Chris Fabry did a recent program with past recordings of Christmas stories narrated by Mike Kellogg. I thought I’d post it here for us to enjoy together.
Tag Archives: storytelling
Version: 2015; starring Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, James Franco
Genre: children’s; animation
Plot Summary: [from IMDb:] “A little girl lives in a very grown-up world with her mother, who tries to prepare her for it. Her neighbor, the Aviator, introduces the girl to an extraordinary world where anything is possible, the world of the Little Prince.”
My Review: Disclaimer*: I have not read the original book, so this review will not by comparing it to that novel. Only as a story in and of itself, totally unrelated to the book.
Growing up, my mom had two copies of the French classic “The Little Prince.” One was in French (and incomprehensible to me), the other in English. Neither interested me very much. The pictures looked bland and too unbelievable. I was sure I wouldn’t enjoy the story.
Not too long ago I saw that Netflix had made an animated version of the book and I didn’t mind sitting down to spend an evening that way. I was mildly curious. I was not prepared to be blown away.
I think I was drawn into it from the first notes of music. The art, the plot, the script were beautifully done. The old phonograph playing was enough to melt my heart alone! I was nearly crying by the end of it. And now I want to read the book very much. It isn’t often that film versions inspire me to read the book, but when they do… 🙂
This movie is actually told in two stories. One is of a little girl who is expected to live a life where childhood is forgotten. She unexpectedly meets her next door neighbor, an eccentric old man (and self-proclaimed ‘hoarder’) who used to be an aviator once upon a time. He begins to woo her friendship by telling her the story of the Little Prince he met in another world long ago. The story of the Little Prince and his rose is told through stop-motion animation, and I loved every bit about it! I enjoyed it even more for it’s nuances, and thought-provoking lines about life that are hidden like gems throughout where you have to mine them to interpret the meaning for yourself. Wonderful!
There are many who abhor this film because they say it takes too many liberties with the book. Apparently the story of the little girl trying to live the expected life of an adult is not in the original. Since I’ve never read it, I don’t even know if the part of the Little Prince is told faithfully. But I know I loved the film and that it has inspired me to pick up a book I never knew I needed to read before. I would say that is the effect of a well-told, don’t you?
One of my favorite lines comes from the Aviator consoling the little girl when she tells him she doesn’t want to grow up. He responds, “Growing up isn’t the problem– forgetting is.” I wish someone had been able to tell me that when I was a kid and afraid of graduating to adulthood. This wisdom makes a world of difference because it is true! I have found that becoming a true adult is really only becoming the person you were meant to be, which includes the parts of childhood that are good and pure and young in heart. Idealistically, the aim is to shed the ‘juvenile’ ways we used to think and act. Juvenility is to be differentiated from being childlike in that it is immature, selfish, and narrow-minded. (1 Cor. 13:11) Childhood, on the other hand is essentially joy, wonder, and innocence.
I have met older adults, even Christians in their 60’s, behave like juveniles. I have met adults who have completely forgotten what is childhood, instead exuding joylessness, hyper-practicality, and busyness. But I have also met other adults who have retained their openness to life, wonder at the world, and quest to learn and grow- the mark of a true ‘child at heart.’ That is what God means for us to be, I think. And for us believers, we are all to be trusting children in relation to Him.
And He said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 18:3)
I do have a qualm about the movie’s plotline, and that is although it is an indie flick, it does not escape the usual Hollywood storyarc of children being better-knowing than their parents (or more often single parent): rebelling against the ‘status quo’, and teaching the parents they do not know what is best for their kids. See an excellent article on this topic here.
But the voices (esp. Jeff Bridges’ for the Aviator) were great! Bridges has a voice that has aged well, resulting in a friendly, comforting effect. I also loved the Fox, voiced by James Franco. So adorable!
I recommend this glimmering, luminous movie for family viewing, young and old alike. If you approach it being prepared that it’s more loosely based on the book, I think you’ll enjoy it.
Ring around the rosie,
A pocket full of posies,
Ashes, ashes, we all fall down!
Why in the world do we teach young children these simplistic poems when we don’t even know what they are talking about? Are they clues to some hidden meaning or are their histories long past memory?
In this shortish, informative article by Clemency Burton-Hill, I learned that many nursery rhymes were at one time veiled records of current events. It’s fascinating, and helps to view these children’s poems in a closer light.
But why are they children’s poems? Are they fit for children? The Victorians certainly didn’t think so, and began the campaign to clean the rhymes up. Okay, I’m grateful for that. I’d much rather my young’uns babbling fun repetitive sounds than knowingly reciting tales of torture techniques geared for male genitals. I’m convinced of the educative quality of children learning soothing sounds and rhythms.
But I got to thinking about how ‘shocked’ we are to learn of the real meanings that lie behind these mysterious sing-songs. It was dealing with the world as they knew it at the time, only later being ‘sanitized’ for society. We live in a much more decent world, our children are much more innocent… Or are they? Our world contains much violence today. School shootings, child molestation, human trafficking. However, what worries me more than these issues is what they learn in the home little on up from those nearest to them. Broken homes, where mom’s had three boyfriends in the past month. If dad’s in the picture, he’s never grown up himself and spends his waking time playing violent video games or watching adult “cartoons” that spew forth 4 letter (and 3 letter) words. “Mother”; “It”; “hotdogs and buns”… And we’re shocked over Rock a Bye Baby?
No, I’m not stressed over wool tax. I’m worried about the little boy who lives down the lane, who grows up in a world where his dad was busy texting during his first steps and his mom can’t decide whether or not to give him up for adoption because she spends part of her time in jail. He doesn’t get to be read or sung nursery rhymes. It’s heartbreaking, and it’s not just little Danny. His story is a common epidemic!
Yes– clean up the content for the little ones, but let’s not forget about the overall home we’re raising our kids in. Is it mentally, spiritually, emotionally clean and healthy? Ultimately, the only way for this to be possible is for the people in the home to be rooted in the love of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Eventually, there’s only so much we can protect our kids from. We do not live in bubbles forever, and it’s important to remember history from those who came before. People from long ago passed their experiences down to us in rhymes. What will we pass down?
I came across a beautifully dramatized Christmas story on BBC this afternoon, originally written as a short story by P. L. Travers. It’s called “The Fox at the Manger” and the voices and music are lovely to listen to. Actress Wendy Hiller lends voice as the narrator. It would make a great bedtime story for children this holiday season. It is available for a limited time only.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
If you’re in a situation where you’re called on to read out loud, but it’s not your forte and you feel like shrinking and hiding, then here are some great tips from speaking skills specialist and YouTuber Jade Joddle. I have learned a fair amount from watching some of her videos over the last year or two and thought I’d pass this simple video along to those who wish to improve their reading skills. This can come in handy if you’re part of a book club, bible study, or poetry reading event.