Simple and sweet
IN the late 1800s, young French orphan Felicie Milliner (Elle Fanning) dreams of being a ballerina, but feels stifled at the rural orphanage where she lives.
She and her best friend Victor (Dane DeHaan) escape and head to Paris so Felicie can join the Paris Opera Ballet, but without formal training it proves to be difficult.
Felicie assumes the identity of privileged mean girl Camille (Maddie Ziegler) and takes lessons from caretaker Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen), but eventually the truth must come out about her identity.
The locations are beautifully rendered, but the characters look less elegant than those in other animated films.
But what this low(er) budget animation lacks when it comes to aesthetic, it makes up for with the energetic and appealing voice cast.
Quickly surpassing her older sister Dakota’s career, Fanning unveils more skills with a distinctly sweet and engaging voice, while Ziegler is the polar opposite, bringing an edgy, nasty streak to her bully character.
There are some cute nods to the beginnings of iconic monuments such as the Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty that give this cookie-cutter plot some point of difference, but while the story is familiar there is sweetness about it.
Simply titled and also simplistic in its storytelling, Ballerina may still even recruit a few new young dancers with its infectious love for the art.
Felicie Milliner (Elle Fanning) and Victor (Dane DeHaan) in Ballerina.