|Index||4 reviews in total|
Two French orphans escape to 19th century Paris. One dreams of being a
famous Ballet performer. The other dreams of being an inventor.
Obviously, the heroine becomes a true hero, with the help of the inventor. This is great children's movie, also very enjoyable for a father. In 3D it is more exciting to watch than Rogue One in IMAX.
The setting in the 19th century Paris is excellent. Gustav Eiffel lived then and there, need I say more?
The French movie is really the best Christmas holiday feel-good movie, that you need to end 2016. Still worthwhile watching 2017 onward, though.
Being a lifelong fan of animation and ballet, 'Ballerina' seemed very
appealing to me. Plus who doesn't love an underdog/person who wants to
succeed at something they love against adversity story.
While not up there with my favourite animated films, or one of my favourite films of 2016, 'Ballerina' is nonetheless charming with a lot of delights. It will delight the younger crowd, but fellow ballet fans will also be charmed and there should be enough for adults to find value. 'Ballerina' is much more than a film for "little girls" or "just for kids" and does a good job telling a type of story that would be relatable to anybody.
Coming from somebody who overcame disabilities and bullying and wanted to sing professionally and get training and experience, it took a long time but I got there and have not looked back, 'Ballerina' clicked with me.
Of course 'Ballerina' isn't immune to flaws. The story is very familiar and does get predictable, while the characters are very likable but slightly skim-surface archetypes. However, this may seem very nit-picky and can easily be ignored by people and only problems for the toughest of critics.
Aside from these, there were also reservations with some of the soundtrack and one voice cast member. The music is often beautiful and infectious, with some genuine enchantment, but could have done with more classical music choices and less pop. A good deal of the pop tunes are very catchy, but more Tchaikovsky would have suited the film better and been more dynamic and a few others grate. Dane DeHaan doesn't sound right as Victor and doesn't fit, sounding too mature for a character clearly intended to be much younger, either he should have tried to sound younger and more boyish or the character should have been voiced by somebody in his late-teens.
However, the animation is very good, often excellent, especially in the beautifully studied and meticulous background details and the intricate and graceful choreography that synchronises with the music very well and shows animators that have clearly done their homework. As said, the soundtrack does mostly work, while the script makes a real attempt to appeal to both children and adults (being a family film) and, with a nice mix of humour, pathos and life values and never being over-complicated or childish, it does succeed.
The story, even with the familiarity and predictability, goes at a neat pace and as well as having a lot of charm and heart the messaging never comes over as preachy and very much valuable. It is also easy to see why anybody would find it inspiring and easy to relate to, as a young adult both were very easy for me. Even though archetypal, the characters are still likable, the title character has her flaws but it is easy to quickly warm to her. The voice acting, DeHaan aside, is strong, with Elle Fanning and Carly Rae Jensen bringing emotion and spirit to their characters and Maddie Ziegler stealing the show.
In summary, a familiar film but a very charming one and one to be seen without prejudice. 7/10 Bethany Cox
Something tells me there's more to the film than just a wannabe
ballerina setting out to achieve her dreams. I could be very wrong but
I believe his to be a personal accomplishment for French
director/screenplay writer Eric Summer who comes from Brittany himself,
where this story starts at an orphanage in 1879.
Enlisting the talent of French animator who was partly responsible for one of my favourite animated movies, Belleville Rendez-vous, Éric Warin sits alongside Summer in the director's chair and what they give us is a delightful underdog story.
The focus of the story is on Félicie, voiced by Elle Fanning, an ambitious yet rebellious orphan girl who dreams of becoming a dancer, constantly attempting to flee the orphanage to Paris, in pursuit of her ambition.
She's not alone in either dream-chasing or escaping the orphanage. Victor, voiced by Dane DeHaan, an obvious admirer of hers also wishes to leave to become a famous inventor, so the two of them embark on an adventure finally reaching Paris and with various strokes of good fortunate, end up where they both want to be.
The voices don't necessarily match their characters, DeHaan being far to old (apologies, 30 isn't old, but...) to voice a teenage orphan. Pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen does a fine job of voicing broken ballerina, Odette, but I'm most impressed with Sia's music video dancing star, Maddie Ziegler, voicing the spoilt, stuck-up Camille.
It has all the ingredients of a simple yet pleasing underdog story with some impressive and enticing animation. The dances themselves are superbly gracefully and the details are brilliant. There's troublesome emotions, difficult choices and quite a few triumphs with a clear message of never giving up and what ever you do, do it with heart.
It's predictable but that's forgivable being a children's film. It's loaded with touching gestures and typical twists that make the film memorable but is equally loaded with unnecessary silliness and feels a little rushed in places, possibly to keep children's attention.
It's not a musical but the soundtrack that accompanies the film really stands out with some great tracks from Magical Thinker, Chantal Kreviazuk and Camila Mora. Klaus Badelt does a graceful and enchanting score that does well to stand alone from Tchaikovsky's ballet greats of Swan Lake and the Nutcracker.
It's good sign not hearing any disturbances for the young audience and my God-Daughter seemed to enjoy it giving a little dance at the end. It's far from perfect but there's some great scenes and you can see the effort was put in. It's good light-hearted entertainment for the whole family.
Running Time: 8 The Cast: 6 Performance: 7 Direction: 7 Story: 8 Script: 7 Creativity: 8 Soundtrack: 9 Job Description: 9 The Extra Bonus Points: 0
Unless you're 8 or under this movie was much too predictable. Elle and the boy delivered their lines with conviction. The others just sounded like they were reading. When the plot and the characters are so predictable, the acting with the voices must be over the top to bring it up. This didn't happen in my opinion. I also didn't think the fake-it-till-you-make it message was very positive. It pretty much describes half of Hollywood celebrates but don't subscribe to that notion. You're either good enough on your own merits or you're basically a scam artist faking it. I didn't agree with the need for the orphan to pretend she's someone else. So for that notion, along with the performance of inexperienced cast, I give this movie a 2.
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