The Little Prince is a classic children’s book that is probably more important for adults to read than anyone. Netflix made a beautiful movie version of the book that’s not only free (if you have Netflix), but a wonderful way to spend a cold winter evening with your family.
by Jen Schlameuss-Perry
Caution: Contains spoilers.
Things to consider
This movie has no bad language, no inappropriate material, no scary moments–it’s nice and clean. The only conversation you might want to have is the “stranger danger” one. The little girl in the movie has a very sweet, pure relationship with the old man Aviator, who is also the author of the book. The only issue is that their relationship is a secret from her mother, which of course, is never acceptable. Some adults might be offended by the way the character views adults. I think it’s more of an opportunity… I always think it’s best to read the book first. If you can, it’s really short and worth reading before you see the movie. If you can’t, it won’t be the end of the world to see the movie and then read the book. But, whatever you do—if you never have—do yourself a favor and read the book.
The story of the book is presented within the context of the relationship between a little girl and her mother, and a little girl and the strange old man next door. The girl has been forced to grow up too soon as her mother is doing everything in her power to make sure that her daughter has her future all lined up out of fear that she will wind up alone and afraid the way her mother has. When the little girl fails to get into the school that her mother believes is a necessary step on her path to success, they move into the school’s district where they will have to allow her to attend. Next door is a zany old man that the mother doesn’t know her daughter is hanging out with because she’s never home–she works late into the evening, leaving her daughter with a full, regimented schedule that has no wiggle room, and certainly no room for fun in it.
The old man tells the little girl of the Little Prince, who is a boy who lives on an asteroid with a rose. The Prince goes on an adventure where he meets all kinds of characters that represent different personality traits–mostly negative ones that are found in stuffy adults. He meets the Aviator, and reminds him what it means to live fully–and to see with the heart of a child.
The old man is dying, and the attachment that the little girl has with him teaches her how to be a child, and shakes her mother out of her life-choking routine. They both learn that, “it is only with the heart that one can see rightly.”
Some Themes for Discussion
- Parents get very busy with the responsibilities of life; making sure that everyone has what they need and are growing up to be good productive members of society. What are some ways that the adults in your house have lost sight of what it means to be a child? Are there any habits that have been established in the house that are too rigid, or too stifling? What are some ways to bring a little more fun into your lives?
- Jesus said that we need to be like little children to be in right relationship with God. What do you think that means? What is the difference between childlike and childish? What can you do to be more “childlike”?
- The fox teaches the Little Prince what it means to belong to someone else. What does it mean to you to belong to a family?
- Sometimes adults get angry because they forget to listen with context. Meaning, that when a child, or even a spouse, says or does something that upsets them, they focus only on what’s happening in the moment and forget that the person loves them. A lot of times, the person did or said that thing because they were having a bad day–not because they were trying to hurt the other. It is in those moments particularly, that we need to remember to look at the situation with our hearts. The phrase “it is only with the heart that one can see rightly” is a main theme within the movie. How does seeing with your heart help you to see rightly? How does it help to give you context when you are trying to understand others?
- What do you want to be like when you grow up? What attributes do you want to develop as an adult? What do you want to avoid being like when you are an adult?