Beautiful animation about a Little Prince
The Little Prince movie is an adaption, by director Mark Osbourne, of the wonderfully illustrated and popular 1943 novella by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
It's a poetic movie that tells the story of a young boy from a far off asteroid who discovers the important things in life during his travels.
To convey a story that had a large impact on him, director Mark expanded the narrative to include a little girl reading the story for the first time. To switch between narratives, Mark used two distinct animation styles in order to lend a dreamlike quality to the movie. Most successfully, The Little Prince narrative used stop-motion animation and paper cut-outs to create the characters and their clothing, with layered flat paper to create the backgrounds and add depth. “I wanted to feel the Little Girl was just learning to use her imagination, starting from a piece of paper”, said Mark. “When the Little Prince enters the story the animation moves to full dimensional puppet stop-motion”.
“Every shot in stop-motion where the character is acting, we would rebuild the costumes afterward because they would tear and rip”, said Mark. “But it’s in keeping with one of the major themes of the story which is that anything beautiful is ephemeral”.
In our computer generated world, movie watchers will be forgiven for thinking that they might be seeing CG pretending to be stop-motion, but Mark had the last word on this. “I don’t think CG could have ever emulated the kind of organic detail that you get when you are actually building things like this”.
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