I am a ballet fan. I love everything about this form of dance, so when I saw available on Netflix Leap, an animated feature film about a girl who wants to be a dancer, I was intrigued. The film is rated PG for some impolite humor, and action.
Not a great story, but an interesting one, Felicie (voiced by Elle Fanning) and Victor (Dane DeHaan) are two older children in an orphanage in Brittany, France. They want to escape, and go to Paris to fulfill their dreams. Here is my first complaint. Why would anyone care if a few children escaped from an orphanage? It’s not like they were toddlers after all, but the Mother Superior sends Luteau (Mel Brooks) to pursue them and bring them back.
Eventually, the two friends do make a successful escape and arrive in Paris, a city where dreams come true. Felicie ends up at the Grand Opera House in pursuit of her dream to become a dancer, and Victor finds a job as an assistant in the workshop of the architect of the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty, both currently under construction.
I found the city of Paris during these famous changes to the skyline to be enchanting. Felicie encounters Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen), (named after the ballerina in Swan Lake), a woman with a limp who is housemaid to a “dance mom” and her daughter Camille (Maddie Ziegler). Camille trains incessantly so she will win a role in the upcoming Nutcracker performance. Felicie steals the acceptance letter for Camille and enters the school of ballet under false pretences. At first awkward and a complete beginner, she prevails and begins to learn, especially when Odette begins instructing her.
The music of the film was taken from famous ballets, and that part was fun. Let me be clear: if you are a young girl who loves dance and especially ballet, you will like this film. If you are someone like me who is an adult and loves ballet, this little film may amuse you. Anyone else, please don’t bother.
The ending message is to not give up, and to follow your dreams, noble thoughts, but the stealing of the letter to get into ballet school is clearly not the way to go.