The Little Prince theatrical release is back on in the U.S., following Paramount’s mysterious decision to drop its March 18th release. Less than a week after Paramount acknowledged it had cancelled American distribution of the film, Netflix stepped up and acquired U.S. rights to the film, but did not offer any details beyond that.

Netflix has now firmed up its plans, giving Little Prince a day-and-date U.S. release in theaters and Netflix streaming on August 5. The month of August is typically a slow period for major film releases, but this year will be especially competitive for animation with a number of noteworthy animated projects. The week after Little Prince, Sony will release the R-rated cartoon Sausage Party and Disney will reveal its live-action/CG remake of Pete’s Dragon, and the following weekend, Focus Features delivers the hotly anticipated stop motion project Kubo and the Two Strings.

Netflix still hasn’t revealed how wide of a theatrical release the film will receive, but the provocative strategy of simultaneous theatrical and streaming availability has never been attempted before for a major animated film. In any case, how the film performs in theaters could ultimately be less important for Netflix than establishing themselves as a distributor of quality animation.

Along with the release date announcement, Netflix has cut a new trailer with an unconventionally mature tone. It’s refreshing to see the company treat animation with such respect on their first effort when so many Hollywood studios aim low-brow when it comes to promoting family animated films. Netflix will almost certainly be pushing the film for Oscar consideration in the animated feature category come award season, and they’re doing everything right so far to give themselves a shot at a nomination. The trailer is tighter thematically than the film’s previous English-language trailer, emphasizing emotion over comedy, and features a new song by K.S. Rhoads, “Our Corner of the Universe,” that’ll be available commercially sometime next week:

Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda) directed the film, which combines stop motion and CGI animation. Based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s 1943 novella coupled with a new wrap-around story, The Little Prince won the César Award earlier this year for France’s best animated feature of 2015. With almost $100 million in global box office gross, it is France’s most successful animated feature export of all time. The film was produced by ON Animation Studios, with the involvement of Orange Studio, M6 Films, and LPPTV. Paramount Pictures handled the film’s release in France.


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