"Leap" is finally landing in the U.S.
The animated dance film, using Maddie Ziegler's voice and ballet steps created with Aurélie Dupont, director of the Paris Opera Ballet, will open in theaters nationwide April 21 — and we've got the trailer right here.
The film earned rave reviews in Europe and Asia, where it's known as "Ballerina." The Irish Times described it as, "part puppy love story, part knockabout farce" that "features superb animated choreography and an excellent voice cast." FT.com called it, "a comical and visual treat," and "a winner for all ages." And The Australian's reviewer describes it as "enchanting, amusing yet unsentimental."
At the heart of "Leap" is the11-year-old orphan Félicie, voiced by Elle Fanning, who escapes a French orphanage to join the ballet in Paris.
Fans of "Dance Moms" will get to hear, if not see, Maddie Ziegler who provides the voice of Camille, the arrogant classmate of Félicie. In an earlier interview with Dance.com Ziegler said recording the film was a new experience for her: "I'm used to always being active but instead I just had to stand and talk into a microphone."
Singer Carly Rae Jepsen plays their ballet instructor, and the animated choreography was created with the assistance of Paris Opera Ballet's former star and current leader Aurélie Dupont and Jérémie Bélingard, a current star of the company. Using motion capture for some of the performances, the film ends in "a dance-off that Bruce Lee could have choreographed," according to The Australian.
Félicie practices her turns and leaps all over the streets of 1870s Paris, which shows works-in-progress landmarks like the Eiffel Tower. The story is "nuclear charming" and has a particularly touching ending, but critics didn't let it get off without a wobble: The Guardian notes the movie could have used, "a shade more Black Swan in its DNA."