Netflix has purchased The Little Prince from Paramount, picking up U.S. distribution in a move meant to finally bring the animated feature to stateside audiences, EW has confirmed.
Based on the iconic French children’s tale by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and directed by Oscar nominee Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda), The Little Prince had been slated for release in U.S. theaters March 18 before being pulled by Paramount.
As first reported by THR, Netflix purchased domestic rights to the film in a deal announced Thursday evening. No details regarding tstreaming dates or a potential theatrical release have yet been made public by Netflix.
Since its out-of-competition premiere at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, the French-made film has grossed an estimated $80 million internationally. Heralded as the highest-grossing animated film in France — where it also earned a César Award — The Little Prince has earned praise from critics for its visually stunning mix of stop-motion and CG animation, as well as its interpretation of the story featuring a little boy who befriends an airplane pilot.
In fact, the overwhelming reception to the film’s trailer — which has been viewed more than 3 million times since being posted in April 2015 — has made U.S. audiences all the more eager for The Little Prince to finally hit theaters. Featuring characters voiced by Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, Marion Cotillard, Benicio Del Toro, James Franco, Ricky Gervais, and Paul Giamatti, The Little Prince was first purchased for U.S. distribution by The Weinstein Company and subsequently picked up by Paramount before being unexpectedly dropped from its release schedule last week.
Neither Osborne or Paramount responded to EW’s request for comment.