In an effort to write an Honest Review, I’ll always list the external factors that might affect my enjoyment of the movie. Then, I’ll give you my review. Then, you can decide if it’s useful or not. Here’s my review of Leap!. - KH

After learning my lesson last week, I made sure I wasn’t hungry before the screening. That included eating a majority of my popcorn before the lights dimmed (because who waits for the movie to start, anyway?)

Unlike other screenings, I wasn’t alone. I brought my 8-year-old daughter with me, and was hopeful she’d enjoy the experience. But I had zero expectations because there hadn’t been any real buzz about the movie.

FOOD/DRINK BEFORE SCREENING: Movie buttered popcorn

MOOD: Hopeful


Set in France during the late 1800’s, Leap! follows an orphan girl named Felicie on her figurative and literal journey of self-discovery. After escaping her countryside orphanage with the help of her best friend Victor, she quickly joins the ballet school in Paris.

There is nothing new or unique about the premise and for the first 15 minutes, the movie felt predictable and uninspired.

But as I settled into the world, the experience improved. The characters became more likable as they developed, and despite the pop-heavy soundtrack for traditional ballet dancing, it was a lovely story.

I may have been slightly biased because Kate McKinnon performed three voices for the movie and I love anything and everything she does.

I wasn’t as impressed by Elle Fanning, who plays Felicie. She’s a terrific actress but her voice work felt forced and unnatural at times.

I was also distracted by some of the character animation. At times, their lips didn’t match their words. It made me wonder if the film was first produced in French and overdubbed.

The rest of the animation was gorgeous, though – and the plot takes enough interesting turns to keep adult audiences interested. And other than a couple of fart jokes (which seem to be a requirement for most animated movies these days,) the humor was fairly clever.

Finally, my daughter liked it. She’d rather play soccer or basketball than even think about ballet, but she liked it.

Since it’s a movie for kids, her reaction definitely helped inform my opinion.

Leap! is a sweet movie worthy of a matinee showing with your family. Just keep your expectations low, and order some popcorn with extra butter.

What do you think of Honest Review or Leap!? Let me know at @kimholcomb.

What is Honest Reviews? I’m a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. I interview actors and filmmakers. I’ve worked in broadcast television for 20 years.

I’m also a Seattle wife and mom who works full-time and sits in an hour of traffic (minimum) every day.

Sometimes I’m tired when I screen a movie. Sometimes I’m traveling and I miss my kids. Sometimes I’ve had a cocktail when I should have had a glass of water. All of these things can impact my reaction to a film. Because I’m human.

So in an effort to write Honest Reviews, I’ll cop to the external factors that might have altered my enjoyment or perception of the movie. Then, I’ll give you my review. Then, you can decide if it’s useful or not.