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Paramount Pulls ‘The Little Prince’ from U.S. Theaters

Director Mark Osborne confirms that France’s most expensive animated feature to date has been pulled from U.S. theaters one week ahead of its release.

One week before the animated film adaptation of The Little Prince was slated to hit theaters in the U.S., Paramount Pictures, has pulled out as a distributor, according to director Mark Osborne.

“Many thanks to everyone for the outpouring of love and support in these strange times,” Osborne posted on Twitter on Saturday. “As it turns out, the much anticipated U.S. release of this special and unique film will have to be anticipated just a little bit more. All I can say is #thelittleprince will in fact be released by another distributor later this year. Until then, head to Canada! The film opens there in wide release this weekend!”

Slated to debut in U.S. theaters on March 18, The Little Prince was produced by ON Entertainment’s Dimitri Rassam and Aton Soumache with a budget of $80 million, making it France’s most expensive animated feature to date. The stop-motion/CG-animated hybrid feature was given a Cesar Award for best animated film earlier this year.

The film uses stop-motion animation for the novel's story and computer animation for the additional framing narrative. It also stars Marion Cotillard as The Rose, James Franco as The Fox, Benicio del Toro as The Snake, Ricky Gervais as The Conceited Man, Paul Giamatti as The Teacher, Albert Brooks as The Businessman and Bud Cort as The King.

The screenplay for The Little Prince was written by Irena Brignull, who added to the story a little girl who discovers the Prince's adventures with the stranded pilot/author. The story centers on a fearless and curious child prodigy (voiced by Mackenzie Foy) who lives with her equally academically talented yet overachieving mother (Rachel McAdams). After moving into a new neighborhood, the girl meets her next door neighbor, The Aviator (Jeff Bridges), an old yet eccentric and mischievous man. Soon, she discovers the story of The Little Prince (Riley Osbourne), a story of a pilot who crashes in a desert where he meets the titular boy from a distant planet, a story that brings the girl and The Aviator together on an extraordinary adventure.

According to a report by THR, Paramount says that the studio hadn’t determined whether the film was going to get a limited or nationwide release, but the studio hasn’t officially provided an explanation for pulling the movie from its calendar.

AWN has reached out to both Paramount and Osborne for further details, but mum is the word for now. We’ll be sure to keep the animation community posted on any new distribution plans for the film as soon as we learn about them.

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.