Everybody one once dreamed of something. It could be anything: becoming a singer, a musician, a librarian, having a horse, writing a book, etc. One of the main thing that is making a movie the magic that it is, is the fact that a character brings those dreams to life… our dreams… and they either achieve them or find something new. In many animations movies, this magical aspect of the big dream is always (or mostly) present.
In the case of this co-production between France and Quebec, it is all about dreaming. Ballerina is presenting us two young orphans, Félicie and Victor, who respectively dream of becoming a great dancer and a great inventor. Best friends, they come up with a plan to escape from the orphanage they were placed in and go to Paris, the city where dreams do come true. Once arrived, Félicie has to fight and learn from her mistakes to achieve what she aspires to do: become a prima dancer at the Opéra de Paris.
This movie is simply beautiful in all its ways. First of all, the story itself tells a beautiful message: no dream is impossible to achieve as long as you believe in it. Throughout all the movie, we can see the two of them struggling to get to the last step, but at the same time loving and facing every difficulties as a new fun challenge; as something that is not an inconvenience but another step that brings them closer. One of the main thing with this movie that I appreciated was that it was realistic in the way it was approached. We do not see them at the top immediately, they pass by the same path we would need to take; either by taking classes or by starting as an assistant, which makes us connect more with them and their situation.
Now, let’s talk about the animation itself. The graphics were beautiful! It was easy to imagine Paris at this epoch (1879) and feel the realism behind the decors. Even with the half (ish) constructed Eiffel tower, we could see the details behind the design of the city. Everything was thought in details. Even in the orphanage, you could see the dirty dishes when they were cleaning or the difference between the materials when they are on the roof.
Another thing that I loved was the use of humor inside of the text and the animations. Even though it is present throughout the whole story, one of my favorite moment was when Victor was explaining one of his misadventure to get back to Paris (you’ll see what I mean 😉 ). As he was talking, we would see animations of him doing « the whole truth » of what happened. The brilliant part about this was that his actions were in extreme slow-motion which adds so much to the hilariousness of the situation. You will definitely laugh at that scene!
I recommend this movie to families and people of all age. It is a beautiful movie that is a must-see this month (or on the 21st of April if you are in the U.S)! Here’s the trailer of Ballerina/Leap!