Leap!

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Leap! Movie Poster Image
Animated ballet adventure is heartwarming but uneven.
  • PG
  • 2017
  • 89 minutes
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 24 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 25 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Audiences will learn a bit about Paris in the 1880s, the Opera Ballet School, and the maker of the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty.

Positive Messages

Felicie's story proves that even enthusiastic lovers of an art form must practice and perfect their skills. Desire and willingness to learn alone don't make a talented artist/dancer/etc. -- you have to work hard, listen to your coaches/teachers, and dedicate yourself to improving. Also promotes close, unconditional friendship, the value of mentors, and pursuing your dream. The story involves a deception, but there are consequences for that action.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Felicie is an optimistic dreamer who believes her dreams can and will come true; she makes a few iffy choices on her path (i.e., pretending to be someone else), but she also owns up to those choices. Victor is talented and loyal. Odette is hardworking and kind; she's a tough but encouraging tutor to Felicie. The ballet master is strict and exacting, but he also acknowledges and respects the dancers who are disciplined and improve their skills.

Violence & Scariness

Scary chase scene between Camille's homicidal mother and Felicie. A security guard grabs Felicie and is about to strike her when she's saved. Lots of physical comedy, with characters getting injured in a comical way -- crashing into poles, bonking their heads, falling over, taking death-defying tumbles, etc. Camille purposely throws Felicie's beloved music box out the window.

Sexy Stuff

A couple of cheek kisses and hugs; flirting.

Language

Insults: "you're nothing," "little rat," "beggar," "liar," "cheater," "thief," etc. Scatological jokes about bad breath, farts, wetting yourself, etc.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Felicie and Victor go to a pub where adults are drinking, but they don't drink themselves. Victor recounts his time in Paris and that also includes going to pubs (but again, he himself doesn't drink).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Leap! is an animated movie set in 1879 Paris, where tween best friends/orphans Felicie (voiced by Elle Fanning) and Victor (Nat Wolff) each work to make their dreams come true (dancing and inventing, respectively). They escape to Paris from a strict orphanage in Brittany and face some challenging situations -- like navigating the streets of a major city to find shelter and opportunity and having to flee from angry adults who mean them harm (one wants to catch them, another wants to hurt and even kill Felicie). Felicie pretends to be someone she's not, there's ridicule from a fellow tween, and characters experience lots of physical comedy/injuries played for humor. Expect a little romance: It's made clear that a boy has feelings for a girl, and there are a couple of kisses on the cheek (one involving tweens, the other adults) and mentions of girlfriends/boyfriends and dating. Scenes take place in pubs/taverns where adults are drinking. Language is limited to insults like "nothing," "rat," "beggar," and some scatological jokes about bad breath, farts, and pee. The story should spark positive conversations about talent requiring perseverance and dedication, ballet, Paris, and the origins of the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMary-Anna H. August 28, 2017

Leap

I think your decision to view this movie should be based on what you are looking to experience. By this I mean: Are you looking for a fun, colorful film for you... Continue reading
Adult Written byPam H. August 27, 2017

Inspirational!

(WARNING!! Uncorrected errors ahead! Using my phone on the road, the edit feature and my phone OS are not on friendly terms, I cannot see more than the first ha... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byViolet N August 25, 2017

Love it and Im 13

It has a very interesting topic although in one scene the main characters enter in a bar. If you want to see this movie for it's historical background I... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old August 29, 2017

The best movie of the Summer of 2017!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is a movie about two orphans that go to Paris to pursue their dreams. Victor's dream is to be a inventor and Felicie become a ballerina! My favori... Continue reading

What's the story?

Set in 1879 France, LEAP! follows best friends Felicie (voiced by Elle Fanning) and Victor (Nat Wolff), who escape their stifling orphanage in Brittany for Paris, where they hope to make their dreams a reality. For Felicie, that's becoming a dancer; for Victor, it's becoming an inventor. After finding her way to the Grand Opera House, Felicie ends up begging custodian Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen) for a job as a servant's assistant at the mansion of wealthy arts patron Regine (Kate McKinnon). When Regine's mean-girl daughter Camille (Maddie Ziegler) is invited to join the Opera's prestigious Ballet School, Felicie decides to borrow Camille's identity and take the spot instead. Felicie eventually turns to Odette, who was once a brilliant ballerina before an injury cut her career short, for training in order to secure an audition for a starring role in The Nutcracker. Meanwhile, Victor snags an entry-level position in the workshop of Gustav Eiffel.

Is it any good?

This animated ballet story is partly inspiring and partly confounding, with missteps (like unnecessary romance) that could have been fixed had the tween protagonists been a couple of years older. Felicie isn't always particularly likable or laudable (she does steal someone's identity to fake her way into a prestigious ballet school, despite not having even basic dance training), but she is persistent and willing to do the work. While it's still utterly unbelievable that someone could learn enough classical ballet to defeat an entire class of 11-year-old girls who've been dancing for years, at least she ultimately has to face consequences for her actions and prove she's really got the goods.

Fanning is nicely enthusiastic as Felicie, and Wolff does a good job with Victor, the clever, eager-to-please/impress best friend. And Jepsen (whose speaking voice sounds a bit like Idina Menzel's) believably embodies the stern but encouraging Odette, Felicie's ballet mentor/instructor. With themes familiar from The Karate Kid (jump up and ring the bell) and even Titanic (especially an odd, slightly off-putting love triangle, a sequence in which Felicie dances Irish jig-style in a pub, and a moment when a cute boy declares they're "on top of the world"), the story feels a little "old" to revolve around an 11-year-old character.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about desire and enthusiasm vs. hard work and talent. What's the difference? What does Felicie learn about dancing in Leap!?

  • Which characters are role models? Why? How do Felicie and Victor demonstrate perseverance? Why is that an important character strength?

  • What do you think about Felicie's decision to steal Camille's identity? Is it justified? What were the consequences?

  • Why is there a difference between doing an activity because you love it and doing it because it's expected of you? How did that show in the ballerinas?

  • Does the movie make you want to learn more about ballet, Paris, or Gustav Eiffel?

Movie details

Character Strengths

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Themes & Topics

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For kids who love dance

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