Book Vs Movie: “The Little Prince”
The 1943 Novel Vs the 2015 Adaptation
The Margos say “Vive La France!” as we dive into the classic children’s book The Little Prince by author & illustrator Antoine de Saint-Exupery originally published in 1943. The author was a successful poet, journalist, and aviator for many years before he was lost on a WWII mission off Marseille in occupied France in July 1944. Previous to his assumed death, he was the recipient of many awards including the Legion of Honor (1930 & 1939) and the U.S. National Book Award (1940.)
Saint-Exupery was visiting America during WWII and felt passionate about saving France from German occupation. One of his friends at the time was Charles Lindbergh who was an ardent anti-interventionist and part of the hero of The Little Prince is based on the appearance of Lindbergh’s blonde son Land.
He and his wife Rose also lived in Quebec for a while where he was inspired by philosophers trying to make sense of war and how France can regain its independence and Democracy. Even though he was well in his 40s–Saint-Exupery served in the French Air Force and served in several missions before his plane disappeared.
The Little Prince would eventually become one of the most successful children’s books in the history of publishing translated into over 300 languages and adapted as a film, opera, radio theater, and ballet. The narrator begins the story by telling the audience he doesn’t trust adults as they do not receive things “normally.” He begins conversations by showing them a picture of a snake eating an elephant and the grownups always said it looks like a hat.
The narrator is an aviator who crashes his plane in the Sahara desert. With only a few days of supplies, he meets a little blonde boy (The Little Prince) who tells his life story beginning as an alien from another planet (an asteroid.) He talks about being in love with a “vain” rose and then leaving that planet to save others who need him.
This includes six other planets:
- One with a king with no subjects
- A man who needs to be admired all of the time
- A man who drinks to forget
- A rich businessman who can’t see the beauty of the stars
- A lamplighter
- An old geographer who teaches about “ephemeral” being
The Little Prince travels across planet earth and meets many creatures and people who help him grow as a person. (There are so many lessons here. It is hard to name them all!)
The 2015 animated film was directed by Mark Osbourne and features the voices of Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, Bud Cort & Albert Brooks (!) and beautiful visuals throughout. It also has a young girl as our protagonist which is one of the major changes in the adaptation.
The movie did very well with critics and won the 2016 Cesar Awards for “Best Animated Film.”
So between the novel and the movie–which did we prefer? Have a listen and find out!
In this ep the Margos discuss:
- The biography of Antoine de Saint-Exupery
- The different adaptations over the years of the material
- The terribly sad “real” ending of the story and what we thought of it as children
- The cast: Riley Osbourne (Little Prince,) Mackenzie Foy (the little girl,) Jeff Bridges (Aviator,) Rachel McAdams (mother,) Marion Cotillard (the Rose,) Benecio del Toro (the Snake,) Albert Brooks (Businessman,) Paul Rudd (the Adult Prince,) Paul Giamatti (Academy Teacher,) Bud Cort (the King,) and Ricky Gervais (the Conceited Man.)
- The Little Girl meets The Aviator
- The Little Prince trailer
- The Little Prince meets the King
- The Little Prince meets The Conceited Man
- The Little Prince meets The Businessman
- The Little Prince meets The Rose
- The Little Prince soundtrack Hans Zimmer & Richard Harvey
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