By becoming aware of our role, even the most humble one, only then will we be happy. Only then can we live in peace, for what gives meaning to life, gives meaning to death.
Saint-Exupery, Wind, Sand, and Stars, VIII,3
I've often wished that we had gotten Orson Welles into this business. What a find he would have been! What the business has needed is minds. With all respect for Walt and his vast achievements—he was the world's greatest promoter—to me he never had ideas for stories as, say, Chaplin did. I can imagine what Orson would have done. I had occasion to work with him for quite a few months at our studio. He and I went into partnership on a deal to make [Antoine de Saint Exupéry's] The Little Prince in 1943, '44. I developed the greatest respect and regard for that guy; he wasn't, as the film business had him, a temperamental type, he wasn't that way at all.
He was going to play the lead in it, the aviator, and we were going to get a boy for the Little Prince. Our sets would have been a combination of drawn and live. There would have been animated characters within the scope of the picture playing with these live people. We studied and studied and studied that book, and I'm eager now to see the picture that is now being made , to see whether they have viewed the thing as we would have. We didn't take it in its transparency; we took it for its deeper meanings. We read Wind, Sand and Stars, another one of the author's creations (it's a thing of such magnificent beauty) and after reading that I thought I knew what The Little Prince was about. It is juvenile fiction, and yet there is a depth to it that is amazing.
We had it all set and were ready to go when Orson became tremendously ill. We couldn't say a word about it, but he nearly died. He had a bad liver at the time; he went to Florida to recover and was gone for months. We didn't revive it after that and we lost the whole deal.
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