littleprince_cancelled littleprince_cancelled
Feature Film

Paramount Mysteriously Dumps U.S. Release of ‘Little Prince’

Paramount confirmed to an online source that it has cancelled the release of the French animated feature The Little Prince. The film, directed by Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda), had been scheduled to open on March 18.

The Little Prince, based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s 1943 novella, won the César Award last month for France’s best animated feature of 2015. With nearly $90 million in global box office gross, it is France’s most successful animated feature export of all time.

Mark Osborne confirmed the news via Facebook:

Many thanks to everyone for the outpouring of love and support in these strange times. 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 The Little Prince 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!

A publicist for Osborne declined to comment to Cartoon Brew about why Paramount abandoned the film so close to its release date. The lack of a promotional campaign for the film, however, suggests that Paramount Animation had made the decision to not release the film for quite some time.

The conglomerate’s attempt to launch an animation division has been hampered by a lack of clear objectives or vision for its label; the only film released so far under the Paramount Animation label since launching in 2011 is The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. We recently called their animation strategy “all but incomprehensible,” and this latest development raises further doubts about Paramount’s ability to be a serious contender in the feature animation business.

  • Clay Achin’

    In the meantime, you can find the Will Vinton Claymation® version on YouTube.

    • Tim Tran

      unfortunately, the movie is already in HD online.

    • I still get teary-eyed at this!

  • Trinosaur

    Aw man. That sucks! I was looking forward to this.

  • Max C.

    Such a shame because having gotten the Blu-Ray imported from France, I found it to be one of the most subversive animated family films in recent years. Maybe that’s another reason why, however, consdering I’m not the only one who did it. Shame though, because it would have been fun to see this film in complete English and had my whole family witness the wonder during our stay in New York.

  • ea

    Paramount released Anomalisa but not this? Oh well. Maybe Gkids or another company could be interested.

  • Elsi Pote

    I blame Satan, I mean [censored]

  • D. Harry

    Hey Paramount, try this for a strategy:
    Put out some movies and just make sure they’re funny. Voila.

    • Beamish Kinowerks

      Michael Bay’s Benghazi “drama” wasn’t good enough? :)

  • Coming from the company that has promoted NONE of their own animation from the Golden Age to the modern audience, this should surprise no one. What I wouldn’t give for an official Puppetoons or Lil Audrey release, but nope.

    Banking on GKids to pick up the rights to this one. The wait may be excrutiating, but for The Little Prince, it should be worth it.

    • Let’s hope, I just don’t count on seeing it locally since none of GKIDS’ library has ever made it to my town at all.

  • Beamish Kinowerks

    Paramount is basically on the brink of financial implosion; they can’t afford to open it.

    • EvilDrPorkchop

      But all of the money they’ve fronted already, can’t get them through the last pre-opening week, to start making at least SOME money back?

  • Sam

    I actually thought I’d be able to see an internation movie in theators for once. I don’t live in an area where GKIDS releases films theatrcically. I am sick of this happening to animation.

  • mechasus

    This really sucks, but it shows how animation continues to get short-shrifted by big studios here. I’m starting to wonder if Paramount’s decision to launch an animation division was ill-advised. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision based on the success of Rango although neither Paramount nor ILM seem to have much of an idea of what made it successful. This combined with their loss of the DreamWorks distribution rights, the troubled production of Monster Trucks, and the direction their upcoming slate seems to be going pretty much confirms that this studio is lacking direction and purpose in this field.

  • mysterious_esteban

    Weird. Saw The Little Prince in the summer of 2015 and it’s one of most layered animated movies in many years, very poetic. And without a doubt it would be up for an Oscar nomination in 2017. Any studio should be proud to release this.