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Leap! tells the story of an 11-year-old orphan, voiced by Fanning, who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer and who teams up with a young inventor, voiced by Nat Wolff, as they pursue their passions in 19th century Paris, where the Eiffel Tower is still under construction. Along the way, they encounter such characters as a devious classmate (Maddie Ziegler) and a tough but encouraging mentor (Carly Rae Jepsen).
The film’s original French version was produced under the title Ballerina by Nicolas Duval Adassovsky, Yann Zenou of Quad Productions, Laurent Zeitoun of Main Journey and Andre Rouleau and Valerie D’Auteuil, who also produced the French film The Intouchables, which TWC successfully released in the U.S.
TWC, which acquired U.S. rights to the animated film last May, brought in the English-speaking voice cast. Just three weeks ago, it added Saturday Night Live breakout star Kate McKinnon, who voices three parts, to the cast, which also includes Mel Brooks and radio star Ricardo Sanchez, who goes by the name “El Mandril.”
The film also features original music by Carly Rae Jepsen, Demi Lovato and Sia.
Having just tested the pic, Weinstein said, “It’s a charming, wonderful movie, the highest-testing animated movie in our company’s history.” But looking at the current release calendar, where Leap! would be following the current Beauty and the Beast and Power Rangers as well as the upcoming animated movies The Boss Baby, Smurfs: The Lost Village and Spark and opening against the Disney panda documentary Born n China, TWC decided to move the film by several months in order to build awareness before it bows and find a date where it would have more room to itself.
The pic will have its world premiere, as planned, in May at Geena Davis’ Bentonville Film Festival.
“Geena saw the movie and said she’s thrilled to have it,” said Weinstein. “There’s a lot of women empowerment in the movie — boy empowerment, too. We plan to play it at every film festival we can to try to promote the movie. I’m really proud of it. Sometimes, you move dates for good reasons, and I think this is a really smart move.”
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