On Dec. 30, 1935, Antoine Saint-Exupery crashed his Caudron C-630 Simoun in the Sahara Desert. He was discovered four days later, dehydrated, hallucinating, and near death, by a man passing by on a camel.
In 1942, sitting in his New York penthouse, Saint-Exupery wrote The Little Prince.
In 1979, working out of his Northwest Portland studio, Will Vinton transferred The Little Prince to the big screen. The Little Prince drew on the talents of two Oscar winning animators, Joan Gratz – whose Oscar win would come in 1993 for Mona Lisa Descending A Staircase - and Will Vinton himself, whose Oscar for Closed Mondays was only four years old.
The only known artistic collaboration between a member of French nobility and the son of a McMinnville dairy farmer, The Little Prince was Vinton’s fifth clay animated short. Vinton was seven years away from his first clay animated feature, The Adventures of Mark Twain, eight years away from creating the California Raisins ad campaign. and nine years away from directing Michael Jackson in Speed Demon.
You can see The Little Prince this weekend at the Hollywood Theatre, with all the original voice actors performing live, along with a live performance of a brand new score by Galen Huckins. After the Sunday Nov. 14 performance, Will Vinton himself will be present, along with members of the Will Vinton Studio animation team, Joan Gratz, Barry Bruce and Don Merkt, to take questions from the audience.
I hereby claim The Little Prince as an Oregon film, on the merit of multiple qualifying criteria.
This post brought to you by none other than Oregon Cartoon Institute.