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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Movie Review - The Little Prince

The Little Prince (2016)
Featuring the vocal talents of Mackenzie Foy, Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Riley Osborne, James Franco, Benicio Del Toro, Ricky Gervais, Albert Brooks, Paul Giamatti, and Paul Rudd
Directed by Mark Osborne
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***

2016 was a lukewarm year for animation and I was hoping this little flick -- which was supposed to be released in theaters, but was then shopped to Netflix -- would be a quirky venture that I could latch onto.  Unfortunately, the lack of a theatrical release for The Little Prince was probably the correct assessment as it proves to be much too talky and philosophical for a kids' film, but a little too childish to really engage adults.

I don't think I've ever read the popular children's book upon which this film is based so its resemblance to the source material is completely unknown to me.  However, the film revolves around The Little Girl (Mackenzie Foy) whose Mother (Rachel McAdams) forces her to live a very regimented life focused squarely on education rather than having any modicum of fun.  When The Mother and The Little Girl move to a new home, their next door neighbor ends up being a bit of a handful.  The elderly man (Jeff Bridges) was a former aviator who spends his time piecing together an old plane in his backyard.  Much to her mother's chagrin, The Little Girl ends up befriending The Aviator as he regales her with stories of his youth where he met The Little Prince (Riley Osborne) who traveled to Earth and taught him about being a better man.

The Little Prince looks lovely, there's no denying that.  The mostly typical Pixar-esque computer animation is interspersed with some charming paper-y looking stop motion work that is aesthetically appealing.  The voice acting, for the most part, is also quite good (although there are a few performances - Ricky Gervais, James Franco - that seem more celeb-driven than story-driven).  Unfortunately, it's not enough to help the philosophical mumbo jumbo that drives "The Little Prince" segments of the story which take over as the film progresses.  The film really appears to be unsure to whom it's marketing itself -- is this a kiddie film (as the first half would have you believe) or is this some deeper adult presentation about hanging onto the past and never losing the memories of what came before?  The flick isn't sure of that and it shows in its muddled nature.  Still, it's lovely to look at, but a bit boring to watch.

The RyMickey Rating:  C

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