Did you see the trailer for that animation about the orphan who wants to do ballet? You didn’t? Well you’re not the only one…
⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Ballerina, also known as Leap! in some countries, is a beautiful little animation about two best friends who break out of an orphanage to pursue their dreams. Félicie’s (voiced by Elle Fanning) passion is to be a prima ballerina in Paris and Victor (Dane DeHaan) wants to become the next best inventor, so the two escape using one of Victor’s crazy winged contraptions and set off on an adventure. Think Annie meets Centre Stage for children.
There’s nothing particularly ground-breaking about this film. The story is fairly stock standard and the animation quality is decent. There is a beauty in the visuals depicting Paris, however; from the Eiffel Tower under construction in the 19th century era, to the creative colour palettes in the Opera House where Félicie hopes to perform.
All the usual themes are on display here as the two leads try to defeat the odds and push themselves to reach their full potential. The film preaches that you can be good at anything you put your mind to and that dreams do come true… not the most realistic message, but neither is a clown fish talking to sharks, so who am I to judge?
Having said that, Ballerina does what it needs to do for its audience. All the children in the cinema were laughing and seemed to enjoy every minute on screen; never losing interest or becoming distracted, which is an achievement for any family movie these days. Although it’s definitely aimed at the younger ones, us adults do occasionally need a ‘believe in yourself’ boost, so it’s uplifting in that respect.
Overall, I genuinely enjoyed this film. It was great to sit back and disappear into this sweet little world for 89 minutes and to actually walk out of a cinema in a positive frame of mind for once.
Ballerina is available in Australian cinemas from January 12th
Image courtesy of Studiocanal