Published on August 25th, 2017 | by Jennifer Fiduccia0
The new film “Leap!” stars Elle Fanning as Félicie, Nat Wolff as Victor, Dance Moms star Maddie Zielgler as Camille, Kate McKinnon as Camille’s mother Régine and Carly Rae Jepson as Odette.
Leap is set in Paris about 150 years ago, and the story centers around Félicie and Victor and their desire to escape the orphanage and follow their dreams. Félicie wants to be a dancer and Victors dream is to be a famous inventor.
Félicie stumbles into intercepting an invitation that is meant for Camille to audition to dance at the Paris Opera Ballet, and decides to impersonate Camille in order to attend the auditions.
Before being found out, Félicie manages to make it through a few rounds of audition days, due to her natural ability, and the guidance of Odette, who takes a liking to Félicies determination.
Meanwhile, Victor manages to get a job as an assistant to Gustave Eiffel, and continues to work on his invention of wings for people.
Victor and Félicie are not together at all times throughout the film, but continue to meet up and compare experiences. Victor has a crush on Félicie, but she is somewhat oblivious to his attentions, instead falling for a tall blonde boy named Rudolph, who is quite full of himself, but dazzles Félicie with his dancing.
Headed into this film I was quite worried that my just-turned-9 year old son would not enjoy the movie, because from the previews it appeared more geared towards girls.
I really had nothing to worry about. My son loved the film, and was engaged throughout. The music was catchy, the scenery was eye catching and the action kept him drawn in. He actually liked both sides of the movie, Félicies adventures kept him engaged, and Victors antics kept him laughing.
My least favorite part of the film was the character Camille, played by Maddie Ziegler. I am not sure if any actress in that role would have annoyed me, or if it was just my pre-conceived notion of how Maddie “is” but I found her character very unlikable and I was annoyed by how snotty and rude she was. I imagine that is how the character Camille was “supposed to” have been played, but I found that it really bothered me.
All in all however, I really did enjoy the movie and was very happy to find that my son liked it a lot as well. He said that he would see it again and that his favorite part was how Félicie never gave up on her dream and tried harder and harder to make it come true.
Second Review by Barnetty Kushner
Leap would be a great family film, and, in my opinion, worth seeing at the theatre.
I would give the movie 4 out of 5 stars.
Leap is set in France during the late 1800s, around the time France was building the Statue of Liberty for the U.S. Two young orphans, Felicie (voiced by Elle Fanning), and Victor (voiced by Nat Wolff) escape their less than stellar confines in an orphanage in hopes of making their lifelong dreams come true. Felicie longs to be a professional ballerina and Victor wants to be the next great inventor. The two best friends become separated when they arrive to Paris. Fortunately, Felicie and Victor find themselves two steps closer to their dreams. Felicie takes up residence in a home where a former professional ballet dancer turned servant maid Odette (Carlie Rae Jepsen) becomes her mentor and teaches Felicie ballet. Felicie makes her way to a prestigious ballet school posing as another student vying for a role in the upcoming “Nutcracker” production. Victor ends up living and working for Pierre Eiffel, the designer of the Eiffel Tower. Victor’s hoping to be the first person to fly. The story mainly follows Felicie and her relationship with Odette. A strong bond brought together by Felicie’s enamoration and Odette’s own attachment to ballet.
There are some careful details to the animation and setting, however they are masked by a bland attempt at a very common storyline mixed in with the occasional action sequence. The lackluster character development suffered greatly among most of the characters with the exception of the relationship between Felicie and Odette. The theme of the movie with its simple tone, will find that its core target audience among young girls that are obsessed with theater, dancing, and performing. You definitely want to keep your expectations low and maybe stick to a matinee price tag. It’s still a sweet movie that just doesn’t deviate far from the ordinary.
2 out of 5 stars.