Little Prince [1974]

A pilot crash-lands in the Sahara desert, and is surprised to meet a tiny prince with a sword... but who doesn't know the story of the beloved book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry? The slim philosophical classic has delighted millions, and the 1974 musical of the book has its own charms. Scored by the estimable team of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe and directed by Stanley Donen, this is a tuneful piece of whimsy that's better in moments than it is overall. Two guest appearances energize the second half: Gene Wilder as a lonely fox, and the superbly slinky Bob Fosse as a salacious snake (Fosse choreographed his own number, a welcome touch of Cabaret amidst the whimsy). Some of the book's slight observations don't translate well to the literalness of the screen, but that won't matter to kids, who should be hooked from the very first "Draw me a sheep." --Robert Horton

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