Film review by Steve Duffy –
11-year-old orphan, Félicie (Elle Fanning) has one dream – to go to Paris and become a dancer. Her best friend Victor (Nat Wolff), an imaginative but exhausting boy with a passion for creating, has a dream of his own – to become a famous inventor. In a leap of faith, Victor and Félicie leave their orphanage in pursuit of their passions. But – there’s a catch, Félicie must pretend to be the child of a wealthy family in order to gain admittance to the prestigious and competitive Opera Ballet School in Paris. And with no professional dance training, she quickly learns that talent alone is not enough to overcome the ruthless, conniving attitudes of her fellow classmates, led by the devious Camille Le Haut (Maddie Ziegler) and her wicked mother Régine (Kate McKinnon). Determined to succeed, Félicie finds her mentor in the tough and mysterious school custodian, Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen) who, along with Victor’s encouraging friendship, help her reach for the stars.
The story is heart-tugging, predictable, formulaic and at times slow-going. There are a bunch of cute moments that will also make you laugh. The voice cast all give their best performances.
The animation is exceptional. Even though the story is set in the 1800’s the characters are dancing to today’s pop music.
I love the strong message that Leap! Is about: follow your dream and never give up despite any obstacles that you may face.
Rating: PG for some impolite humor, and action
Runtime: 89 min