The Little Prince — A Familiar Story inside an Original Story
A semi-modern interpretation of a timeless classic
I assume everyone knows the story of The Little Prince, right? If you haven’t heard of this all-time classic, they’ve been teaching you the wrong things at school (not that I remember what school is like). You should drop whatever you’re doing and read it, or at the very least read the description on Wikipedia.
On the other hand, if you’re already familiar with this nostalgic greatness, I suppose you don’t have to do any of that stuff. But seriously, it is among the most influential pieces of literature.
The book itself doesn’t have any significant symbolism in my life, but my favourite part in the book is when the Prince asks the narrator to draw him a sheep. After three not-so-successful attempts at drawing a sheep, despite the narrator’s lack of artistic skill, he draws a box and tells the Prince that “the sheep is inside it”, which was what the Prince expected. I like it so much because it’s an example of something that is one thing but is also another thing, i.e. the sheep is a sheep, but it’s also a box. It’s an intricate idea and a discussion for a different occasion.
Anyway, they made a movie a few years back, and it’s not an unusual adaptation because, in addition to the classic story, where the Prince visits different places and meets different people, there is also an original story that acts as a pseudo-sequel of sorts. It’s a bit vague because the events in the movie are open to the audience’s subjective interpretation; I was scratching my head by the end of it. I assume that the Old Man is the narrator from the book, decades after his encounter with the Prince and that the events in the movie also happen decades later. So yeah, it was a weird but fun movie, but I guess this is what happens when you write an original story that extends the canon of a classic story. In any case, the languages were all over the place.
Was it a French movie?
As I continued watching the movie, I noticed all kinds of French texts pop up here and there. It was weird because the characters spoke English, matching the lip movements. So, wait… am I watching a French movie or a movie of a different origin? It wasn’t clear to me.
Maybe I’m just misunderstanding, but the English speech combined with the French text made it hard to realise what kind of environment the characters were from. Not that it mattered much since most of the movie was about the dynamics between the various characters.
I didn’t enjoy the original story’s incorporation because the original story and the classic story don’t match when considering that the former occurs in modern society. At the same time, the adventures of the Prince border surrealism. The original story is also vastly different from the novella released in the 1940s. Two casts of characters, one from a timeless classic while the other is a modern-day interpretation of what could’ve happened to the Little Prince after the end of the original story, for those who still remember it from bedtime stories of their childhood. But it was a fun movie nonetheless.
A possibility for a more faithful adaptation
Adapting only the original story of The Little Prince — which was him visiting different worlds, meeting different people, and asking strangers to draw him a sheep — would be hard, considering that the plot cannot cover a 100% faithful adaptation. It would be a short movie, and everybody knows that short movies aren’t real movies.
Still, even if it were a 30-minute movie, it should feature the original book instead of just wondering where all the characters went after the end of the story. But the screenplay only adds more questions. I am still scratching my head several days after watching the movie. I suppose that’s the beauty of the movie in that, much like the original, the reader/audience is left puzzled as to what the hell happened. It’s open for interpretation.
I suppose that the main problem would be that the movie wouldn’t have enough screen time. I don’t care, as long as it’s just the source material.
How did you enjoy the movie?
Or, better yet, how did you enjoy the book? Did you read the book? Because I have, even though that was 30 years ago, give or take. What do you think of the anachronistic continuation presented in the movie? This is the spot where you give your ideas on the matter. But hey, you already know that… I think.
I initially said it, but I have to repeat it: you should know if you aren’t familiar with The Little Prince. It’s an important children’s book and one of my favourites because some of the things that happened in that book are zany as hell, definitely not something that children can understand (not properly, anyhow). But it’s still a children’s book.
As for the movie, it was nice. I said what I think about it, and it’s not that important if there’s an original story in it. The movie was enjoyable, so I guess that’s what matters.
No, seriously, read The Little Prince…