Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Little Prince (2015)

I used to work at Wolf Camera years ago.  One thing I remember was the mantra “Give yourself a raise.”  It meant that you could always be selling more of the things that got you sales incentives or commissions.  You could always sell more extended warranties or loyalty cards.  You could always sell more accessories.  Basically, it felt like I would always have the carrot of better numbers in front of me.  There had to be a point where it stopped.  (If I sold everything in the store with the maximum warranty, would they have me special order stuff?)

Such is the world of The Mother and The Daughter.  The Mother is anxious to see her daughter get into a good school.  They even have an answer for their expected Big Question.  However, when she’s asked a different question, The Daughter gives her rehearsed answer anyway, oblivious to the fact that it doesn’t make sense.  This necessitates a move to the same neighborhood as the school.  The cheapest house happens to be next door to The Aviator, a man that the neighbors (and police) seem to avoid whenever possible.

The Daughter and The Aviator become fast friends, as The Daughter tries to avoid her rigorous schedule.  You see, The Daughter has a lot of studying to do if she wants to do well and eventually get a good job.  The Aviator is an adult, but hasn’t grown up yet.  He sees in The Daughter someone he can tell his story to.  That story is the story of The Little Prince.

Never having read the book, I’m not sure how well the movie stays faithful to its source material.  In the movie, The Aviator tells of meeting The Little Prince, who claimed to be from an asteroid.  The Little Prince tells of his life and some of the people he’s met, like a businessman.  While on Earth, he meets a fox and a snake.  He has a good time, but eventually has to go home, which saddens the Aviator.  However, The Little Prince tells The Aviator to simply look up at the stars to remind him of their time together.

In the present timeframe, The Aviator tells The Daughter that he’s happy that they met, as he now has someone to pass along the story.  The Daughter infers that he may be leaving or even dying, which The Aviator denies.  She even gets upset with him for having such a sad ending.  When The Aviator is taken away in an ambulance, The Daughter takes it upon herself to find The Little Prince so that The Prince might help The Aviator.

The tale of The Mother, the Daughter and  the older Aviator seems to have been made for the movie.  From what I can tell, the book was meant as a children’s book for adults, warning of forgetting how to be a child.  The Mother and the other adults seem to have forgotten this, but The Aviator hasn’t.  He sees in The Daughter the opportunity to let her be a little girl for a few minutes.  The Mother means well, but she doesn’t seem to see that her daughter might want an hour or two to play.  (Isn’t hard work what being an adult is all about, though?)

It’s appropriate that the film uses CGI and stop motion.  Animation is typically seen as being for children.  Many adults seem to have forgotten how to enjoy an animated movie.  For years, I’ve been trying to get my parents to watch movies like Up and Zootopia to no effect.  I don’t know that they’ll ever take the recommendations seriously.

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