This poor post had gotten lost in my drafts. I considered sending it to the trash folder, seeing as the film was released here over a month ago, but I decided not to. The thing is, Ballerina is a beautiful film, and if you missed it, then maybe this review will move you to grab a copy for your kid/s (and yourself, if you’re anything like me ?) once its out on DVD/blu-ray.
Ballerina opened in SA cinemas on 6 January. Our little ballerina had seen the trailer, and couldn’t wait to watch it, so we bought tickets the day it premiered. All three of us – yes, daddy too – thoroughly enjoyed it. It was so good, Zee and I watched it a second time, with three of her friends and their mom. Our kids are home schooled, so I guess it was the first school outing for the year. 🙂
Visually, the computer-animated film set in France is lovely, even giving us a glimpse at an incomplete Eiffel Tower. It’s the 1880’s, and Félicie (voiced by Elle Fanning) is an orphan who dreams of being a ballerina. When her friend Victor (Dane DeHaan), an aspiring inventor, shows her a picture of the Paris Opera ballet school, she knows that is where she belongs.
The lead characters are immediately likeable . There’s plenty of slapstick comedy, especially in the scene where Félicie and Victor escape the orphanage in Brittany. And there are scenes which touch your heart. There’s a villain so cruel, she and the step mother in Disney’s Cinderella would be besties. There’s even the mandatory (and somewhat exaggerated.. but hey, it’s an animation) dance movie dance-off scene, set to Demi Lovato’s Confident. It has all the right ingredients for a great family film.
That Félicie goes from zero training and skill, to a brilliant ballerina in only a short while may have some rolling their eyes. Once again, this is an animation. And isn’t the whole point of any movie – animated or live-action – to take you away from what’s real and normal for that little while, and give you something alot more fantastic? Ballerina certainly does that. It has the wonderful message to never give up on your dreams, and will have you smiling even after the credits roll.