Every now and then, something wonderful comes along that just touches your soul at its deepest parts. It’s as if a shift happens, everything in your chest tilts and within it something new, a perspective or an understanding or an epiphany, takes root and blooms.
It may seem that I’m just waxing poetic here about the wonderful potential of art. But I’m not. These were the true emotions I felt when watching Netflix’s The Little Prince.
Full disclaimer: I never read the book. In my entire life, I have never picked up the book, The Little Prince, although in my adult life I’ve always meant to do so. And now, I plan to purchase a beautiful edition of it to keep on my shelf forever.
Netflix’s interpretation of The Little Prince, is a deeply romantic, extremely moving, emotional, sometimes dark and wonderfully restorative film about a little girl and a big adventure. In the beginning we are introduced to a little girl who is following her mother’s orders on how to be a successful grown up in a world solely focused on grades, numbers and office jobs. It is a difficult trip, but eventually the little girl forms a relationship with her quirky aviator-neighbor who shows her how to make the most of her childhood. The Aviator tells her the story of the Little Prince and his search for meaning across the universe. In the story, the little girl finds herself and takes control of her own life.
This story is so nuanced it is difficult to know where to begin.
First off, I felt such a kinship with the little girl as I myself was somewhat similar to her. I was always focused on doing well in school throughout my formative years. It was my main concern because it was my parents’ main concern. While they didn’t go to such lengths as shown in the movie, there was always the pressure to do the best so that I could go to a good college, get a degree and get a good job.
But I still always had that creative urge in me and I did my best to balance my love of creating with what I needed to do to succeed. But there are so many stories like the little girls, where kids lose themselves in their parents’ ambitions and forget to find their true selves and live their childhood. This is the overarching theme throughout the movie — to never let go of that curiosity, creativity and imagination that comes with being a kid.
I think the second theme that threads through the story is how to keep that philosophy when faced with the harsh realities of life. The little girl faces difficult decisions, change, death, growing up and the need to speak up for oneself. Both The Aviator and The Little Prince help the girl maneuver these difficult times by teaching her the nature of the world and also consoling her while she attempts to understand why these things must happen.
Everything in this film is handled with such a wonderful delicacy that, even adults like me, almost revert back to childhood and attempt to navigate and understand the world along with the little girl. Again, I felt as though I were a child being told a bedtime story, I was so swept away with the story it was almost a shock to come out of it.
I love everything about this film. I love the cold stark neighborhood with its business people as it is compared to the warm, cluttered and imaginative world of The Aviator. I love the shift in animation when the story turns to The Little Prince as he travels the universe. I love the stuffed fox. I love the vintage music. But most of all, I love the message. In a time when we have lost our humanity, there are small glimmers of who we once were: loving, compassionate, courageous, imaginative and curious. There is a sort of call to action for us to wake from our cubicled, adult lives and return to that pure consciousness we lost in our jaded society. It is just so beautiful.
Throughout the movie, I cried. Not just because of the sad parts, but because of the sheer beauty of this film. The tears came from deep within, a part of me that not only recognized the truth, but the need for us to have the same transformation the little girl has. I am so inspired.
A million stars for this movie; it is now one of my favorite movies of all time. Please go watch it. I promise, it will definitely not disappoint.
What did you think of The Little Prince? What do you think of Netflix’s reworking and interpretation of the original story? How can people reconnect with their childhood curiosity in our current, and jaded, world? Let’s talk.