The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
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Beautifully animated and faithful to the spirit of its classic source material, The Little Prince is a family-friendly treat that anchors thrilling visuals with a satisfying story.
All Critics (95)
| Top Critics (24)
| Fresh (88)
| Rotten (7)
It is deeply personal and profoundly moving, a sensitive and affecting portrait of humanity.
If Saint-Exupéry offered readers a petite, queer-tasting square of some delicate cake they'd never heard of, Netflix has served up a familiar, fragrant, well-balanced meal.
No child, or adult, for that matter, will be able to resist the considerable charm of The Little Prince.
Director Mark Osborne [achieves] some charming effects... But the computer-animated portions that function as a real-world framing device are more tedious than fanciful.
It's a film with charm and sweetness, but for me is structurally encumbered by this new present-day narrative level: the smarter, zappier modern animated style makes the marionette-style images of the past look a bit low-octane and quaint.
Beautifully and expressively animated, The Little Prince basically is the story of an old man who still acts like a kid and a kid who's being programmed to be an "essential" cog in the grand industrial, soul-deadening scheme of things.
Even if you don't enjoy CGI, this film is worth the watch just to see the beautifully animated stop-motion segments and is a great way to introduce fresh minds to the story of The Little Prince.
This is further evidence of the unattractive industrialism and obsessive control tendencies at the heart of much of contemporary animation.
A good example of a good kids' movie, but the segments that truly capture the source material are absolutely extraordinary.
The stories' dialogue... make us see the importance of remembering the child we were. [Full review in Spanish]
We need more movies like this -- for children and adults.
It's the interaction of a sanguine realism with a celebration of the liberating effect of the imagination that makes the magic happen. That, and the exquisite animation.
The animation is stunning, but the plot (whose title is misleading even if it does a great job reinterpreting the story in a new context) feels a bit all over the place in its second act (with a clear lack of cohesion between the two storylines) and has problems such as the mother's absurdly incoherent behavior in the end.
A beautiful papery, textured animation of the Exupery classic, unfortunately surrounded by a highly conventional framing animation extolling the need to not be boring in worn-out terms. Much overuse of imagery from 'The Wall', 'Brazil', 'The Apartment' and other dystopian fantasies. The put-upon child has the same face as any other Pixar kid. Le Petit Prince grows up into a miserable janitor and needs rescuing. The businessman captures the stars and crushes them to fuel his corporation. The rose is dead and baobabs have overcome the Prince's asteroid.
Things are set to right (obviously) but the fluttering, Sufist magic of the original tale is drowned out by the bombast of a mundane CGI adventure. People do not seem to understand the destructive power of excitement. The businessman wasn't an ogre in the book; he was blind: he needed help. Plus the Tippler and the Lamplighter do not even appear (they are referred to visually but ignored in the script.) If you can watch only the bits relating to the original tale, do that. I may do my own edit just to see what it looks like. I imagine it is twenty minutes of ephemeral beauty, just like the book.
Where do I possibly begin to describe just how incredible this film truly is? There have been many impressive animated films throughout the years, but many are geared toward a younger audience. There are very few that challenge their audience in the way that The Little Prince does, but that is only the beginning of what makes this film an absolute masterpiece. There is a core story to this film, but many things are left up to the interpretation of its audience, and while I think certain things happened throughout the course of this film, other may not have. The Little Prince is one of the greatest animated feature films in recent memory, and here is why.
Originating as a French film before being brought to the rest of the world and dubbed in different languages for a wider audience, it just goes to show that there are many more great films out there that are hard to find. To put it simply, a little girl moves into a new home with her mother, in preparation for a very prestigious school. During the summer, she must follow every rule set in motion by her mother. When her mother leaves for work, she slowly discovers an elderly man living next door and he introduces her to the story of The Little Prince. Trying to convince her that this little boy is real and this other world exists where amazing things happen, they form a very strong bond with one another. From beginning to end, this film gleams with originality. Although it is a film that has child-like visuals, its core story is much more mature than one might expect.
Children seem to feel as though their parents work too much and they never get to see them enough. We live in a world where children do not understand the motivation of their parents actions. The Little Prince takes that notion and takes a quite literal approach to displaying this on screen. This strange other universe has places where only children exist, finding every adult strange and others that have the same, yet reversed ideal. These ideals only work if the core characters of the film are interesting enough to want to see them venture into these worlds, and because they are, this film flows like a fictional piece of art. After viewing this film, I truly do not have a single complaint about the display of this fictional world. Sure, if you are to break down logic and not allow your mind to open wider than usual, you may find some flaws that bug you, but that is not what great storytelling is. Great storytelling is when a film allows you to open your mind and escape into a world that you wish you were in.
