If you were ever a child – or if you took French in high school – there’s a good chance that you read, had read to you, or stumbled through in another language Antoine Saint-Exupery’s novella The Little Prince. Now a real who’s-who of Hollywood A-listers have signed on, en masse, for an animated version of the beloved tale.
The Little Prince has just added James Franco, Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Benecio Del Toro and Paul Giamatti. The stars will lend their voices to director Mark Osborne’s take on the story of a pilot who crashes in the Sahara and meets a young boy claiming to have fallen from an asteroid. As the pilot fixes his plane, the boy tells his story, of his love for a rose growing on his planet’s surface, and his eventual travels to other asteroids. Jeff Bridges will reportedly voice the pilot, but who the other cast members are slated to play has yet to be seen.
Like many children’s books, The Little Prince is far more than just an adorable story. It’s a deeply beautiful, melancholic work about love and imagination, the loss of childhood, the hopes of idealism, and the banal cruelties of the adult world, among other things. One hopes that the director of Kung Fu Panda is up for actually doing justice to Saint-Exupery’s tale.
The cast is an impressive one, which is not surprising for an animated film nowadays. The question is how the script comes out. Saint-Exupery’s illustrations are as essential to the novella as his words; I hope that the animation maintains at least some of his simplicity and elegance.
With the cast just now in place, we can expect to hear more about The Little Prince in short order. No release date has yet been set.
What do you think about a new film version of The Little Prince? Let us know in the comments.