Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan


(Ballerina, France, Canada, 2016)

I don’t want to be too nasty with this film, because I’m sure its heart is in the right place. Families with young children will like it, as will pre-adolescent girls who wish to become ballerinas. But the plot is by the numbers, message being “Follow your dreams, and everything will turn out all right!” Which flat-out isn’t true, but children don’t need to be told that. They will find out on their own.

The characters are totally unoriginal, with the aspiring girl who loves to dance (in an orphanage, which is sort of piling it on, I think), the doofus boy who loves her and invents things and can be counted on to trip over his own shoelaces, the spoiled wannabe ballerina brat and her terrible mother, who bears a striking … no, I’d almost say plagiaristic … resemblance to Lady Tremaine in Disney’s Cinderella. There is actually a hunchback running security at the Paris Ballet School. I mean, really! The Hunchback of the Ballet? Add in the embittered woman with a limp employed as a much-abused maid in the old bitch’s house, who turns out to be a ballerina who broke her leg (surprise!) and we’ve got as clichéd a cast as I’ve seen in a long time.

The chase at the first is generic, and jokes around the doofus fall flat, the animation is only adequate. Okay, I admit, I’m just not the audience for this. I demand a little originality and slightly deeper insights into the human condition. We turned it off after about a half hour. But I’m pretty sure that if you have a young family, you will enjoy it.