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Familiar but charming, definitely worth a watch
TheLittleSongbird5 January 2017
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
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functional animation, functional story, functional characters
SnoopyStyle19 October 2017
It's late 19th century. Felicie (Elle Fanning) and Victor (Dane DeHaan) are best friends at an orphanage. She dreams of dancing and he helps her escape to Paris. She finds her way to the National Academy of Music and is taken in by crippled caretaker Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen). Cruel Regine runs the ballet school and Camille (Maddie Ziegler) is a snooty aggressive little girl trying to be a ballerina. Felicie steals Camille's invitation to Mérante's class who is picking the new Clara in The Nutcracker. Victor tells her that he's working for Eiffel who is busy building his tower and the Statue of Liberty.

The animation is functional. This Canadian-French production is equivalent to Illumination Entertainment level. It's fine but not anything ground breaking. The characters are fine. There are the plucky kids against great odds and villains and other archetypes. The story is also fine but a few changes would have helped. Felicie stealing the letter is probably the main mistake. It puts her on the wrong side and lets Camille off the hook. Camille should be bullying the other girls to force them out. Felicie can still learn from Odette and Mérante can simply invite her into the class after the tavern dance. The plot can arrive at the same place without compromising Felicie. It's also off when she sleeps through her audition putting her at fault once again. The dance off is actually quite exhilarating but the climaxing gets a second unnecessary trip around. A Hollywood studio would make everybody an animal and this would probably sell a lot better. Sing is not much better and it made over $600 million. Non-Hollywood doesn't have the formula yet. They don't know how to market and make a modern family-oriented animated movie.
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An animated version for kids in which Black Swan meets Karate Kid
Horst_In_Translation3 February 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"Ballerina" is a French/Canadian co-production in the English language that world premiered in October and is now being released in all kinds of countries and here in Germany as well. Americans still have to wait until early March. The co-director and also one of the three writers is Eric Summer, so he was probably the man most in charge of this 1.5-hour film. It is set a long time ago and tells the story of a young girl who dreams of becoming a ballerina. I liked how they referenced the time this film plays by historic context, for example the unfinished Eiffel Tower, the fact that they had motorbikes, but no airplanes or the Statue of Liberty. This was pretty nicely done and also has a bit of an educational purpose. Besides that, the film's strongest side is probably the animation. This is really a beautiful movie for the most part and very nice to look at. This also refers to the female main character and it's impossible not to cheer for her when she tries to live her dream. This is also crucial as, if we are honest, the story is pretty generic and predictable. But that's not a problem if you cheer for the girl throughout the entire movie.

Her best friend brings some nice comic relief and also the friend of the bets friend in the second half. It's a sweet little story. The dance instructor (voiced by Joachim Llambi in the German version eurgh...) feels like an animated French version of Dieter Bohlen and the casting show context of the film may not really have helped matters overall, especially as we don't find out about the other contestants. We just see them eliminated one-by one. But these are just minor flaws, just like the fact that the film is sometimes too melodramatic for the sake of it, like the murder attempt at the end, the fire reference about the lady in crutches, the orphanage background, the way she falls several times at the big finale of the competition etc. If you look at the film from a certain perspective, it is actually slightly depressing. But there are also several uplifting moments for sure, some of the pretty memorable and emotional, like when she sees the ballet dancer for the first time. Or when she hugs her instructor at the very end. In general, a film full of hugs. It's a movie that has a lot to do with making the right decisions. Maybe the film suffers a bit too much from character being either completely positive or negative, even if I think with the final (realistic?) change in mind of the other girl they may have made up for it a bit. And I also believe that her instructor somehow deserves her own film with all the vague information we get about her life. Maybe it will be made some day. Who knows.

