Let’s Get Reel: Leap!

Lauren Toneatto ’21, Life & Style columnist

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Everyone has a dream they aspire to accomplish. For Félicie, achieving her dream requires stealing someone else’s identity. Leap!, originally animated in French, proves that you are never too old to accomplish your dream.

I am a huge fan of Disney animated movies. While Leap! isn’t a part of the Disney family, it follows a storyline similar to many of the classic Disney princesses. This film follows, Félicie (Elle Fanning) and her best friend Victor (Nat Wolff) as they escape their orphanage and embark on an adventure in the big city: Paris. Here, Félicie is determined to become a dancer while Victor has a passion for inventing. They go their separate ways, due to a rather funny mix-up and soon Félicie finds herself in the hands of Odette (Carly Rae Jepsen), the house cleaner for the Le Haut family, complete with an evil mother (Kate McKinnon) and bratty daughter (Maddie Ziegler).

If this is starting to sound like a modern version of Cinderella, I thought the same thing. The animation of Leap! was stunning, but this isn’t the only aspect they take away from Walt Disney’s book. Let’s begin with the fact that Félicie looks strikingly similar to Anna from Frozen. From her braided red hair to her outfit with a blue skirt and black bodice, these factors, in addition to their similar clumsiness, couldn’t be more striking. Also, along the lines of Cinderella, Félicie might as well be step-sisters with Camille Le Haut as Félicie already works as her servant. Similar to what we see in Tangled, Félicie also develops a crush on an older dancer towards the middle of the movie.

However, if Leap! is looking to become the cousin once removed from Disney’s franchise, it’s missing one major aspect: music. The only thing I love more than Disney movies are the songs that come along with them.  There were moments in Leap! where I remember thinking “Gee, now would be a great time to add a song!” Considering Carly Rae Jepsen already lent her voice, the film was so close, yet never quite there. Perhaps this is infeasible to wish based on the language barrier that came with the fact that the film was initially in French.

Nevertheless, the film was still extremely entertaining and fun to watch. The pacing was fantastic. For an animated film, which are often marketed towards children, the pace was continuous yet substantial. By the time the film was concluding, it felt like I’d only been watching for half an hour. While the pace felt quick, the plot didn’t falter. Characters had full arches and no plot points were started but then forgotten.

No matter how old you are, there’s a childish side in all of us. Leap! provides the perfect chance to let your younger side loose while still appeasing your inner-adult. With humor and wit, Leap! truly is a movie for all ages. Even if you feel you are too old to start pursuing dancing, Leap! shows its audience that there is nothing better than the feeling of coming together and rallying behind someone’s dream.

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