Elle Fanning stars as Félicie Milliner in BALLERINA
BALLERINA (Eric Summer, Éric Warin). 89 minutes. Opens Friday (March 3). See listing. Rating: NN
Félicie (voiced by Elle Fanning) is a red-headed orphan who escapes to Paris to become a ballerina. She doesn’t have the trained posture or grace, but as we’re repeatedly reminded, she’s got passion.
That’s great and all, but the inverse is true of Ballerina. The anachronistic Canada-France co-production knows the moves from previous animated hits, from Cinderella to Frozen, but feels utterly soulless.
There are some cute bits, lovely animated design (old Pa-ree!) and a careful mix of childish spunk and teachable moments, all unfolding like a marketing deck for a certain demographic.
It’s called Ballerina! The poster does all the heavy lifting.
Don’t expect the pirouettes and grand jetés to take your breath away: the ballet sequences remain curiously earthbound in an animated film untethered from physical reality that can’t compete with the dazzling, gravity-defying dance-offs of live-action fare like the Step Up movies.