Story

Ballerina tells the story of Félicie (voice of Elle Fanning), a feisty 11-year-old orphan from Brittany. Félicie dreams of becoming a dancer. She escapes from the orphanage with the help of her best friend, Victor (voice of Dane DeHaan), who wants to be a great inventor. Together the friends set off for Paris to chase their dreams.

In Paris, Félicie befriends Odette (voice of Carly Rae Jepsen), who is the cleaner and caretaker of the Grand Opera Ballet. Through a twist of fate, Félicie manages to bluff her way into ballet classes there. The girls in the class are auditioning for a part in The Nutcracker and each day one girl is eliminated from the group.

Félicie must pour all her strength and passion for dance into making sure that she wins the part. She comes up against many challenges and must overcome many setbacks.

Themes

Following your dreams and working hard towards a goal; determination and bravery in the face of hardship; being an orphan; competition

Violence

Ballerina has some animated violence. For example:

  • There is some slapstick violence for comic effect. For example, Victor is always bumping his head, falling off things or being struck in the head.
  • Rudolf and Victor fight, and Rudolf punches Victor in the stomach.
  • The security guard at the Grand Opera Ballet threatens to hit Félicie with his fist while holding her roughly by the arm.
  • Regine Le Haut, Camille’s mother, chases Félicie with a big mallet and threatens to kill her by pushing her off a high statue.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Ballerina has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:

  • The orphanage’s caretaker chases after Félicie and Victor when they’re escaping from the orphanage. The caretaker has a very scary and monster-like face and is very angry and threatening.
  • Many of the adults that Félicie and Victor meet have very mean or sad faces. These adults aren’t nice to the children.
  • Camille’s mother, Regine Le Haut, is a cruel woman with a very scary face. She is mean and threatening to Felice.
  • Camille is very mean to Félicie, calls her names, and throws her most precious possession out of a window and smashes it.

In several scenes, characters balance precariously on the top of high buildings and sometimes fall. 

From 5-8
Children in this age group might find the scenes mentioned above disturbing, so we recommend parental guidance for these children.

From 8-13
Nothing of concern

Over 13
Nothing of concern

Sexual references

Ballerina has some romantic references. For example:

  • The young ballerinas all have crushes on the only male ballet student, a Russian prince called Rudolf. They all giggle and appear love struck when he’s around.
  • There is a romantic love triangle between Félicie, Victor and Rudolf. Victor and Rudolf have a fight over Félicie.

There is budding romance between the caretaker and the ballet teacher.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Ballerina shows some use of substances. For example, Félicie and Victor spend some time in what looks like a bar or a pub. The don’t drink and only dance to music.

Nudity and sexual activity

Ballerina has some mild sexual activity. For example:

  • Rudolf flirts with Félicie, flatters her and takes her on a date. She falls for him and talks about how he looks at her and how ‘deep’ he is.

Victor tries to kiss Félicie.

Product placement

None of concern

Coarse language

Ballerina includes some mild insults and toilet humour.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Ballerina is an entertaining animated dance movie about following your dreams and working hard. The plot is predictable but enjoyable. It’s likely to appeal to pre-teens, particularly those who are interested in ballet and dancing.

There are some scary scenes and characters, which might disturb very young viewers. This is why we don’t recommend this movie for children under 5 years, and we do recommend parental guidance for children aged 5-7 years.

These are the main messages from this movie:

  • You need sacrifice, practice and hard work to improve your skills and compete in elite sport or dance.
  • You should treat your friends and peers with respect.

This movie raises some issues that you might like to talk about with your children, including:

  • the realities and psychological consequences of elite competition
  • flirtation and flattery, and how to respond to them.