The film relates the story of the book using stop motion animation, which is woven into a computer animated framing narrative about a young girl who has just met the book's now-elderly aviator narrator, who tells her the story of his meeting with the Little Prince in the Sahara desert. The film's animation was provided by studio Mikros Image.
The film premiered on May 22, 2015 at the 68th Cannes Film Festival in an out-of-competition screening, followed by a wide release in France on July 29, 2015 by Paramount Pictures. The film was originally set to be released in theatres across the United States on March 18, 2016 before being dropped due to budget cuts; Netflix later acquired the US distribution rights and released it on August 5, 2016.
The film has received positive reviews, earning praise for its style of animation and homage paid to the source material, and earned $97.6 million on a €55 million budget, becoming the most successful French animated film abroad of all time.