Now back to this one here, there is also a nice song by Sia included in here and this was maybe the best music moment from the film. Fittingly, Maddie Ziegler voices one of the main characters, even if not in the dubbed version I watched. The German voice for the main character by the way comes from Maria Ehrich from the Rubinrot film and sequels. As for this animated film here, there is some good, some not so good, but nothing really great or really bad I must say. Maybe the hug moment between Félicie and the instructor was the best of the best. All in all, it's one of the better animated films of 2016 and I would have been fine with an Oscar nomination, but the film was completely shut out by awards bodies. Then again, maybe it has to wait until next awards season to receive some recognition. If you have daughters who already are interested in ballet and dancing, then this film and the main character will probably win them over completely and keep the idea of becoming a professional dancer in their heads for a long long time.
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Not Billy Elliott nor Pixar
kosmasp6 February 2021
But still a really good animated movie about dreams (in life) and how to chase them. So with a social message, a love story and everything else you might want to check with a movie like this. Funny sidekicks, obstacles, evil individuals throwing everything in their path to stop our main character and so forth.

The animation is ok, though I reckon for the year it might not even be near good (or could be considered that). The predictable story won't really be something the smaller ones/viewers will mind at all. Be aware of that and just enjoy the pureness this tries to convey
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Lovely characters
Gordon-1119 April 2017
This film tells the story of two orphans, who dream about escaping to Paris and live their dream. Within hours of their escape, they have realised their dream as one makes it to a ballet school, and the other becomes an inventor.

"Ballerina" has a sweet story about two orphans who refuse to be looked down upon. Through hard work and perseverance, they live their life to the full. It is an inspiring story, with enough adventures and love story to spice up the journey. The ballet moves are nice, the characters are lovely and the "chicken wings" are funny. Even the evil rich woman is evil in a good way. The only thing I wish could change a little is that the film plays songs from other singers too, apart from Carly Rae Jepsen. I like Carly, but it gets tiresome when every single song is by her. I guess I am a little traumatised by "Home", which is like an extended music video for Rihanna. "Ballerina" is a way better animation film, but it would have been even better if there were songs by other singers too.
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bevo-136789 January 2021
Bit like the ballet equivalent of Mr Miagi. Some funny fart jokes too.
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Quite good, if a bit girly
neil-47616 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Orphan Felicie lives for dancing, which doesn't always ender her to the nuns who run the orphanage. She runs away to Paris and manages to join the Paris Opera Ballet, making an enemy of Camille and, especially, Camille's mother. With the lead role in The Nutcracker at stake, Felicie has to pick her steps very carefully.

This French-Canadian CGI feature proceeds exactly as you would expect it to, with Felicie meeting jeopardy at every turn yet, somehow, overcoming all obstacles through her own endeavours and with the help of friends. At no point was there a single moment where I thought "Well, I wasn't expecting that."

But this is not a fair criticism. As a solo male cinemagoer of mature years, I have sat among audiences where I did not belong - raunchy middle-aged matrons in Magic Mike, knicker-wetting teenage girls in Twilight - but I have seldom felt more out of place than among a cinema full of pree-teen little girls from ballet schools. Yet they are the audience at whom this film is aimed.

And, on that basis, it is very good. Voiced in the English language version by Elle Fanning, Felicie is a nicely realised audience-identification figure: likeable, a little bit naughty at times, bags of pluck and application, she is so well presented that I identified with her, and I am as far outside the target demographic as it is possible to be!

The dancing is also nicely done and takes advantage of being animation in order to push it beyond reality, not to the extent that it becomes outlandishly realistic, but enough to give it a "Wow!" factor.

Camille's mother is a psychopathic attempted murderer, but we'll gloss over that, shall we?

This is a very effective - and enjoyable - movie for little ballet-dancing girls, and I enjoyed it quite a bit myself. I'm not sure what that says about me, though....
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Adorable, fun and great moral message! A unique gem
Robert_duder14 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The idea of a little girl or boy wanting to do ballet is not new. Making an animated film around the passion of Ballet is new as far as I know. I hadn't even seen a single trailer for this but took my daughter to see it. Simply put, it was fantastic. Other reviews mention that it's stereotypical with shallow characters but it IS a children's film and it has such a terrific message behind it. The unique background of France and early 19th Century Paris makes this an adventure that is outside of the normal run of the mill children's film. Yes I suppose it is predictable and as far as characters or moral it's not new but you know sometimes it's nice just to see something nice! Ballerina (now renamed Leap) is not this year's runaway hit but it was a sweet, cute, fun time at the movies.

