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In the 1880s, Félicie, a poor orphan girl who dreams of becoming a ballerina, but lacks formal training, runs away from her orphanage in rural Brittany with her best friend, Victor, a young inventor. Together they go to beautiful Paris, but they soon become separated, and Victor becomes an office boy in Gustave Eiffel's workshop. Félicie finds her way to the Paris Opera, where the guard catches her trespassing. She is rescued by a mysterious cleaner with a limp, Odette, who agrees to let Félicie stay with her until she gets on her feet. Odette works for both the Opera and for the cruel and imperious Régine Le Haut, a wealthy restaurant owner. While helping Odette clean, Félicie spies Regine's daughter, Camille, practicing ballet. Camille sees Félicie, insults her, and throws Félicie's treasured music box out of the window, breaking it. As Félicie takes it to Victor for repair, she intercepts the postman who brings a letter from the Opera admitting Camille to the celebrated school of ...
Tired of watching modern dance movies that has you say: Another one of Hollywood street dancer groups with all its acrobatics that must have come from America's got talent aiming for Hollywood that tosses aside the traditional dance of Ballet?
Produced at L'Atelier Animation in Montreal, Canada, Ballerina (2016) is majestic at all levels from the animation to the story itself.
A basic story of a young orphaned girl Félicie (Elle Fanning) who dreams to become a ballerina leaves with her friend Victor (Dane DeHaan) who also has a dream that of becoming a famous inventor, both go to Paris to meet their destiny.
What makes this a beautiful animation is that the story is not bogged by irrelevant metaphors or irony that distracts from the story that would have us distracted to the relevance of the movie based on something that could happen anywhere such as achieving one's goal. One does not say during the film that this scene is ridiculous that it diverts us from the message.
A success indeed.
First of all, the story itself. Set back in the 1800's where Paris is growing and where all hope is possible and notwithstanding the fact that Félicie (Elle Fanning) will take the identity of another person Camille Le Haut (Maddie Ziegler) is not new in the move world. Yet, the story progresses logically to have her be discovered as a fraud. What Merante (Terrence Scammell) sees in Félicie when he discovers the truth is what he sees in himself, one with passion. As a fact when he says to Camille and Felicie why they dance, in his harshness in his selection of candidates lies his humanity. He doesn't insult Camille but asks her why she dances?
Here we have the theme: Are we born to dance or do we become dancers that can be applied in all aspects of society? Are we born with a gift or do we become the gift?
Secondly, the choreography is absolutely amazing. It compares with all the acrobatics seen on America's got talent or in movies such as Rocky Balboa. Remember his training against this Russian guy? We see two types of training, the natural versus the mechanical training using modern equipment.
What about the competitive choreography between the two girls? Superbe!
If the film gave me shivers three times then I admit to the success of the film animation to have struck a chord in me. And, if my grandchild was able to relate to his life one scene which was the union of Félicie and as Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen) and which has also brought me back to when I bought tickets to the Ballet then I consider this animation a true marvel to which I give 10/10.
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