Paramount Pictures’ adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic children’s book The Little Prince has been chosen to open the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Opening night will be held February 3rd at the Arlington Theater.
Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda, Sponge Bob Square Pants) directed from Irene Brignull (The Boxtrolls) and Bob Persichetti’s (Puss in Boots animator) screenplay. Producers are Aton Soumache, Dimitri Rassam and Alexis Vonarb.
Roger Durling, executive director of SBIFF, said “Saint-Exupéry’s novel is one of the most beloved works of the 20th century. What Mark has done with this story is extraordinary and moving, and we think it provides a perfect tie-in to AppleBox, our free family screening program, and to the festival’s other philanthropic efforts. We are thrilled to have this film kick off our festival.”
The animated movie features a starry cast of voice actors, including Mackenzie Foy (Interstellar), Rachel McAdams, (Spotlight), Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard (Macbeth), Academy Award nominee James Franco (Yosemite), Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges (The Giver), Academy Award winner Benicio Del Toro (Sicario), Academy Award nominee Paul Giamatti (San Andreas), Paul Rudd (Ant-Man), and Ricky Gervais (Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb). Newcomer Riley Osborne voices the titular role. The story centers on a young girl following her achievement-oriented mother’s regimented structure to maximize her chances of acceptance into a prestigious academy. The girl then discovers a world of play and adventure introduced to her by The Aviator, her elderly, eccentric neighbor who shows her a magical world introduced to him a long time ago by The Little Prince. The story-within-the-story is of The Little Prince, portrayed in stop-motion, with familiar images from Saint-Exupéry’s book of the Little Prince on his small planet. The young girl discovers along her emotional journey that the secret to living a full and happy life can only be seen with the heart.
After its SBIFF premiere, The Little Prince will open in theaters on March 18th. See the trailer here.