Josh Jones digs up an old cartoon version of “The Happy Prince”:
He uses the story to contextualize Wilde’s moral sensibilities:
Wilde was ridiculed for the many of the same reasons he was feted—his flamboyant public persona and devotion to aestheticism, which satirists caricatured as a kind of decadent navel-gazing. But careful readers of Wilde’s diverse canon of poetry, prose, and drama will know of his critical looks at solipsism and superficiality. Some of his best works as a moralist are his children’s stories, such as the 1888 book of fairy stories The Happy Prince and Other Tales. In the title story, a prince is transformed into a glittering statue on a pedestal high above a city, where residents look up to him as an example of human perfection. But the prince, we learn, spends his time weeping in compassion for the poverty and suffering he sees below him. Made in 1974 by Canadian company Potterton Productions, and featuring the voices of British actors Christopher Plummer and Glynis Johns, the animated short film above is a faithful rendering of Wilde’s story.
The text of the story is here.