Eleven-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, exuberant 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 fi nds her mentor in the tough and mysterious school custodian, Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen), who, along with Victor’s encouraging friendship, helps her reach for the stars.
1080p, 2.39:1 Aspect Ratio
2016, Rated PG, 1 hour 29 minutes
Starring: Elle Fanning, Nat Wolff, Maddie Ziegler, Mel Brooks, Carly Rae Jepsen
Directed by: Eric Summer, Eric Warin
Leap tells the story of young Félicie, an orphan whose dream is to be a ballet dancer. After several failed attempts to escape the orphanage in which she resides, she and her friend Victor finally make it out one night and head for Paris. There they both pursue their dreams – Victor to be an inventor, and Félicie to be a dancer.
The story really concentrates on Félicie and her circuitous path to secure a spot in the ballet. She faces typical challenges along the way such as her upbringing as an orphan, and a lack of previous experience in the ballet. Meanwhile, she gains the trust of the janitor (for lack of a better term) of the ballet school who may just have some tricks up her sleeve to help Félicie.
The story was cute, however, I found that so much of it glossed over important plot points without much depth. For example, the orphanage keeper who appears to be a mean, bad guy type suddenly is a key helper in Félicie’s escape – there is no indication of any reason why, it just happens. The sudden change of heart is a theme throughout – many of the characters just change without much indication why. Similarly, the characters overcome problems too easily – there is little challenge or hardship for things that would normally take time to resolve. I realize that this is a film targeted to children, but so are films like Frozen or Moana, where the main characters definitely had to go through difficult times to get to their goals at the end.
Visually the film was beautiful to watch. The detail of the characters as well as the surroundings was excellent. I thought they did a particularly good job of using lighting to enhance the mood of the scene. Likewise, the use of color to help define the characters was noticeable. The “evil” character of the film was always dressed in dark attire, and almost seemed to cast her own shadow.
This is the first film I’ve reviewed in a media-less format. I was provided a key code to add the movie to my digital library of choice. I chose to add it to iTunes since I have plenty of Apple devices on which to watch, including my Apple TV. Streaming it this way seems to take away some of the best features of Blu-Ray, namely the multi-channel surround formats such as Dolby Atmos. However, for this particular film I didn’t miss that at all. The digital medium was just fine and after starting the film I didn’t even think about it. Video was sharp and crisp, with good color. The audio track was also just fine. Almost any modern receiver can extrapolate surround information from a digital soundtrack, and that was adequate here.
- Behind the Scenes Video Gallery
- In the Recording Booth featurette