The following post is a guest-post from my wife, Kristin Putnam. After watching the Little Prince together as a family, she felt compelled to write a review. It is here for your enlightenment.
Our family of 8 piled onto the couch for a much anticipated movie night. We eagerly launched Netflix and selected their critically acclaimed adaptation of the beloved children’s book “The Little Prince.” I quickly began to regret that we had not screened the film first. But, hoping that it would redeem itself, we forged ahead. But by the end of it, I found myself quite troubled, perhaps even a bit disturbed. My husband felt the same as he switched off the movie and immediately began discussing with our children the portions of the movie that were problematic.
Now, we are very cautious about what our kids watch. We are protective, but not in the way many conservative parents are. We are unconcerned with magic and fantasy. We are exceptionally cautions about philosophical worldviews. It is less important what spell Harry Potter casts, and much more important how honest he is, and whether there are natural consequences which flow from poor choices.Reflecting on our concerns afterward, I pondered to myself that maybe this could have been avoided if I had only read a few reviews. After the kids were in bed, I went to see what our trusted reviewers were saying. To my surprise, everyone seemed to love the film. Even those family movie review websites that tend to be more conservative than we are didn’t have a problem with it. As it goes with these sites, the “objectionable” material they covered was overly thorough within their rubric, but they did not touch any of my concerns. So, at the risk of seeming like one of those “adults to whom children must explain everything,” I am going to offer my review of The Little Prince. Admittedly, this is dangerous territory, as it is likely to anger those who have a childhood connection to the book.
Ah, yes, the book. Perhaps the movie just didn’t capture the spirit of the book. (Yes, I admit it. I never read the book as a child). I decided it was time to read through, so I confiscated my son’s copy which a family friend gave him a few years ago. Since we’d never heard anything negative about the book, we allowed him to read it without previewing it ourselves. After all, It’s a children’s classic written in the 40s! How bad could it be? Unfortunately, it is horrid; I closed the book incredulous and incensed.