Beauty and the Beast has been taking over the box office since it opened. While it does look amazing, and my girls want to see it, I think we might wait till it is available to rent so we can watch it with the lights on and fast forward any frightening scenes.
But there is another movie currently in theatres that hasn’t received a lot of promotion but it is totally worth watching, especially if you have young ones that might not be ready for Beauty and the Beast just yet. My youngest stumbled upon the trailer for Ballerina back in December and had been anxiously awaiting it’s release. Initially, we weren’t sure when it was coming out, as it was released internationally first, but it opened February 24 in Quebec and March 3 in the rest of Canada and we were able to see it last week.
The story is of a young orphan girl named Felicie living in the French country side in the late 1800s. She has a dream of making it to Paris and becoming a dancer! When I saw the trailer, I knew we had to see it. One daughter loves dancing and the other loves Paris, so it was a perfect fit! But there are many reason why everyone should see it, especially homeschoolers, as it will provide a launching ground for further learning!
Here are five reason why you should see Ballerina:
- It’s Canadian! – Well actually a Canadian-France collaboration. In a world where Disney and Pixar dominate, the fact that a Canadian produced (Montreal) feature film has been granted widespread international release is pretty awesome and should be supported. It will be released on April 21 in the United States under the alternate title Leap. The movie also features Canadian singer Carley Rae Jepsen as Odette, the caretaker.
- Beautiful animation – There are stunning views of historic Paris and the French countryside and the detail inside the Paris Opera Ballet (Ballet de l’Opéra national de Paris) was excellent as well. Aurelie Dupont, a former principle dancer at the Paris Opera Ballet and their current director of dance, choreographed the dance sequences and animation of her and Jeremie Belingard’s dance moves helped create the elegant ballet scenes.
- Cultural and arts references – I grew up listening to Scottish and Irish jigs and reels and the Shannon Reel that is played in the tavern reminded me of Leahy’s Call to Dance. Since watching the movie, we have spent time browsing YouTube and listening to other examples of cultural music and dance. The Nutcracker is also a focus in the movie, as the girls are auditioning for the part of Clara. The girl that voices Camille is Maddie Zeigler, a dancer in real life, known for her performances in Dance Moms and most recently numerous Sia videos.
- Homeschool lessons abound – After we came home, we looked up the history of the Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, Paris Opera Ballet, and we even had a discussion on orphanages and adoption.
- Ballerina is a movie about hard work and determination, standing up for yourself against bullies and proving you’re worth it. A few not so great choices were made along the way but the characters persevered.
Check out the official trailer for Ballerina on YouTube. If you have seen it already, what did you think?