Still, Paramount canceled the U.S. debut a week before the scheduled March 18 premiere. Fortunately Netflix—that rescuer of great properties like Arrested Development and Gilmore Girls—stepped in with its walrus-sized wallet and secured an exclusive Aug. 5 premiere of its own. The film will hit both Netflix and American cinemas that day.
“It’s been a crazy adventure, the entire production," Mark Osborne tells Entertainment Weekly. “How I look at it, the release pattern is really uncommon too.” Of his overall mission with The Little Prince, Osborne said:
“I really wanted to find a way to create a cinematic emotional experience that was equivalent to the emotional experience that someone can have reading the book. I really saw the movie as an opportunity to pay tribute to the power of the book. Not just adapt the book word for word, but a chance to adapt what the book means to people, and how it affects their lives.”
Annnd that's why we'll be watching it this August.