Every little girl dreams of being a Ballerina. Now the movie titled the same gives those aspiring dancers the belief that they too can follow in Félicie’s footsteps and become a superstar of the dancing world. This film is the perfect mould for a film for any little dancers. It’s set in the romance capital of the world, during a time of great strife, with a pretty underdog heroine beating the odds to win the big part.
I must start by stressing, this was a highly enjoyable film. There I said it. Despite being the movie with the most clichés ever, it was an enjoyable few hours spent. More so than the Assassin’s Creed movie anyway but that isn’t exactly hard now is it? The movie’s humour was a mixture of irritating fart jokes which mainly resonate with the little ones blended with a well-timed jokes that actually made me laugh. The comic relief character Nora, despite her limited screen time, whenever she was on-screen she actually made me belly laugh, a rare thing in a children’s film especially one aimed at little girls.
The best way to describe this film? The Little Girl’s Rocky. I walked into the theatre and the majority of the audience were little girls and their mothers. I cannot stress enough that this is clearly a children’s film – the obscene amount of force-fed exposition, stupid amounts of clichés, a simple story with easy to understand characters, a most predictable script and so on. But this was a very enjoyable movie for a girl’s dancing movie. Something I struggle with remembering as a critic is that this was a kid’s movie and that looking at it critically is often the wrong approach as many movie analytics cannot be applied to this format. But the film was a breath of fresh air compared to the other movies I have recently witnessed – boring, depressing shows of dark colours and considerable amounts of brooding so this was a clear, colourful breath of fresh air to view.
The movie’s beginning was literally Félicie stepping onto the roof of the orphanage exclaiming “I’m escaping right now.” Then an elongated chase scene occurred between her, her obvious romantic partner Victor and the ugly groundskeeper. The sequence felt rushed and out-of-place right at the start but then it is necessary to keep the audience’s attention as the average audience age is around 5. The other scene that felt out-of-place was the ending. Félicie’s dance rival, the arrogant Camille Le Haut, concedes her place in The Nutcracker meaning our red-headed hero has her dancing debut. Only for her to be late as Camille’s mother tries to kill Félicie atop the newly constructed Statue of Liberty. The director could have cut this from the movie and it would have perfectly made sense but these are nit-picks for an otherwise competent movie.
I did have issue with our main character being Ginger. I myself am a proud redhead and yes it is wonderful to see powerful female red-headed characters in movies. First the movie Brave and now Ballerina. But Hollywood is sadly focussing on female redheaded characters whereas male characters aren’t represented fairly often being depicted negatively. A more diverse Hollywood in terms of hair colour would really empower a persecuted minority that is the redhead community. But this is a minor thing that I’m sure only bothers me.
A protagonist that dreams of winning a prize and had to battle opponents to win said prize. Being financially and physically unprepared compared to their opponent but still has more talent. A likeable main character and a confusing love story. This is the little girl’s Rocky. This was a humorous, fun film that really surprised me and kept my interest. The premise seems an insufferable nightmare to me but was more of an adequate dream. Perfect for aspiring dancers and little ones. Ballerina was one surprising children’s film.