This summer I watched more kids’ movies than normal. We saw Trolls (in the running for worst movie I’ve ever seen), Sing (which I’ve now seen twice and super loved), The Batman Lego Movie (which was a 20 minute story stretched into an excruciating 2 hours and 9 minutes) and Storks (which my husband loved because he slept all the way through it). If you did not click, those links, please do. *snicker*
This week, I took the kids to a screening of the new Leap! movie and we really enjoyed it. It’s a sweet little story of an orphan girl who runs away to Paris to pursue her dream of becoming a ballerina.
WHY YOU WILL WANT TO SEE LEAP! THIS WEEKEND
You are exhausted from the first few weeks of school and just want to sit down for two straight hours. Oh, wait. Is that just me?
You have a ballerina in the family. There is so much fun dancing in this movie! Ballet classes with real moves, ballet practices, the Nutcracker and more are woven through the movie and my 11 year old ballerina loved every bit of it!
You liked the Karate Kid. This felt like a little bit of a karate-kid-turned-ballet-kid. The little girl discovers a crotchety old woman who becomes her sinsei in the art of ballet. It’s fun to watch her jump to ring-a-bell like the old wax-on-wax-off scene with Mr. Miagi.
You love Paris! How pretty is that?!
You like the old follow-your-dreams shtick. OK, that sounded a little negative. But honestly, that’s what all kids’ movies are about! The reason I liked this one just a bit more is it had the element of hard work in it. Although it was completely unrealistic for our little orphan Felicie to (BIG PREDICTABLE SPOILER) get the part when she’d never had a dance lesson just a few weeks before, there was still a great lesson in working hard even when you the odds are against you.
To talk about: Read Proverbs 14:23. Talk about how hard work pays off in every area–ballet, musical instruments, sports, school and more. What hard work did Felicie do to get the part?
Along those same lines, Felicie learns that passion is what ignites dance. Not just knowing the moves. Although passion can’t get you everywhere in life, it does help. I want my kids to be passionate about life. Not floating along turning into lackadaisical teenagers, expecting life to give them a trophy when they are done.
To talk about: Read Colossians 3:23-24. Talk about all the things we have to do–work, school, sports, ballet, etc. Why are we doing them? What are expecting in the end? How can we be passionate about the Lord in everything we do?
WHY YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO SEE LEAP! THIS WEEKEND
There was incredibly mean Bad Guy. Felicie’s arch nemesis is a perfect little ballerina girl with a mother that is one part Mother Gothel, one part Wicked Stepmother and one part Ratigan. (Although she was neither as funny nor as dry as any of the aforementioned villains.) This helicopter mom goes to any extreme necessary to get her little girl the part in the Nutcracker. And at one point when she is about to attack Felicie with a giant sledgehammer, she mutters, “It’s hammer time!” WHAT?? Not only is it sadistic to have a kids’ mom try to kill another, she’s muttering 1990’s lyrics to match? So weird.
Felicie steals a girl’s identity. Felicie happens upon another girl’s invitation to the ballet audition and passes it off as her own. Literally the whole movie would have been over if she had just given the invitation to the rightful owner. She doesn’t really get in trouble for it and of course, is praised for her audacity. (Like every kids’ movie ever.)
To talk about: Read Leviticus 19:11 and Proverbs 12:22. What does God think about lying? Just because everything worked out all right in the end, was it OK for her to lie? Maybe if she had not stolen the invitation, she could have still trained with Odette and learned to dance. It seems easier to lie at the beginning but it can cause a lot of problems!
There is a love triangle. I’m not sure how old Felicie is supposed to be in this movie but she can’t be more than 12. Two different boys (a blond ballet guy versus her poor quirky best friend) vie for her attention. There’s a date, an almost kiss and lots of longing looks. However, in the end, she realizes that neither of them are worth missing ballet over. She settles for a best-friend kiss on the cheek.
You don’t like predictable or unrealistic movies. You know from the second the movie begins how it is going to end. Like I said, it’s all very Karate-Kid and Dream-Big. There were lots of predictable characters and plot points.
OTHER STUFF YOU MIGHT NOT LIKE
-There’s one fart joke.
-The orphanage is run by a nun who is neither kind nor caring. (Why are church people always mean in movies?!)
-The word s-cks is used. (Not “socks”.)
-I think they missed a good opportunity to play time and location appropriate music, instead they used modern music. Not like Trolls, but still…modern.
As I just reread what I’ve written, it sounds a little negative. I didn’t mean it to be. I really enjoyed the movie. I mean, you’re not getting a sweeping movie like Finding Dory or an emotional one like Inside Out. But it was fun. It had a decent message. There was hardly any bathroom humor, bad language, violence or imitative behavior/language. I also liked that it was set in a different time period and was about ballet.
Both my 11 year old daughter and 8 year old son really enjoyed it and I think it’s even worth watching again. It’s certainly worth a Redbox or Netflix night. And if you have a ballerina in the family, it’s a Must Watch–we invited our whole dance studio to go see it together!
I attended Leap! as a member of the media. All thoughts and words are mine.