The cast is very good. The characters aren't unique but that doesn't mean they are relatable and fun and easy to connect with. Elle Fanning perfectly voices the hard headed dreamer Felicie. She is a wonderful hero for young girls and boys alike. Her passion for dance is really endearing. Dane DeHaan is adorable and perfect as her best friend (carrying a flame for her) the inventor Victor. The two characters together are perfection and their very light romance adds to the story. Carly Rae Jepsen is fantastic as the former dancer turned mentor Odette, Julie Khaner, Terrence Scammell and Tamir Kapelian round out some of the best of this case. They all fit their roles very well.

Perhaps the film is finding some trouble finding it's demographic. I think it might appear to be aimed at older children when in fact I think very young children might enjoy it even more. The backdrop of Paris and the excitement of the ballet and some of the animated dancing scenes are really fantastic. The "Rocky" type montage of Felicie honing her dance skills was fantastic. Co-Directors Eric Summer (also wrote the film) and Eric Warin are not full of animated experience so that makes this outing all the more impressive to me. I think someone with more experience in the genre might have really been able to tweak and edit this to perfection BUT that's not to say the Erics did a bad job. I think they did a great job and I will add this to my daughter's film collection the moment it comes out. I enjoyed it very much. 8/10
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Not all it's "nutcracked" to be...
ElMaruecan8222 December 2017
Just because a theme is timeless doesn't mean you should expect it to work every time. "Ballerina" (or "Leap!" for the English title) is another Cinderella story crossed with a sports/competition-themed narrative, delivering the oh-so cherished message that a passion is worth fighting for no matter what, and that all it takes is to put your heart in it. Fine, tell me something I didn't know.

At first, it looked like something I could really enjoy, Felicie, the 11-year old orphan girl dreams to become a ballerina then thanks to a strike of luck (of the sneaky sort but I liked it) , she finds a way to the Opera, then a mysterious cleaner with the grace of a ballet dancer but a limp that screams "failed dream" puts her up, and trains her.And then, well, I quickly realized that there was nothing in the film, I hadn't seen before. Except maybe for the superb rendition of a 3D Paris circa 1880's (when the Eiffel Tower was in construction) and a magnificent use of lighting during the dance sequences.

Let's make it clear, the animation is top notch and has nothing to envy from a Pixar movie. But a lesser look with a better story would have been better, Felicie's journey doesn't do justice to its mesmerizing visuals and can only offer a series of predictable plot elements where the heroine will learn about losing and falling at least ten times before making a climactic grand jeté or spinning on a roof. It doesn't even do justice to the character of Felicie who seems to have a certain edge over the usual heroines, she's not perfect, she lies, she might even sound too "modern" for the film, but overall, her actions are only commanded by the usual script requirements whose purpose is to postpone the inevitable triumph, much to our frustration.

We know there will be a final showdown between Felicie and her nemesis, rich blonde girl who's pushed by her tyrannical mother, we know that it will all be a matter of "heart" rather than technical or physical training, and there will also be a moment where Felicie will say one word too many (to hurt Odette) and get punished by Karma. I expected better than refusing to practice the night before the final test just because the Russian jock told her she was "unique" and wanted to go out for the night, and of course, she had to tell her Odette that she wasn't her mother. Still, it took was to say "I'm sorry" but this film is as dully predicable as Rocky sequel. They have to make the right mistakes at the right moments.

"Ballerina" features other clichés such as the good-looking boyfriend, of course the fat insecure sidekick (with glasses) and the villainous mother who goes literally over the top once the film had founded a rather good resolution. I was wondering whether they needed some extra time or if the directors felt the film lacked action but they didn't even try to be innovative by keeping focused on the dance. No, had to be a " Fatal Attraction" confrontation with a Deus Ex Machina last-minute rescue from Felicie's best friend. Did the mother really think she could kill Felicie and get away with it? It's a real shame that a movie that could have encouraged vocations and provide many lessons about life had to be so formulaic to the point of emulating action movies.

