Most helpful critical review
26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
I Gave This a Chance despite the first viewing
on August 6, 2006
I saw this film with my grandmother at Radio City Music Hall as a child back in 1974 (I think this is the year). I had not read the book at that time, and certainly did not like the movie. Since falling in love with the soundtrack of Le Petit Prince (Richard Cocciante's and Elisabeth Anais's French version), I decided to give this film another look. Also, it's considered a classic, so I thought maybe I'd like it better now.
I did like the main cast. I think Richard Kiley as the aviator was excellent and I very much enjoyed Steven Warner as the Little Prince. Gene Wilder (the Fox) like always, was great.
The movie was really bad, though. And, the musical score was appalling (I do not use this term lightly)! The Little Prince, too, is filled with poor melodies and lyrics. I am not a huge fan of Lerner and Lowe's, but these songs are just really atrocious. I wound up fast forwarding halfway through most of the songs since they sounded horrid and repetitive. Worse, they seemed to come out of nowhere with no real transition from dialogue to music. The Prince's Rose, for instance, said goodbye coyly yet gently but then belted out her obnoxious and brash goodbye song. And, it was HORRIBLE as were most all the tracks. Really atrocious stuff. I'm surprised it even passes as music.
The main message here is wonderful. The film does keep the main message, but if you don't know the book, some of the lessons learned and taught are lost in this film. You reach the same conclusion, because it's spelled out for the watcher, but some lessons (vanity, too much work-not enough play, focus on money) are lost along the way. In addition, the troubled yet charming lamplighter is absent here. Really, if time was an issue, why not cut out the horrendous musical numbers? These planetary visits the Prince makes in the book are pretty integral to the story.
Again, the scenes between the aviator and the prince were wonderful. Gene Wilder was excellent. The supporting cast was okay, but they didn't get the book's points across.
I'm surprised anyone thinks this is a classic. I have not seen the Rachel Portman's operatic version, but I can't sing the praises of Richard Cocciante's and Elisabeth Anais' version (LE PETIT PRINCE) enough. Although it's not available with English subtitles, it is absolutely wonderful. And, the lyrics to the songs are almost the exact words that Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote, set to music. So, if you have the book in English, you can follow along with the dvd film version without any issue. In fact, the first song, Dedicace, is the exact dedication that Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote, set to music. And, Daniel Lavoie is perfect as the aviator. The music to this is truly sublime.