“It’s an incredibly challenging book to adapt because it is incredibly poetic and it really lives in the imagination of the reader,”The Little Prince director Mark Osborne says of bringing Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s 1943 children’s classic to the big screen. “Everyone who reads it get a different experience.”

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Joined by a couple of pint-sized members of the cast, the Kung Fu Panda alum was speaking onstage last month at The Contenders Presented By Deadline, our annual awards-season event held at a packed DGA theater. Having debuted at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, The Little Prince was picked up by Netflix and released on the streaming service August 5.

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With a stellar cast that includes Jeff Bridges, Marion Cotillard, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, Benicio Del Toro, James Franco, Ricky Gervais, Paul Giamatti and Albert Brooks providing voices to the animated pic, The Little Prince paid homage to its source material in more ways than one.

“Everything that light hits is actually made out of paper — the clothing, the scarf, the face,” Osborne revealed of the multi-national production and its on-screen rendering. “This allowed us not only to keep a real strong connection to the paper that the little girl is reading the story on, but the paper that we all have read the story on.”

Check out more of our discussion above.