I don't mean it had to be like "Black Swan" either but a better effort on the writing could have really helped it. And another aspect that bothered me, I don't know if it's also the case for the English version but the French version used an adult voice that was too low-pitched for a little girl, not to mention that she was talking like a 2000's teenager even saying such expressions as OK that could have been said by a girl in the 1880's Paris. Well, maybe that anachronism was deliberate and I'm looking too far but that's because I really wanted to enjoy it.

The film successes in the most difficult part, it looked great but it should have embraced its own message about discipline and write more extra drafts to add some density to the story and makes the characters or the situations a little less two dimensional.
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This is odd
ericstevenson3 July 2018
I was told that this movie had a rating of only 30% on RottenTomatoes, but last time I checked it was a massive 74%! I enjoyed this movie, although I will admit it was clichéd at times. It tells the story of a girl who escapes from an orphanage to become a ballerina in Paris. The characters are quite likeable and the animation is very nice. What I like the most is how realistic this film is. It's rare that you see an animated film that's completely normal.

It turns out the rich bully is only that way because of her mother. Dang, I've seen this happen in "Gravity Falls" and "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic", so it must be a trope by now. Minor character Nora steals every scene she's in with funny dialogue. I'm glad I know my history because the movie got a lot of things wrong about the year 1879. It's still a beautiful film that really is pretty unique. Not one of the best movies ever made, but definitely good. ***
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Leap! Hits the Mark
tabuno10 January 2019
26 August 2017. Some people have criticized this movie because of the stealing scene. For those sensitive enough to have moral qualms about this criminal act and this movie, might just as well also condemn the Best Oscar Motion Picture Les Miserables (2012) for stealing wood in that movie. Subsequently, this criminal act has its consequences. Really for an animated children's movie the morality of the criminal is not as clear cut as it might seem as well. As for those critics whose insistence on historical accuracy and the relatively quick learning curve to become an amazing dancer are missing the nature of this fun, entertaining, in some ways simplistic presentation of an animated feature for young girls who still have dreams and a few boys who want to be inventors ala the prat fallen and accident-prone acclaimed comedian, Jerry Lewis, who died recently at 91 years old. And finally, dancing in a pub as a young girl can't be looked down on if one realizes this is a European setting where society isn't so prudish and the association of pubs (where family often gather) and bars is often confused.

The use of animation in this movie was aptly chosen and is fined tuned to the spirited nature of the storyline, particularly the dancing moves which would have been quite unrealistic and poorly received if the movie had been live action instead. The animated dancing offers up a childlike fantasy experience of exciting idealistic movement and the fulfillment of the delicious pleasure of passionate dreams. There is an excellent but difficult and rarely achieved balance between animated realism and the girlish imagination of what could and is possible as seen through a child's eyes such like Bolt (2008) about a performance dog who believes his acting is part of his real persona. The landscapes, the buildings, cityscapes are often presented with vibrant authenticity yet with a sense of wondrous imperfection as animation as yet hasn't been able to completely replicate dense photographic images of the real world.

In some ways, Leap! could be consider the young child's version of La La Land (2016) or Chicago (2002) in its depiction of the entertainment world, its exotic sights and sounds, the captivating energy and the enthralling emotional turmoil and the pulsating excitement of art. This great movie is about not giving up passion and pursuing one's dreams, who better message can an animated feature offer children?
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Dreaming's easy, but chasing it needs all the effort.
Reno-Rangan4 May 2017
Well, I praise a lot, particularly the European animations for preserving the 2D animation. That does not mean they lack behind in 3D format. The recent film 'The Little Prince' was the perfect example of a quality 3D animation outside Hollywood. Pars with Disney, Pixar standards. Technically, as well as the story contents. But the quantities are very less and also making it a bit expensive. So they usually prefer producing it in the English language for the wider/international market, keeping North America particularly in mind. This is a French English-language film that co-produced by Canada.

