‘Leap’ sends wrong message and includes unnecessary romance




Eleven year old orphan Felicie dreams of nothing but becoming a dancer and will do anything to get there.  At first the plot of “Leap!” seems like another empowering film about following dreams. However, after a closer look it is not exactly the inspiring movie you would think.

It is the late 19th century in France, and Felicie and her best friend Victor live in a hideous orphanage together. Felicie had always dreamed of becoming a dancer, inspired by her music box with a small ballerina inside. Victor, was a great inventor and hoped of working with Gustave Eiffel, the best inventor in France. They both escape their prison of a home to follow those dreams.

Soon after being separated by her friend, Felicie finds herself in the opera building.  After being caught trespassing, the maid of the building decides to lend the now homeless child a hand. She gives her a job scrubbing the stairs, and a place to stay. While working one day she received a letter for one of the students. Here she gets the idea to steals the identity of the famous ballerina so she can instead join the ballet school.  Though the maid knew this wasn’t at all the correct way for Felicie to achieve her goals, she supported her.

As the movie unfolds, we watch her failures and successes as a dancer.  Though she is less talented than the other girls, she is a quick learner and gains the help of a retired ballerina.  Unfortunately for her, the fake identity is caught, but the choreographer of the opera gives her a fair chance, seeing that she is an orphan and they pity her. She practices day and night.

However, the day before her big audition she skips practice to go on a date with a boy. Yes, we get to see the mess of unnecessary love connections between her and an older boy she had met in the auditions.  Honestly, it is pointless to have a love connection between children if the story is supposed to be an empowering movie aimed towards such a young audience. Besides Felicie, Victor also gets a taste of success. His desire to be an inventor lands him a job with his role model, the famous Gustave Eiffel.  Unlike his friend, Victor actually worked to achieve his dreams.

The movie does have bits here and there about actually working to achieve your goals, like the hard work Felicie put in to be a good ballerina.  However,  it seems to get away with the idea that because she was an orphan people would help her out of sympathy, which isn’t very realistic. Overall, the plot was less empowering than I initially hoped.

But despite the many issues with the plot overall, I still found myself rooting for Felicie.  Maybe that’s because it’s easier to wish well for an orphan than to look down upon them. Maybe they felt bad about mistreating an orphan. Though the idea of the story is good, it seemed like every other motivating movie.