Guys, you’ll have to forgive me for a little bit while I type-cast myself as the grumpy-dude-who-hates-all-children’s-animations. It honestly wasn’t my intention to watch this movie. After Cars 3 and The Emoji Movie, I had my fill of “crappy animation outrage”. But it was one of those times where my wife wanted to see a movie in theaters, and this was the movie she wanted to see. So whenever this does happen, I don’t question it. I just go and watch whatever movie she wants because I love my wife, and I love doing things with her.
But guys, Leap! may very well be worse than The Emoji Movie.
You can read that sentence again if you’d like. I frankly don’t blame you if you have a hard time taking that sentence seriously. Yes, Leap! wasn’t as monstrously cynical, corporately greedy, or shamelessly out-of-touch as The Emoji Movie is, but every element of Leap! is still wrong. It was just wrong in other areas.
This is without a doubt the worst animation I have seen all year. Crappy as Cars 3 was, Cars 3 still had some rather fantastic animation. And as vomit-inducing as The Emoji Movie was, at least the animation was acceptable.
Leap!, however, reminded me of the days of the first Shrek movie. But unlike Shrek, Leap! doesn’t have any sort of benefits to outweigh its shoddy animation.
The animation was often stiff and uncreative. Now the reason that people do animated movies, aside from them being a cash cow for witless children and their parents, is that animation has the propensity to show fantastic emotion, color, and creativity. (If you’re wondering, by the way, why the animated Beauty and the Beast was better than the recent live action one, one of the biggest answers is that the former was animated). Leap! decided to do the bare minimum of emotion, color, and creativity, leading to dramatically disastrous consequences.
There were so many times in this movie where the emotionality coming from the voice actor was not relayed through the facial expressions of the character on screen. On top of this, there were often times where what the voice actor said did not match the character’s lips.
Every single character is a hilarious caricature of an overused cliche. We have the lead girl, an orphan down on her luck with a natural talent that she must demonstrate against all forces in her way. We have the goofy orphan boy who follows her around as the abysmal comic relief (and totally not the love interest, guys, no way that he’s the love interest). There’s also a male dance teacher who’s strict and unforgiving, until he finds the orphan girl talented and then never ever becomes strict again. We have the cleaning woman who walks with a cane and cleans the dance stage (and it’s not obvious at all that she actually use to be a legendary dancer, guys).
But the most insultingly cliche character in the entire movie was the mean rich lady. That’s the extent of her character development: the mean rich lady, from every one of her actions to the way she was animated. Every single scene she’s in, she is cartoonishly cruel to everybody but her spoiled daughter. At one point, she tells her daughter to make sure to win the dance competition so that she can “have her revenge”. So what is she seeking revenge after? Bullocks if I know. The movie never reveals what exactly she was mad about, and I’m almost positive the script either forgot about this character arc, or someone took it out of the final draft of this film.
But the worst part of the mean rich lady comes at the end where she completely loses her everloving mind that I had a hard time not seeing this wretched film as a comedy. She’s literally chasing the orphan girl up a massive statue trying to kill her with a sledge hammer. It would have been hilarious if I wasn’t so confused and outraged at how idiotic this movie was.
It was no surprise to me when I later found out that Kate McKinnon played the role of the evil rich lady, especially considering all Kate McKinnon ever does is play lazy, one-dimensional cartoons.
Almost every single character is forced to be a comic-relief outlet at one point or another.
Literally every character changes personalities or motivation whenever the script had a different plot point to reach.
The script was as sloppy, incoherent, and lazy as an inside-out peanut butter sandwich.
The soundtrack is half generic stock music, and half infuriatingly modern pop music that was excruciatingly out-of-place for this 1880’s set film.
The plot is about as predictable as predictable gets, and it is so impatient about where it needed to be that the entire product of this film feels rushed, sloppy, and aggravating.
This movie is so horrendously awful, and it would honestly take less time counting the number of times I DIDN’T role my eyes at its incompetence. It is incomprehensibly, bafflingly infuriating, and I would not recommend it unless you are a child, a young girl, or the parent of a child or young girl. And even then, it would only be recommendable to one of those demographics provided that person has no sense of subtlety and no taste for good storytelling.
Am I saying only idiots will like this movie? Yes, I’m saying only idiots will like this movie. I cannot stress enough how insulting this entire film was.