(NOTE: I am aware that some of you have already seen the movie. I would greatly appreciate if you would refrain from posting spoilers in the comment section, in light of recent events detailed in the following article.)
While much of the animation community’s attention has been on Zootopia, another animated movie will soon release in March…or at least that was what we all thought.
In a developing news story that originally broke on IGN News, Paramount Pictures has turned a complete 180 on Mark Osborne’s adaptation of The Little Prince and has dropped the film entirely, a week before its intended release on March 18.
The studio, while confirming the news, has yet to comment on the situation. Likewise, Director Mark Osborne also confirmed the news on his Twitter, along with confirmation that the film is currently seeking an alternate US distributor for a planned release later this year.
The exact reasons behind this bizarre turn of events remains a question mark. This, of course, has led to a wide swath of rumors and speculation, and the reasons differ depending on who you talk to. Said reasons range anywhere from the film testing poorly with US audiences (an oddity given that the film opened overseas to critical praise) to the film’s studio(s) failing to cover half of the distributions costs. Others have drawn a link to Paramount Pictures’ current financial troubles, with its parent company Viacom having recently begun selling a minority stake in the company.
Whatever the reason might be, this is a huge blow to Paramount Animation, who came in strong last year with The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water and announced a film slate that ran through to 2019. It also doesn’t help that, if current rumors are to be believed, the division is currently dealing with problems of its own. Among them, rapid-fire changes in management and key creative personnel going in and out. Not to mention, its first original animated feature (possibly 2019’s Amusement Park) has hit a bumpy road, with the possibility that it may get yanked off the release schedule as well.
Speaking of which, no further mention (outside of the rumors above) has been made of any changes to the other Paramount Animation films. As far as we are concerned, Monster Trucks, Sherlock Gnomes, and SpongeBob 3 are still set for release on their respective dates until noted otherwise.
Again, this is outwardly odd behavior for a major film studio and even more so considering that it bowed to an 18-minute standing ovation at last year’s Cannes Film Festival and recently became France’s highest-grossing animated film export.
Still, when it all comes down to it, all involved in the movie are still driven to get this movie into US theaters. So for those who want to see it, you’ll just have to wait a bit longer.
What do you think? What are your thoughts on this story? Are you still looking forward to The Little Prince?
Edited by: Kelly Conley