Release Date: August 25, 2017
Director: Eric Summer
Writer: Eric Summer
Cast: Elle Fanning, Dane DeHaan, Carly Rae Jepsen, Maddie Ziegler, Terrence Scammell, Tamir Kapelian, Julie Khaner, Joe Sheridan, Elana Dunkelman, Shoshana Sperling, Jamie Watson, Bronwen Mantel, Mel Brooks, Ricardo El Mandrill Sanchez, Kate McKinnon, Nat Wolff, Alona Leoine
MPAA Rating: PG
Runtime: 89 minutes
Production Company: Quad Productions, Main Journey, Caramel Film, Gaumont, M6 Films, Canal+, Ciné+, M6, W9, 6ter, Québec Production Services Tax Credit, Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (CPTC), Téléfilm Canada, SODEC, Radio Canada
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Country: France, Canada
Budget: $30,000,000 (estimated)
Have you ever dreamed of becoming more than what you are right now? Have you ever wanted to push the limits of what you thought you could achieve? Have you ever seen a film that delves into the exact questions that I’ve just asked? If it’s yes to all 3, here’s another example of films repeating itself over and over again, but this time with no shame or attempt to hide it. Leap! is co-produced with a few international companies, and was release about a year ago in Europe. It’s performed decently enough, but now it’s time for the domestic run here in the states. Frankly, the film should’ve stayed overseas, but any studio will maximize profits if possible. So in the end, it appears that writer/director Eric Summer took every old story point imaginable, and converted it into 89 minutes of the same ole stuff.
It has a great design, a couple of jokes to make you chuckle, and an overall theme that you could support, but the characters are lacking, and there’s nothing new and exciting to pull you in. After the first five minutes, the film reveals itself of being bland. This is one of the most predictable stories I could pick apart in quite some time. Felicie (Elle Fanning) and Victor (Nat Wolff) are two orphans who want a better life. Who would’ve thought? They make their escape, Sheaded to Paris to achieve their life goal. Through random circumstances, they got separated, and eventually end up at the door steps of the lives they want to live. Already this is excessively convenient, though too many complaints for a child’s animation wouldn’t seem right. Back to dealing with the characters, they’re just there. Neither Felicie or Victor have any personality to them. There’s nothing that makes them special or standout from any other child. It feels like the film is cheating, by not writing anything compelling about their characters, making you feel sorry for them wanting to succeed, just because they’re orphans.
The soundtrack had some pleasant melodies, but it didn’t flow with the film. Instead of choosing the music organically during the film making process, it feels like it was added after. I’m sure there are more than one way to compose and produce a film, but when the music came on, it took my focus, and as a result it was hard to focus on the film and the rest of the dialogue. The tone picks up toward the second half of the film, which is great because the first half was painfully boring. Felicie has the dream of being a dancer, and will stop at nothing to reach her goal. Though her nearly mastering her technique in only about a couple of weeks is offensive. You have young children around the world practicing their respected art forms since they were three years of age, but Felicie is able to compete full on in this short time is just wrong. Again, this film is aimed at children, so, this most likely won’t be noticed towards a younger crowd.
The best parts of the film is when it feels like an adventure. There’s a cartoon element that comes out during a chase and escape scene that were a bunch of fun. This is where most of the film delivered the laughs as well. That fun is short lived with not too much more to appreciate. This is the type of film where you could run to the bathroom five times without missing a bit. It’s a type where you could only watch the first and last fifteen minutes, and still get a full understanding. It’s the same film you’ve seen every couple of years with a different setting and character names that is easily forgotten after its viewing. Though the most memorable element is the message, which is to pursue your dreams without looking back, and if you work hard it will all pay off. This is something everyone should here, but if the washed-up attempt is used to convey that, unfortunately the moral of the story will be overlooked.