Just gorgeous! That is Ballerina (aka Leap!) (2016). Wow…where to even start…did I say it is magnificent? Wonderful? Delightful? Oh, I did…didn’t I?
But seriously…it is all that. And this coming from someone who isn’t an “animation” fan. Ballerina doesn’t “feel” like the typical, comic, blockbuster animation movie. It’s more like a classy, visual feast with real, breathing characters that just happen to be animated. Am I making sense?
This Canadian-French collaboration has Félicie and her best friend Victor, both orphans with huge dreams (she wants to be a ballerina, he an inventor) make an interesting escape (he’s the inventor, remember) to head for Paris. Once in this wonderful city they become separated and through a series of events, Félicie ends up in the Paris Opera Ballet and Victor in Gustave Eiffel‘s workshop. And so their dreams are set into motion.
Paris is wonderfully recreated with a host of colourful characters. As for the leads, they are alive, they feel, they are more real than many human actors/actresses on screen. Dare I say that the entire ensemble is a pleasure to watch? There’s Odette with a tragic past (but never soppy), Camille who’s dancing for all the wrong reasons, the stern Mérante, charmeur Rudolph (Rudi), pushy mother Regine and a troupe of interesting ballerinas.
I left the cinema with a big smile on my face and that wonderful feel-good feeling. But, I also felt fulfilled. A movie with a good story, wasn’t trying to be a funny blockbuster, good
acting characterisation and visually splendid. Yes, it had humorous parts but they came naturally without trying too hard. Directed by Eric Summer and Éric Warin, the beautiful score comes courtesy of Klaus Badelt. The people behind the voices? Elle Fanning is Félicie and Dane DeHaan is Victor.
This is one you absolutely have to see. *sigh* it is sooooo lovely.