When it comes to beloved children’s books, there are few that have been more widely-read than Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s novella The Little Prince. The book tells the story of an Aviator whose plane crashes in the desert, where he meets a Little Prince who comes from an asteroid-sized planet – and is visiting Earth as part of his journey to explore the universe.
The latest adaptation of the The Little Prince is a French production directed by Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda), and includes a framing story about a Little Girl with a strictly regimented life plan who meets the Aviator when he is much older. The film features a mix of animation styles, with the story segments about the elderly Aviator and the Little Girl portrayed with computer animation and the tale of the Little Prince told through stop-motion animation.
The first trailer for The Little Prince was a bit of a tearjerker, thanks in no small part to the use of the song “Somewhere Only We Know” as covered by Lily Allen – and the new international trailer might also leave people reaching for the Kleenex. Featuring the English voice cast (which includes Jeff Bridges, MacKenzie Foy, James Franco, Marion Cotillard and Rachael McAdams), the trailer outlines more of the story and includes some gorgeous new clips from both the modern story and the Aviator’s tale.
The Little Prince is set to premiere at Cannes Film Festival next month as part of the Out of Competition selection, alongside Pixar’s Inside Out and Mad Max: Fury Road. With a budget of $80 million, it is one of the most expensive animated films ever produced in France.
De Saint-Exupéry’s original novella was published in 1943 and has since been translated into over 250 languages with over 140 million copies sold worldwide. While those who love the book might feel skeptical about the addition of a framing device, it seems like Osborne and screenwriter Irena Brignull (The Boxtrolls) used the inclusion of the Little Girl as a way to expand upon the themes of childhood and imagination that were presented in the story.
The Little Prince will release in France on July 29th, 2015, with the U.S. release date to be confirmed soon.