This is a nice film, that particularly targets little kids and mostly the girl audience to inspire Ballerina. Cute characters and scenes, but very familiar story. Shares lots of similarities with 'August Rush', except the field of interest. I am not an expert or know all about Ballet, but some of the parts involving them were turned me off. I know the gravitation force is irrelevant in animation since they're not real world to comply with science, but maybe I'm being an adult and knowing that stuff might have influenced me to think that way. It reminds me I'm really an adult, though this film should be watched as a kid despite whatever you are. However, nothing affected me from enjoying it.

It sets in the 80s of the 19th century France. At the time when Eiffel Tower and Statue of Libery were on the construction, a poor orphan girl named Felicie escapes orphanage with another boy to pursue her dream to be a ballerina. Then they arrive in Paris, and very soon they find their separate ways to achieve the goals. Not all smooth sail, especially for her. So she takes the opportunity that comes her way, even after knowing it was wrong to do.

❝You have something that she can only dream of: passion!❞

From there, with all the complications tailing her, how far she could go to make her dream come true. Which also includes the amount of dedication put on her undertaking to meet the expectations of her trainer, rivals and many others. And to show the world the interest is not simply based on enthusiasm, but willingness to sacrifice anything for it. Her journey from nothing to the edge of something new to define her life is the film that briefs for just short of 90 minutes.

This is not another 'Billy Elliot'. Animations are usually comedy, fantasy and musical, but recently the adventures and science fictions are surging. I don't remember I ever have seen an animated dance flick. Not the classical dance, not in the modern 3D animation format. The closest one was a decade old 'Happy Feet'. So that makes it is a unique product and comes under a must see for all the animation fans. But the storyline is predictable and many sequences were intentionally dragged to be cliché. Because it works, particularly if they're aiming for the younger generation who haven't seen many films in their lives. Only we the grownups whine.

Most of the voice-over artists are well known Americans actors which boosted the film. The character combinations are good. It brought the variety, especially slightly to ride off the main theme in a few occasions. Like the boy's interest in inventing things which were other major parts of the twist and turns in the narration. It is not a great animation if it was from Hollywood, but coming from France and the theme it focused on, the effort must be appreciated. Overall a much better film than what the average reviews and ratings around the internet says. It is a ballet film means not those who love it should watch it, but those target audience should not miss it. That means generally worth a watch, but not for everyone.

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Someone Tricked Theaters Into Playing This Straight-to-Netflix Movie
matthewssilverhammer14 September 2017
My 4-year-old loves movies. She also loves ballet. I was doomed from the start. Leap is awkwardly paced, preposterously plotted, poorly voiced and insanely bland. Yet, it's STILL not the worst kids movie of 2017. Because of some tired clichés that work purely based on their reliability, Leap is better than The Emoji Movie, Smurfs: The Lost Village, The Nut Job 2, and Despicable Me 3. Doesn't anyone consider the children?!
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Fantastically beautiful,..
RosanaBotafogo17 January 2021
What a fantastically beautiful, magical, charming film, the protagonist has her own brilliance and the other captivating characters, all cute script, sweet, happy and exciting moments, the dances, enchanting, where the dancers float and make us fly with them, perfect graphic , colorful, touch of history, with the construction of the Eiffel Tower, and the making of the Statue of Liberty, all very sugary and sweet...
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Maybe don't leap to see it but you could do worse
GiraffeDoor19 September 2019
An oddly likeable little romp that will appeal to the 8 year old girl in all of us.

What it lacks in originality and finesse it makes up for in heart and passion. Indeed it is one of THOSE movies, where the passionate amateur finds that basically their devotion gives them the edge over all the others with the technical skill.

The incredibly adorable heroin, who combines the best aspects of femininity and masculinity, pursues her dream in the enchantingly autumnal Paris with her male best friend.

