Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

"There is nothing here to be afraid of and a whole bunch of sweetness to wrap around a girl who makes you want to say YES!!"

Push those buttons, hit those marks, make it nicey-nicey and give it heart. No problemo, mademoiselle!

Ballerina remains loyal to the cliche. There is even a Cruella De Vil character. Little girls with ponies might not want to dance but all the others will, especially after bonding with Felice (voiced by Elle Fanning) and feeling the burn. And the bumps. And the disappointments. And... yes, they are all here. Even the love.

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Orphan girl runs away to Paris to make her dream come true. And what is that, pray? To become a dancer at the most famous ballet school in the then world (late 19th century) despite having nothing going for her except determination, a winning smile and perfect balance.

The film is short on humour. The comic relief characters lack originality. Her fellow runaway who wants to become an inventor and ends up sweeping the floor in the workshop of the man who designed the Statue of Liberty has a deep twentysomething voice (thanks Dane DeHaan) when he looks 15. He has a crush on Felice and falls over the furniture a lot and has a fat friend who wears a big hat.

You could write the synopsis on the back of a postage stamp. It's that sticky and that small. But, hey! There is nothing here to be afraid of and a whole bunch of sweetness to wrap around a girl who makes you want to say YES!!

There is a message. You have heard it before. Old fashioned? Old school? Certainly. Lucky? Of course.

The message is practice, practice, practice.

Reviewed on: 15 Dec 2016
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Set in 1879, an orphan girl dreams of becoming a ballerina and runs away to Paris where she impersonates someone else and accedes to the position of pupil at the Grand Opera House.
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Director: Eric Summer, Éric Warin

Writer: Carol Noble, Eric Summer, Laurent Zeitoun

Starring: voices of Elle Fanning, Dane DeHaan, Maddie Ziegler, Carly Rae Jepsen, Elana Dunkelman, Shoshana Sperling

Year: 2016

Runtime: 89 minutes

Country: France, Canada


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