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8:44 PM Wed, Dec. 12th

Leap! is a worn, but refreshing, children's movie

Leap! (The Weinstein Company)

Leap! (The Weinstein Company)

You really can't go wrong bringing the youngster to see Leap! It's a successful story line seen in plenty of kids and adult movies: disadvantaged character overcomes adversity to attain success. It's a theme designed to inspire and spiritually lift you up. Why this animated movie is rated PG doesn't make any sense.

The heroine is Felicie, voiced by Elle Fanning. She and her friend Victor, voiced by Nat Wolfe, escape their orphanage to go to Paris to follow their dreams: hers is to be a ballerina and his is to be an inventor. The movie only hints at their age but IMDb puts them at 11. Keep this in mind for later. Felicie enters the grand school of ballet only to get kicked out as a thief. The ballet's maid, Odette voiced by Carly Rae Jepson, agrees to allow Felicie to help clean. Odette has trouble walking and uses a cane. But only when the story requires her character to elicit sympathy from the audience. About half way through the movie Odette miraculously walks without a cane and then, just as mysteriously, at the end of the movie she's walking with a cane. Additionally, when Odette is training Felicie in the yard, look for a sewer grate or coil of rope to miraculously appear to Odette's left.

Our heroine trains in ballet from none other than Odette. With a little trickery Felicie takes the place of the shoe-in Camille, voiced by Maddie Ziegler, whose mother Regine La Haute, voiced by Julie Khaner, is well-to-do and has the fix in for Camille to get into the ballet school. Of course Camille is the stereotypical spoiled rich kid and mom is most certainly related to Cruella Da Ville without all of those Dalmatians.

But Felicie has a passion for dance. She may struggle at ballet detail but she has it where it counts as evidenced by her dancing on table tops, bar tops, railings and the floor of a local bar. Did I mention she's supposed to be 11?

Other non-central characters are voiced by Kate McKinnon and Mel Brooks among others. Felicie gets her chance to go head to head against the spoiled Camille and basically blows her away. Enter Regine La Haute whose character not only resembles Cruella Da Ville but also is the stereotypical helicopter parent to make things right by her daughter by taking down Felicie. Can you guess the outcome? If not, I won't tell you. But it's like many other movies.

As well worn the theme is, it's still an enjoyable movie your kids may enjoy. Although the movie tries too hard to be contemporary with references to “Hammer time,” igniting flatulence and references to identity theft. Who ever used the term “identity theft” prior to 1980? If you're looking for something to do with the kids you can't go wrong here. The story moves along, lasts 89 minutes and is rated PG.

I'll give it 2 out of 4 Miners.