Angelina Ballerina: All Dancers on Deck
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Angelina Ballerina: All Dancers on Deck is about as family-friendly as it gets in children's programming. The film, alongside the books, TV shows, and other movies in this long-running British series, offers strong characters, positive messages, great role models, and perhaps most importantly, realistic preschooler-age concerns, all told against a strong pro-social and pro-arts backdrop.
What's the story?
Angelina (voiced by Finty Williams) is excited to attend a big dance performance in faraway Dachovia at the request of her beloved dance teacher Miss Lilly (voiced by the incomparable Judi Dench). But from the moment she sets foot on the ocean liner that will transport her there, she finds herself in one mix-up after the next. Will her well-intentioned misdeeds ruin the show, or will she figure out how to set the ship on course again?
Is it any good?
ANGELINA BALLERINA: ALL DANCERS ON DECK offers something unusual among preschool fare: a show devoted entirely to the thrill of pursuing the finer arts. Here the fictional mouselings -- male and female -- genuinely desire to be good at dance, to win competitions, to please their instructors, and to honor their parents' wishes. Along the way, they may mix things up a bit and fall victim to the usual preschooler problems -- some petty squabbles here, some jealousy there, and the usual crossed wires in communication that happen to anyone.
Young girls and boys who enjoy dance and theater will find the setting fun, the music engaging, and the lessons instructive. Parents can rest assured that there are no wrong steps in these girl role model-heavy productions that focus on friendship, kindness, and tolerance, but also strive for gender inclusiveness. This film comes from the older, pre-CGI Angelina offerings, which are slightly more enjoyable for their quaintness -- at least, compared to the slicker new version now running on PBS, these mice look like mice.
Angelina Ballerina offers some realistic conflict preschool kids will likely relate to: a few petty squabbles, the desire to please
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the way Angelina resolves conflict in the film versus her friends Priscilla and Penelope. How does Angelina behave when she has done something wrong? How did her friends behave? What outcome was the best?
Much of the film concerns making quick assumptions about people without knowing more. How did the captain of the ship learn that he was wrong about Yuri? How did he address his unfair assumptions about him?
Go online to learn more about ballet and dance.