Movie Review: Ballerina (2016)
Ballerina is a 2016 English-language French-Canadian 3D computer-animated musical fantasy adventure film co-directed by Eric Summer and Éric Warin. The screenplay is written by Summer, Carol Noble and Laurent Zeitoun, with music by Klaus Badelt. The film stars the voices of Elle Fanning (the younger sister of Dakota Fanning), Dane DeHaan, Maddie Ziegler and Carly Rae Jepsen (Call Me Maybe).
Ballerina was produced in Montreal, Canada – an outlier among the usual Hollywood produced animation films.
The filmmakers used key frame animation of Aurélie Dupont and Jérémie Bélingard, two star dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet, to translate realistic dance choreography to the animated film.
Félicie is a young orphan from Brittany who has only one passion: dance. With her best friend Victor, who wants to become a great inventor, they come up with a madcap scheme to escape their orphanage for Paris, the City of Lights, with its Eiffel Tower still under construction. Félicie has to fight like she has never fought before, she has to outdo herself and learn from her mistakes to make her craziest dream come true: becoming a prima ballerina at the Paris Opera.
The film follows a very simple narrative which chronicles Félicie’s journey to achieve her ballet dream, finding her true love along the way.
The touristy Paris today is probably very different from the romanticised Paris of the past, but the film does a good job in reviving that romantic image of Paris as the city of love and dreams.
The film is released right in time during the year-end festive period in Singapore. With it’s romantic storyline, enchanting dance sequences and a happy ending to wrap things up, it is one of those perfect feel-good films to end the year with.
Go catch it if you love dance or just need that little bit of romantic getaway to spruce up your life. The film is suitable for all ages, including young children.
I brought my five-years-old son Asher to watch it and even he was able to tell that the morale of the story was to “follow your dream”, just like how the poor orphan Félicie doggedly pursued her seemingly impossible dream of becoming an acclaimed ballet dancer.
Ballerina is now showing in Singapore cinemas.