It annoys me how this movie perpetuates the idea that all young boys revel in their own bodily functions and that even with a female protagonist she is the one being fought over rather than competing for the romantic interest.

But I know that I will watch it again one day... if you're that kind of adult that is perversely fascinated in how modern little girls think you'll get something from it.

The textures and character animation is fantastic.
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Pleasantly surprised
r96sk11 March 2020
Pleasantly surprised by 'Ballerina'. I wasn't expecting much, but it's a lovely film.

I really enjoy this type of animation, the people behind this do a good job with it. More goodness comes with the music, which Klaus Badelt expertly crafts - the songs from pop culture are astutely chosen.

Lastly, the casting is nothing special though Elle Fanning and Carly Rae Jepsen give decent performances.
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Worst animated film I've ever seen
davispittman8 July 2018
I expected this movie not to be good, but I wasn't expecting to hate it this much. Leap follows the story of a girl who runs away from an orphanage with her friend and wants to become a ballerina. Pretty predictable, by the numbers poor girl chasing her dreams story. It is so painfully clear that no one gave a crap about this movie, it just screams cheap and lazy. The characters are wooden and boring, and the story is so dull that you just don't care about it. There are great animated movies out there, just look at The Incredibles or Nemo or Cars, and those movies are great because yes they're fun and entertaining, but they also invested in development and characters. This movie just doesn't care about investing in the things that make a movie great. It's very clear what this movie is, it's a poorly thrown together mess that was dumped into theaters to try to make some money. 1/10.
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Tchaikovsky, Tchaikovsky, Tchaikovsky
myriamlenys21 November 2020
Warning: Spoilers
(Review based on watching the English-language version ; there also seems to exist a French-language version which may not be entirely identical.)

To begin with the good, this animation movie contains images of great beauty. This is especially the case when the scenes show (parts of) ballet performances or rehearsals. It is clear that the various makers of the movie paid close and respectful attention to the actual accomplishments of actual ballet dancers. It is also clear that they took the time to poke around in real-life opera houses.

However, I'm convinced that the movie would have been vastly improved, both emotionally and narratively, by investing in a story more grounded in reality. Here you've got a tale about a destitute orphan girl who's never so much as put on a ballet shoe - and don't you know it, within a matter of days she's besting well-fed, well-trained, well-exercised rivals, because she's got, like, so much drive. (AND she's got red hair. Never underestimate the importance of red hair for brave and enterprising orphan girls.) Why not give us a story about a girl from a modest background who receives some ballet lessons, arrives in the big city, and discovers that her new teachers consider her training hopelessly old-fashioned and provincial ?

And of course you get this huge cliché, where classical ballet music equals Tchaikovsky. Not an evil word against Mr. Tchaikovsky, who wrote some of the most enchanting ballet music in history, but why drag him in again and again and again ? Watching movies like these, one sometimes gets the impression that a Drigo, a Minkus, a Massenet, a Gounod or a Saint-Saëns lived and died in vain. It's simple laziness, especially since there exist enough technical consultants who would be able to indicate, with laser-like precision, the kind of works most suitable to that specific era and setting.
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Never Give Up on Dreams
ShelbyTMItchell28 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
You should never give up on your dreams like in this movie. With two orphans that have been in their orphanage since babies.

One named Felicie who wants to be a ballerina but has the lack of formal training and her best friend and potential love interest Victor an aspiring inventor

There they flee the village and go to Paris to pursue their dreams. As they are in Paris and she Felicie goes to the Paris Opera ballet she meets the mysterious and down on her luck former dancer Odette who walks with a limp. Working for a mean restaurant owner Regine and her snobby daughter Camille.

But in anger, as a postman tries to give the letter of going to ballet school, to Camille another ballerina, Felicie tries to go to the ballet school and learns with help from Odette and both form a mother-daughter bond.

As her relationship with Odette improves, so does her dance moves. And she even gets the strict dance instructor respect as well as like.

As Victor tries to get a job as an inventor and tries to tell his true feelings for his best friend. Will he and will Felicie make it to dance at the Nutcracker as a lot is at stake with competing for the role. Including that of Camille.

