As you can guess, I like movies about kids who are strong enough to build their way from nothing and live their dreams. The animated feature film LEAP! with the hit song “You Know It’s About You” (Magical Thinker ft. Stephen Wrabel) and music by Demi Levato, etc. was pretty great.
The movie, written and directed by Eric Summer, Eric Warin and Laurent Zeitoun, focuses on a young girl, Felici (Elle Fanning) who has skill but is held to very low standards by society — first seen through very weak mentors, then later by financially privileged people — and taught that she is nothing and that her dreams are not worth pursuing. She finds a good mentor in former-prima ballerina Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen!) and in the dance master, Louis Mérante (Terrence Scammell), who are both harsh-but-fair judges of her abilities, and the tides to change. Her true talent gets to shine through, but not without a lot of hard work and support. There’s a minor romantic twist or two, but that line in the movie is very weak; the focus is clearly on Felici’s path to the stage and spotlight.
The animation is well done and the level of humor is subtle at times but always on point (ahahaha). There are a few unfortunate gaps in the plot (like the unresolved emphasis on the music box or the anomaly of hipster shorts back in the age of an incomplete Eiffel Tower), and the antagonist’s mother is a bit much, but all in all it’s a nice feel-good movie with the aim of encouraging young people to live their dreams and not give up no matter who says otherwise.
No spoilers! See the film for yourself if you get the chance.