Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Ballet Shoes

Ballet Shoes

Fall 2008 DVD
Ages: 8 - 88 yrs.
DVD Price: $24.98
Review:
Ballet Shoes, based on the beloved classic novel by Noel Streatfeild, was a British hit on BBC before being acquired by KOCH Vision for U.S. distribution. It stars Emma Watson of Harry Potter fame, along with a notable cast that includes Gemma Jones and Dame Eileen Atkins. In this live-action period piece set in the 1920's, young orphaned Sylvia is sent to live with her uncle (and only living relative), an eccentric paleontologist whose home is a shrine to fossils and bones. Before opening credits are complete, we establish that Sylvia grows into a woman who shares the paleontologist's passion; while the paleontologist picks up the curious habit of sending home unexpected "mementos" from his expeditions: Not fossilized bones, but orphaned infant girls. One child comes with a pair of ballet shoes. Over the years, Posey, Pauline, and Petrova (a.k.a. the Fossil Sisters) grow to be teens and when their "father" goes missing on an expedition, and selfless Sylvia's health starts to fail, the girls make a vow to keep their family together. They start by renting out spare rooms to make ends meet. Enter tenants: A Handsome Young Man named Mr. Simpson; a pair of elderly female academics; and a dance instructor. The academics offer to educate the girls; the dance instructor persuades them to attend a rigorous theatre academy; and the Handsome Young Man. . . well, he functions as all Handsome Young Men must in stories like this. As each girl confronts challenges in pursuit of her aspirations, many plots overlap - perhaps too many for any one of them to stand out with satisfying depth in a 90-minute production. But by the end, hearts are warmed and lessons are learned about love of family and staying true to your dreams.
Gina Catanzarite   ©2008 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster's Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

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Major, Specialty & Online Retailers
Koch Entertainment
http://www.kochentertainment.com
Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0019OP0GU/parentschoice-20

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