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Ballerina is a strange idea for a Neon Demon prequel indeed. Elle Fanning escapes orphan reclusiveness as an angry man chases her and Knight of Cups' Dane DeHaan on a motorcycle - both are destined to have the entirety of Paris and beyond recognise them for their artistic capabilities. The girl wants to dance, the boy is trying his best to invent. Sorry it isn't reverse, 2016 generation. But despite her efforts under the training of a former dancer, a Lady-Tremaine-type snoot wants this aspiring ballerina to stay imperfect, envisioning ballet as a source of power. So yes, in terms of French orphanage toons, clearly this story isn't anything close to the wonderful My Life as a Courgette.

But it gets worse. With a film built by the newly-founded L'Atelier, from the writer-producers of Heartbreaker and The Intouchables, you'd expect some sort of subversive merit that partly resembles Dragon DreamWorks in story and overall quality as well as artistry and maturity à la  The Little Prince. See it and you'll sadly see this isn't entirely the case. L'Atelier rigs a gorgeous replica of Paris at the time when the Eiffel Tower was halfway through completion, but plays it as safe and Canadian as possible, inserting not only such clichés as chase scenes but unnecessary disgusting gags, an inability to shut up and a jarring lineup of modern pop in the vein of Home.

I admit to chuckling several times from several of Félicie's rival ballerinas, and being somewhat enamoured when the story takes a break from the Hollywood spunk, including some superb dance performances under mo-cap that contrast to the real animation in a similar fashion to the early years of Betty Boop, but it's very much a Weinstein'd piece of animation, from the fart jokes and forced pratfalls to the ad-libbing, in a time when studios like Disney and Cartoon Network are beginning to warm up to the concept of feminism without dumbing their audience down (for better and for worse).

This arrives in the UK a month from now; in the meantime, you want to inspire your daughter? Show them Long Way North, Queen of Katwe or Disney's latest three animated releases. If they're not excited by the former two, turn on Ste............ar vs. the Forces of Evil. We live in an age where anyone can be an inventor or a dancer no matter what gender, but also should find more to connect with than formulaic stupidity. But if you do want to have a good time with your kids no matter how juvenile what you're watching is, I know a certain other comedy about an orphan redhead that's right up your alley. And she is cuuuuuuuuute.

4/10
I just went to a no-kids-no-service festival to see a film exactly a month from its release date. The way I see it, it has no chance in hell of matching up to Rogue One. Will be removed if eOne has some sort of embargo on this thing.
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:iconred899:
red899 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
yup just what I thought.
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:iconmaniacaldude:
maniacaldude Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2016  Student General Artist
Well, what else can you expect from the Weinsteins when it comes to animation other than mediocre or botched results? This is the same company that promoted that one Argentine flick Metegol/Underdogs, only to pull it from theaters at the last minute and then silently dump the DVDs into stores.

Out of curiosity, what's this comedy about an orphan redhead you're referring to? Annie?
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:iconmaxtaro:
Maxtaro Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2016
Good guess, but nope. 67.media.tumblr.com/5ca85bbcd9…
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:iconmaniacaldude:
maniacaldude Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2016  Student General Artist
Oh, her. Goddamn, I need to see that movie.
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