Monday, August 28, 2017

Looking At Movies - Leap! (2017)

I love a good cartoon, or even a bad one, so me and my grandson set out to go see Leap! only because it is a cartoon. This is one of the few movies I have gone to see in my life where I knew absolutely nothing about it before I went to the drive-in. A lack of promotion is only one thing that will prevent Leap! from making a profit. It is a fun little cartoon, but it lacks any kind of personality that a cartoon needs to be successful. It misses the mark in so many little areas that it was kind of frustrating to think about what the movie could have been if they had put a little more time into it.


Leap! is a harmless story about two French orphans who chase their dreams. It is a story that everyone has seen in one form or another, but when other studios do these stories they are infinitely more creative than Quad Productions was. This movie was made and produced in Canada and originally released under the name Ballerina. Canadians have a different way of doing things than Americans do when it comes to cartoons. My little ones watch some Canadian cartoons and they do look different than American cartoons, and that seems to come across in major motion pictures too.

Canadian cartoons tend to go for the more emotional angle, where American cartoons go for the slapstick laughs. I think that can slow a story down, and that is one of the reasons why Leap! is less than stellar. The animation is excellent, and the action throughout the movie is well-done. But it is lacking in laughs because each time the movie could go for a laugh, it seems to go for an "awwww" moment instead. However, I will give this cartoon credit for one thing. I had never heard a cartoon character fart in a major motion picture until I saw Leap! That is something, I think.

As the movie moved along, I started to realize that the diluted approach to comedy is what makes this cartoon acceptable instead of good or great. I thought Disney established years ago that music is extremely important to a cartoon, especially a cartoon about dance. But this movie does not have any memorable songs in it, and it does not have any musical moments that made me stop and take notice. Everything in the movie is there to sufficiently support the story, but none of it is very outstanding or even interesting.

My grandson watched the movie for a little while, and then went back to his Kindle. There were no funny moments that caught his attention, and he did not hear any music that appealed to him. My grandson loves cartoon music, so for him not to respond to this movie just confirmed what I had already thought.

The shame of this is that the premise behind Leap! has some real potential. Had a studio such as Illumination or Pixar done this movie, I can guarantee it would have been funnier and much more entertaining. As it is, Leap! is not a terrible movie, and it would definitely appeal to little ones who dream of being dancers. But it lacks that big comedic punch and the memorable songs you would expect from a movie based on the entertainment world.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

George N Root III loves movies and the drive-in. You can follow him on Twitter @georgenroot3, or send him a message at georgenroot3@gmail.com.

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