The classic children’s novel The Little Prince and LMI have partnered to expand its licensing program to the UK and Eire.
The novel is also being turned into a new pre-school children’s series with 52 episodes now in development. The agreement was inked between LMI and POMASE, which owns the rights to the book and its characters.
“We are delighted to be working with POMASE on The Little Prince and feel that together we can develop some innovative partnerships with key licensees,” says LMI CEO Andrew Maconie.
That enthusiasm is based on the long success of The Little Prince, a bestselling property since it was first published in 1943.
With more than 200 million books sold globally in 500 languages, the original publication has inspired a a cinematic movie, a 3D animated Netflix series, a video game with more than 100 million downloads, a theme park attraction, multiple global exhibitions, standalone stores, a stage show musical, and innumerable consumer products.
Now, LMI is working with the book’s rights holders on an expanded presence in the United Kingdom and Eire.
Ahead of the 80th anniversary of the first edition in 2023, LMI says it is seeking new partnerships to develop a successful consumer products program for the original classic illustrations which are now available for licensing, as well as additional publishing projects including coloring books and activity books.
“It’s fantastic to be working with Andrew and the team to extend The Little Prince programme to the UK & Eire. LMI are a welcome addition to our expert team of global agents,’’ said Thomas Riviere, brand manager for the property with Le Petit Prince Licensing.
The Little Prince is a novella penned by the French writer Saint-Exupery, but it was banned in France by the Vichy government that ruled the country during the Nazi occupation. As a result, it was first published in the US—in both English and French—by Reynal & Hitchcock.
The book was later published posthumously in France in 1946 after the liberation of France, and became an instant classic.
Saint-Exupery was a true renaissance man who was an aristocrat, pioneering aviator and an acclaimed writer even before publication of The Little Prince, and his story is just as fascinating as the novella for which he is best known.
As a pioneering aviator in France, Saint-Exupery flew with a reconnaissance squadron in the French Air Force until the defeat of France in 1940. He and his wife then fled Occupied France to North America, where he became an important voice for the French Resistance, encouraging the US government to aid the Allies, and eventually to join the war against the Axis powers.
It was while Saint-Exupery was exiled in America that he wrote The Little Prince, and most of the other books for which he is best known. Many critics believe the experiences Saint-Exupery went through during his enforced exile from France informed the writing of this emotional story.
The Little Prince is about a young prince visiting Earth from another planet, and filled with friendship, loneliness, love and loss, it became a favorite of adults and children alike around the world.