By Alex Doria
Netflix always finds a way to have in me in tears by the end of a blissful night of streaming. And nothing quite gets me all splotchy and rosy in the face than Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s “The Little Prince.” Netflix exclusively released the highly anticipated animated film of our favorite prince from outer space on August 5th and it’s everything you could hope for.
It has beautiful contrasting animation between the “real” world and the story of the little prince. Jeff Bridges voices the Aviator, along with a stellar cast of actors including Rachel McAdams, James Franco, Benicio del Toro, and Paul Rudd.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with The Little Prince, let me just warn you that it will break your heart. But in a good way. The story is about growing up, but most importantly, it’s about love and caring. The line from the book that is reiterated throughout the movie says this perfectly: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
The story is this: there is a little prince who once lived on the asteroid B-612, and he has travelled across space and found himself on Earth in the Sahara Desert. The Aviator has crashed his plane in the Sahara, and this is where he meets the little prince. After all of his travels and all that he has seen, the little prince longs to return home to his asteroid which he cares for, and most importantly, to his rose.
The Aviator learns about all of the little prince’s travels as they wander the desert together. Through the little prince, the Aviator learns that while the little prince is a little boy, he’s not just a child. He knows what it means to love. But he had to leave it to understand it. And unfortunately, sometimes you’ve travelled too far to find your way back.
The film provides a lovely frame narrative around the story of The Little Prince; the Aviator in his later years shares the story of the little prince with the young girl who lives next door to him. The ending to The Little Prince’s cosmic love affair with his rose and the meaning of life has befuddled and perplexed readers for decades, but through this additional narrative, that in every way celebrates The Little Prince, we have a way of grasping at the essential truths of this beautiful story.
So grab your tissues, because the little prince, like he does to everyone who encounters him, will make you love him, cry, smile, laugh, and most importantly, feel.