The 31st annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) will kick off with the U.S. premiere of Paramount Pictures’ “The Little Prince.”

Based on the classic tale by French novelist Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the star-studded, Mark Osborne-directed animated film features the voices of Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, James Franco, Benicio Del Toro and Marion Cotillard, among many others.  The screenplay was written by Irena Brignull and Bob Persichetti.

“The Little Prince,” which was well received by the Japanense box office, follows the story of a little girl who escapes the pressures of her overbearing mother by befriending an elderly aviator who introduces her to the extraordinary, magical world of the Little Prince.

“Saint-Exupéry’s novel is one of the most beloved works of the 20th century,” said SBIFF executive director Roger Durling. “What Mark has done with this story is extraordinary and moving, and we think it provides a perfect tie-in to AppleBox, our free family screening program, and to the festival’s other philanthropic efforts. We are thrilled to have this film kick off our festival.”

“The Little Prince” hits theaters on March 18 and will premiere to SBIFF’s audience at the Arlington Theatre on Feb. 3.