The Little Prince, an animated film based on the novel by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, was scheduled to release on March 18th. Earlier this month, seemingly out of nowhere, Paramount quietly pulled the film from its distribution calendar. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix has picked up the distribution rights and will release the film to its streaming service sometime later this year.
The Little Prince is a beloved children’s novel, originally published in 1943. It cherished and championed the power of imagination and childhood. The Little Prince tells the story of a boy born on an asteroid who flies around the universe and explores various planets. He meets several different adults with foolish worldviews and awful behaviors, and he attempts to teach the narrator of the story to follow his dreams and believe in himself. It has been translated into almost every conceivable language and has sold millions of copies worldwide.
The film version of The Little Prince appears to follow a similar thematic flow. It was directed by Mark Osborne, who is best known for Kung-Fu Panda. It features a blend of computer animation and stop-motion animation and features an all-star voice cast. Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, James Franco, Paul Rudd, Marion Cotillard, and Benicio del Toro all lend their voices to the film, among others. It debuted at last year’s Cannes Film Festival and has already grossed over $100 million internationally. It currently sports a 94% “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes and won the Cesar Award (essentially the French Academy Awards) for the best-animated film.
There is no indication why Paramount dropped The Little Prince, especially considering the money and talent involved and the almost universally positive reviews it has received so far. Netflix has not said exactly when customers will be able to stream the film, merely stating that it will be available at some point this year.
Excited to watch The Little Prince? Glad it is coming to Netflix rather than theaters? Let us know.