Cute movie and shows you should never give up on dreams.
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Wonderful Film with a Big Meaning about Never Giving up on Your Dreams
rannynm13 July 2017
Leap! is a great film with a big meaning. This film teaches it all - honesty, perseverance and the importance of practice, family, believing in yourself, believing in your dreams and passion. Felicie makes a lot of mistakes during her journey, which set her back, but that doesn't stop her from continuing to push through.

The story begins when Felicie and her best friend, Victor escape from an orphanage. They take a train to Paris so that Felicie can attend a dance school there and Victor can become an inventor. They arrive in Paris without any money. During their journey, they encounter many challenges. As Felicie meets new people, a love conflict arises as well as a conflict with a wealthy lady who is pure evil and wants to crush Felicie's dream.

A wealthy woman Regine (Kate McKinnon) is cruel, rude and arrogant, but a boy with a crush on Felicie protects her from Regine. McKinnon makes Regine sound totally wicked in a bad but great way. The boy, Victor (Natt Wolf) is portrayed as a timid, but an optimistic and caring friend.

The animation in this film is spectacular! It is very detailed and their mouths move with the words they are saying so well the animated characters seem real. The voice acting is spot on. The voices are filled with emotion and an inspiration to the audience, including me.

My favorite part is when Felicie watches a ballerina at the French dance school. She takes just one look at the ballerina's dance and knows she wants to dance and that she can dance. You can really see Felicie's passion for dancing right there. The whole movie is all about passion and the movie will inspire viewers to follow their dreams.

The message of this film is to follow your dreams. It show how, in order to succeed, you have to work very hard, believe in yourself and have passion. Felicie is an exemplary role model.

Leap! is a very inspirational film with a very important lesson and a pleasure to watch. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 18. Adults will love this movie as well. I really enjoyed watching this film.
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Abdulxoxo22 October 2020
The animation was floppy, the plot and characters were cliche, and overall the whole thing had a fast-paced low-budget feel to it. Not to mention that the character's behavior and clothing didn't make sense for the time period.
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Fine for little kids, but entirely derivative
blott2319-129 September 2020
Ballerina (which was later renamed "Leap!") feels like a made-for-TV or direct-to-video animated movie. It is entirely unoriginal, which makes it 100% predictable. You have a young orphan who dreams of being a dancer, and by chance she stumbles into a prestigious dance studio and gets the opportunity to live out her dreams, but it won't come without some hard work. You can write the movie for them after that and you would probably come out with the exact same film they offered up. It has no surprises, and the characters are as deep as a wading pool. Of course we also have to suffer through a young "romance' that is full of awkward moments and no real display of affection (since they are kids.) The movie doesn't look half bad, and I feel like the animators took a fair amount of time studying actual ballerinas in order to get the dance moves to look right. In every way Ballerina delivers what you would expect, but that also means it will give people what they want if this is the type of movie they were seeking to watch with their kids. It's not one of the smarter kids movies that is built to entertain the parents who are watching as well, but it is competent enough that I could see some young ones wanting to watch it on repeat. As a middle-aged man with no kids, though, it's clearly not for me.
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Pleasant, inoffensive and unremarkable
dave-mcclain31 August 2017
With apologies to Shakespeare, to leap or not to leap, that is the question. But before you answer that question, you need to know the type of leaping being proposed. Should you leap forward, leap over, leap up, leap down or leap for joy? Well, no matter what kind of leaping it is, many people will warn you to "look before you leap", while others will tell you to "just take the leap". Of course, doing the latter requires taking what's called a "leap of faith". But since faith, by definition, is a belief for which there is no objective evidence, it sounds like we're back to that "look before you leap" advice. I guess we could keep things really simple, as does the Canadian-French animated musical adventure comedy "Leap!" (PG, 1:29)… or, "Ballerina", as this movie was originally titled (and is still called in movie markets outside the U.S.). Either way. This movie is about leaping, both literally and figurately, whether you're a little girl who is an aspiring ballerina or anyone with a dream who is wondering whether or not to take that leap.

