The Little Prince

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
The Little Prince Movie Poster Image
Animated take on classic tale is sweet but restrained.
  • PG
  • 2016
  • 108 minutes
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 10 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Themes include compassion, empathy, and integrity. A key take-away is that sometimes you have to let go of your schedule and your plans so you can enjoy being in the moment. In this busy, modern world, where kids are hyperscheduled and pressured from a young age, they sometimes don't get the chance to just be a kid -- which isn't good.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Aviator doesn't always follow the rules, and some of his schemes are downright dangerous, but his heart is in the right place, and his instincts for helping teach the Girl to find joy are spot on. And while the Mother clearly loves her daughter and wants only the best for her, some of her plans are stifling the Girl's spirit.

Violence

Some parts of the film are surprisingly dark, as when the Girl is trapped in a factory and threatened by the machinery (part of another character's plan to shut down her yearning for independence). References to/implications of death/passing away and suicide.

Sex
Language

"Stupid" is used.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Little Prince is based on the beloved book by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, but it's not a strictly faithful retelling of the story. Instead, it focuses on a young girl who befriends the old man next door, who's actually the Aviator from the story. He tells her about how he met the Little Prince many years ago. The animated film takes plenty of liberties, but the basic message is the same as the book's, and it's an important one: Take time to enjoy life. That's an important theme for people of all ages, though The Little Prince has always been a fable that has more resonance for adults than little kids. Plus, the latter part of the movie has some surprisingly dark moments that may be a bit much for younger viewers -- for instance, when the Girl is trapped in a factory and threatened by the machinery (part of another character's plan to shut down her yearning for independence). There are references to/implications of both death and suicide. And the Girl has a complicated relationship with her mother.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byCharity L. September 4, 2016

Confusing moral messages

The animation is wonderful, the music is great, and the story generally moves along well. We read most of the book with our kids and really wanted to enjoy th... Continue reading
Parent of a 9 and 11 year old Written byliligabor August 31, 2016

A tearjerker for my 9 year old

Beautifully done but the dark moments were too sad for my somewhat sensitive boy.
Kid, 12 years old August 9, 2016

Best..... Movie..... EVER

This movie is an adorable, touching, and tearjerking. A place where everybody works and nobody even cares what imagination means a little girl reads a story by... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old August 10, 2016

BEST MOVIE, MUST READ!!!!!

I think this movie is a little complicated. It has a tiny bit of blood. It is not for kids 7 and under. But I think kids 7 and up could see it. The little princ... Continue reading

What's the story?

In THE LITTLE PRINCE, a Mother (voiced by Rachel McAdams) has her daughter's life all planned out, starting with a rigorous study program to ensure she gets into the right school. The Girl (Mackenzie Foy) is so busy she barely has time to get to know the quirky old man next door (Jeff Bridges), but eventually he convinces her to take a break so he can tell some stories about his time as an Aviator -- and how he once met the titular Little Prince.

Is it any good?

The Little Prince isn't ineffective -- in fact, it's quite moving; it's just not as awe-inspiring as it could have been. And that's at least somewhat because it isn't exactly like the iconic book, though the themes are very similar. The movie is mostly about the Girl and what she learns from the Aviator, which is a shift from the book (it's more about what the Aviator learns from the Little Prince). It offers the same basic message, just told in a very different way, which may very well influence how audiences receive the film.

The parts that stick closely to the text will fee magical and otherworldly, thanks to the animation. (And, of course, the source.) But the sections that were added to frame the story -- especially the third act -- are fairly predictable (though enjoyable) and are a departure from the book's tone. The resulting juxtaposition proves somewhat unsettling: The depth of the source material is diluted by the too-straightforward (and somewhat jarring) additions.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about The Little Prince's dark/scary scenes. What makes them scary? How much scary stuff can young kids handle?

  • What is the Aviator trying to teach the Girl? What do you think about the Mother's plans for the Girl? 

  • How does the story illustrate compassion, empathy, and integrity? Why are those important character strengths?

  • The film uses two very different animation styles. What does this show the audience? How do the images match the various moments in the film? 

  • If you've read the book, how is the movie similar and different? What do you think about framing the story of the Little Prince with the story of the Girl and her Mother? Does this structure change the story's meaning/impact?

Movie details

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