In a city of humanoid animals, a hustling theater impresario's attempt to save his theater with a singing competition becomes grander than he anticipates even as its finalists' find that their lives will never be the same.
Nat Wolff replaces Dane DeHaan as Victor in the American release of the film. DeHaan voices Victor in the original version of the film. See more »
While at the Breton bar in Paris, the 'Gwenn ha du' flag is shown. But it was only created in 1923 (and became popular from the 1970s on). If a Breton flag had to be put up at the end of the 19th century, it'd have been the 'Kroaz du' or the plain ermine flag. See more »
[catches Victor and Felicie on the roof]
I'm going to stop this! No one interrupts my nightly face care routine and gets away with it!
[Victor picks up Felicie and runs down the roof, with Luteau close behind]
Stop! I can't run that fast! I have delicate ankles!
[Victor, still carrying Felicie, jumps off the roof and manages to fly away with the help of his 'chicken wings'. Luteau, meanwhile, lands on a lower part of the roof and falls right through]
[...] See more »
The title doesn't appear until the end of the film. See more »
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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