Eleven-year-old Félicie (voiced by Elle Fanning) lives in a French orphanage within the 1880s, however she goals of escaping and turning into a ballerina in Paris on this enjoyable however forgettable animated flick from administrators Eric Summer and Eric Warin. With the assistance of her finest buddy Victor (Nat Wolff), who aspires to be an inventor, they sneak off to the City of Light. Once there, Félicie meets and is mentored by Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen), a as soon as promising dancer who now scrubs the flooring of a well-known Parisian opera home that’s house to a prestigious dance academy. To acquire admittance to the college, Félicie steals an admissions letter meant for one more pupil who handled her badly. Soon, she’s in a small group of dancers auditioning for the plum function of Clara in a manufacturing of The Nutcracker.
Odette tells Félicie that she has “the energy of a bullet,” but additionally “the lightness of a depressed elephant.” It’ll take greater than need to win the a part of Clara; it’s going to take dedication and uninterrupted apply. Yet Félicie will get distracted by a good-looking Russian dancer, which threatens to derail her ambitions.
Leap! is a well-worn underdog story about by no means giving up on one’s goals. It’s helped immensely by energetic performances from Fanning, Wolff, and particularly Mel Brooks as Luteau, the grumpy overseer of the orphanage (though his abrupt transformation late within the movie from cantankerous to caring doesn’t fairly ring true). Kate McKinnon can also be good as three completely different characters, together with the depraved Regine Le Haut, who’s mainly a carbon copy of Cinderella’s evil stepmother.
Although the film is ready in France, nobody within the solid makes an attempt a French accent. Even extra curious are the music choices on the soundtrack, that are all fashionable American pop anthems. The target market of younger women probably received’t thoughts, however a ballet story set within the late 19th century in all probability ought to have gone with a little bit of classical music quite than bubblegum tunes by Demi Lovato and Carly Rae Jepsen. And we’re fairly positive that women weren’t carrying jean shorts, as Félicie does, within the 1880s; speedy bikes weren’t round both, however Luteau races round on one however. So a lot for the main points.
Some dad and mom will understandably fret over Félicie’s determine theft—for which she later apologizes, however is in the end rewarded for pulling off—and over a scene through which the teenager visits a bar and dances atop tables for its rowdy patrons. She additionally has a harmful behavior of strolling, leaping, and dancing on precarious rooftops. In addition, there’s one thing pernicious about the truth that Félicie (spoiler alert!) wins the coveted Nutcracker function on the final attainable minute, and performs it with knowledgeable ballerina moments later with out a single rehearsal. It’s good to have goals, however turning them into actuality normally requires a variety of arduous work.
Leap! is undeniably uplifting, well-intended, and by no means boring. The animation is strong if not stellar, its story formulaic however amusing, and at a brisk 85 minutes it doesn’t overstay its welcome. That’s admittedly faint reward, however to heap additional kudos on the movie would require fairly a leap certainly.