Félicie (voiced by Elle Fanning) is an 11-year-old girl living in a late 19th century orphanage in the rural area of France known as Brittany. She dreams of being a ballerina, dancing around the orphanage as she does her chores, but a humorless Mother Superior (Kate McKinnon) sternly reminds her "dreams are not reality". Félicie's fellow orphan and best friend, Victor (Nat Wolff, who replaced Dane DeHaan for the American version), has dreams too. He wants to be an inventor and has already built himself a set of wings. One night, he uses those wings to get himself and Félicie out of the orphanage. They are pursued on a motorcycle by an orphanage employee named M. Luteau (Mel Brooks), but they get away from him by hopping a train to Paris. Let the dreams be pursued – and let the leaping begin!

As soon as Félicie and Victor get to Paris, they become separated when Victor accidentally ends up on a boat floating down the Seine, leaving Félicie to her own devices. She finds the Paris Opera House, sneaks in and catches the Paris Opera Ballet's Prima Ballerina rehearsing and is inspired by the sight. Then Félicie is caught by a security guard, but a cleaning lady named Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen) gets her off the hook. Odette tries to get rid of Félicie, but she has nowhere to go. And there's also that business of her dream and all. Félicie follows Odette to her other cleaning gig, working for a wealthy and mean restaurateur named Régine Le Haut (Kate McKinnon). Félicie convinces Odette to help her clean and, when she finds out that Odette used to be a ballet dancer, Félicie gets Odette to train her. Meanwhile, a fierce rivalry develops between Félicie and Régine's daughter, Camille (Maddie Ziegler), who is also studying to be a ballerina. Félicie then intercepts Camille's invitation to audition for "The Nutcracker".

But what happened to Victor? Don't worry. He's fine. When he reconnects with Félicie, he tells her about a strange sequence of events which lead him to become friends with the young assistant (Tamir Kapelian) of one Gustave Eiffel, who is in the midst of building an odd-looking metal tower in Paris. Victor gets to help out in Eiffel's workshop and uses that opportunity to work on his inventions. Félicie and Victor meet up a few times and their friendship seems to be progressing towards romance, even as Félicie is being pursued by a young, arrogant Russian ballet dancer (also Tamir Kapelian). Meanwhile, Félicie has been subjected to the tough tutelage of Mérante (Terrence Scammell), the ballet director. And everything is coming to a head for Félicie regarding her relationships with all the other people in her life and her valiant (but dishonest) efforts to realize her dream and perform at the Paris Opera Ballet.

"Leap!" is a charming, but slight animated fantasy. There's nothing new here, except for the setting – and that's portrayed somewhat inaccurately. Based on the level of completion of the Eiffel Tower, this story takes place in April 1888, but the Statue of Liberty is also shown being constructed, even though it had been sent to the U.S. two years earlier. Of course, this film's target audience won't notice those details, but kids (or parents) might notice that they've seen stories very much like it many times before. Co-directed by Éric Summer and Éric Warin and written by Summer, Carol Noble and Laurent Zeitoun, the movie is a combination of "The Karate Kid" and "Cinderella", while feeling like an attempt to copy the typical Disney princess movie formula. It lacks the energy and entertainment value (and musical accompaniment) of those films, but it's still a very pleasant way to spend an hour and a half. Most kids (especially, but not only, little girls) will like it, while the adults who bring them will likely appreciate the scenery – and the animation, often looking photorealistic. It's worth taking the leap to see this one. "B"
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It has many clichés and too predictable, but it's charming and rewatchable
AhmedSpielberg998 November 2017
Although it's predictable, has plenty of clichés and the turning points in it are results of very silly events which are familiar in kids' animated movies, its animation is surprisingly spectacular, it has some funny moments, likable characters, and good humor, and its songs are as inspiring as its ballet sequences.

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legobuilderpro7 July 2020
The animation is well done and the movie was fine to watch.
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