Doing something that really has never been done in a major motion picture before, The Little Prince has three very different styles of animation throughout. There is the clean-looking visuals for the core storyline, the 2D hand-drawn animation to display the other world in story form, and the in-between where the story comes to life in order to dive deeper into the characters in the story. For many reasons, this style works wonders for this picture, as the audience is able to experience a few twists and turns that will leave them speechless. There are multiple occasions in the final act of this film that had me tearing up. There are very few characters to follow here, which makes the impact of their arcs that much more compelling. You truly feel as though you know these characters inside out by the end of the picture.
Not having seen the original French version, I can only vouch for the voice talent in the American version, but I am sure the original is just as spectacular as this one. Every performance feels as though they care about their character and give a very down to earth performance. From the magnificent storytelling, to the perfection of its screenplay, to its unique and original visuals, The Little Prince is one of the most incredible animated films I have seen in many, many years. I am not quite sure if this film is eligible for an Academy Award, seeing as it was released in 2015 in its own country and then officially released globally this year, but if I am able to count this film as a 2016 release, it is easily one of the best you will see all year. This picture is the reason why I love film. The Little Prince is an animated masterpiece.
You know, much to my own embarrassment, I haven't actually ever read The Little Prince. Even when I was a kid, I don't remember having it read to me, though it probably was read to me at some point in my childhood. What's even more embarrassing is the fact that, probably when I was around 11, I may have even been in my teen years, I actually found a copy of the book lying around my house and I never read it, which is a shame. Maybe it's still around here somewhere. That's not the point though, the point is the fact that The Little Prince really is one of the more known kids' book in existence and people my age, and my parents' age, even if they haven't read the book, know about it and have, at one time or another, seen its cover or the illustrations attached to the character of the little prince. So, of course, I was intrigued when I saw that this film was gonna be released. Paramount somehow, and stupidly, dropped its theatrical release and Netflix picked up the rights to it. It's definitely a great pickup for Netflix, but I have no idea why Paramount just let the rights to distribute the film in theaters go. Anyway, the film isn't all about the little prince, it's about this little girl who meets the aviator who met the little prince and wrote about his interactions with the prince. The little girl leads a pretty sheltered existence, she moves into this dull and dreary town where everything is taken seriously and there's no joy in anyone's lives. Her mother has her adhere to a life plan, that literally plans out her entire existence. The little girl, who is never named, has very few friends, so of course she gravitates to the old man, who seems to be the only person who teaches the little girl about how to, you know, actually be a child. So, obviously, the film condemns these parents who coach kids into being perfect in order to get into prestigious schools, refuse to let them play in order to study. They are, essentially, taking all the fun out of being a child by putting all of this pressure on them to be unnecessarily perfect at such an early age. Not that there's anything wrong with teaching children responsibility and to do well at their studies at such an early age, but life is already hard as it is and these parents are only making it harder by taking all the fun out of it. Anyway, so, of course, the little girl and the aviator quickly become friends as she starts to learn about the little prince and his journey back to his rose. One of the many things I liked about the movie is how they intersperse the stop-motion animation, meant to resemble the illustrations in the book, with the CGi work. It just gives the film a little variety and the prince segments really are beautifully animated. Not saying the CGi animation is bad, it's actually real good, but I think the most beautiful segments in the film are about the stop-motion ones for sure. Long story short, the aviator finds himself in a coma, it's never said what happens, so the little girl decides to take his plane and go out and find the prince in order for him to help save the aviator. She succeeds and finds that the little prince is now a grown man and he has been forced to forget his own childhood as a result of the world he currently lives in. And that's what the film is about. It's not necessarily about wanting to be a child forever, it's about not forgetting that part of who you were when you grow up, which is what most adults do. And I know I'm not doing a great job at explaining this, but the story is very sweet and intelligently told. Do I think the movie is great? I don't know, if it isn't, then it was really fucking close to being a great movie. It had all the materials to be great but, honestly, it just didn't feel like a great movie to me. When I'm done watching a movie, if it's great, then I have no doubt in my mind. If I have an internal debate with myself about whether I thought it was great or not, then it probably wasn't. Of course, that's not taking anything away from this. This movie took a beloved classic and made it fresh and relevant again, that's not an easy thing to accomplish. And it's really a hell of a flick. Really strong story, inventive animation and great voice acting make this movie worth the trip.
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