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Opening Date
22 Dec 2016
90 mins
English - subtitles to be advised
Adventure, Animation
Eric Summer
Elle Fanning, Dane DeHaan, Maddie Ziegler
Félicie is a young orphan from Brittany who has only one passion: dance. With her best friend Victor, who wants to become a great inventor, they come up with a madcap scheme to escape their orphanage for Paris, the City of Lights, with its Eiffel Tower still under construction! Félicie has to fight like she has never fought before, she has to outdo herself and learn from her mistakes to make her craziest dream come true: becoming a prima ballerina at the Paris Opera...
By Flora  20 Dec 2016
Not quite the grand jeté of animation, but Ballerina is an inspiring film that serves as a motivational material to the younger audience to keep their dreams alive.
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Set in 1879, orphans Félicie Milliner (voiced by Elle Fanning) and Victor (Dane DeHaan) escape the mundane orphanage to achieve their dreams in the bustling city of Paris of becoming a ballet dancer at the Grand Opera House and an inventor respectively. 

In a series of fortunately-planned incidents, they reached the city of their dreams where each child, despite no money or food, managed to find a narrow pathway of hope in carrying out their grand aspiration. Félicie wangles her way into the city’s best ballet school, with the help of cleaner and former dancer Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen) who takes the role as a mentor and personal trainer to the little girl. To be considered for a place in The Nutcracker, Félicie has to prove to Merante (Terrence Scammell), the school's exacting choreographer that she is worthy of a spot, beating rival rich bratty kid Camille (Maddie Ziegler), while avoid being caught out for being somebody she isn’t.

The straightforward story may be a little formulaic and simplistic, but nothing beats an inspiring feel-good animation to remind our younger audience that their dreams are not too far away. It’s refreshing to see that the protagonist puts her passion first, instead of boy-attention narratives that we’re far too familiar with. 

Accompanying the beautiful sights and backdrops of the animation is the upbeat soundtrack that goes with the high-spirited tone of the movie. It helps that the voice actors are exceptional in their delivery of the dialogues, especially for DeHaan, with his ever gleeful spirit, and a surprising Jepsen who holds a certain maturity in her voice.

In addition, be charmed by the elegant dance choreography, which was created with the assistance of real life Paris Opera Ballet stars, Aurélie Dupont and Jérémie Bélingard. That glorious grand jeté was a tad melodramatic, but definitely a superb pointe.

Not quite the grand jeté of animation, but Ballerina is an inspiring film that serves as a motivational material to the younger audience to keep their dreams alive, and a fancifully-packaged kick in the butt for the adults to remind them to never stop pursuing their goals.
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