What on earth are they thinking?
A week before it was supposed to open in theaters nationwide, Paramount Studios has – with absolutely no public explanation – pulled the highly-acclaimed animated family film The Little Prince from release in the U.S.
Praised since its debut at the Cannes Film Festival last summer, The Little Prince has since become highly anticipated by many for its magical blend of multiple animation styles, movingly rendered in its heart-tugging trailer (see below). But now, out of the blue, Paramount has decided it will no longer release the film this spring, or at all.
The move itself is a total shocker, particularly since only one other movie in the marketplace right now – Zootopia – is playing to that film’s demographic and, by next week when The Little Prince was scheduled to open, families (many of whom will be on Spring Break) will be looking for another movie option to enjoy together.
As senseless as this decision is, here’s the real head-scratcher:
How does Paramount get behind the holiday release of a Rated R stop motion animated film like Anomalisa, fueled by existential crisis and punctuated by graphic puppet sex, yet chickens out on a sure-fire family draw (voiced by star power including Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, James Franco, and Marion Cotillard) during a wide open spring season in need of more kid-friendly options? Honestly it boggles the mind, and only reinforces the perception of “Hollywood moral bankruptcy” in the eyes of of mainstream moviegoers from so-called “flyover country”.
The added kicker? The Little Prince is playing now in Canada, as scheduled, having been released this weekend. Meanwhile, the film’s producers will seek out a new U.S. distributor with hopes of a release later this year.