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Angelina Ballerina (TV series)

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Note: This only applies from adaptation of books since the books were tolerable.

Angelina Ballerina (TV series)
Angelina Ballerina Logo.png
Angelina Ballerina- The Next Steps Logo.png
This show has really broken a leg...
Genre: Slice-of-life
Children's
Musical
Running Time: 30 minutes
50 minutes (specials)
Country: United Kingdom
United States (CGI production, 2009-2010)
Release Date: May 4, 2001–November 13, 2010
Network(s): CITV
Channel 5
Nick Jr.
ABC (Australia)
PBS (US)
France 5, Télétoon/Télétoon+ (France; Original)
Piwi/Piwi+ (France; The Next Steps)
Distributed by: HiT Entertainment
Starring: Original:
Finty Williams
Derek Jacobi
Judi Dench
Jonell Elliott
Jo Wyatt
Keith Wickham
Adrienne Posta
Rob Rackstraw

The Next Steps:
Charlotte Spencer
Naomi McDonald
Jules de Jongh
Jo Wyatt
Emily Dormer
Judith Mason
Simon Mattacks
Emma Tate
Leah Zabari
Beverley Klein

Seasons: 2 (original)
4 (The Next Steps)
Episodes: Original: 20 (39 segments)
The Next Steps: 40


"Angelina Ballerina" is a British animated children's television series based on the book series of the same name by author Katharine Holabird and illustrator Helen Craig. The show had 39 15-minute-long episodes, as well as three longer specials, which first aired from 2001 to 2006. The series was produced by HiT Entertainment and Grand Slamm Children's Films. It aired on PBS and PBS Kids Sprout in the United States, where it was presented by Connecticut Public Television and CITV in the United Kingdom. In 2009, it received a reboot/continuation called Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps, which lasted for four seasons from September 5, 2009, to November 13, 2010.

Plot

The original series is about Angelina Mouseling, a young female mouse who loves to dance ballet, and her family and classmates. Finty Williams performed the voice of Angelina, and her real-life mother Judi Dench performed the voice of Miss Lilly, her old ballet teacher.

In The Next Steps, Angelina and her friends celebrate music and songs and bring many forms of dance to life including ballet, tap dancing, jazz, classical, ethnic and rock-n-roll.

Bad Qualities

In General

  1. Most of the characters are flanderised as went from kind, humble, passionate to bland (especially in Next Steps' case) and have little to no depth whatsoever, these examples include:
    • Angelina has gone from sweet, passionate, friendly ballerina in the book series, to a selfish, jealous and bratty crybaby who wants to become popular in the ballet dancing which totally makes her a bad role model for kids in the original series.
      • Despite being the main protagonist, she can act very nasty and horrible at times, especially if she's jealous.
      • She has no character development as while she does learn her lesson at the end, she continues to make the same mistakes again.
      • She rarely, if ever, gets scolded or punished for her actions.
      • She even had a big meltdown in some episodes, such as "Angelina's Baby Sister" and "The Ballet Dance".
      • In "The Silver Locket", she goes criminal mode and steals her mother's locket without asking.
      • In "The Ballet Tickets", she and Alice sneak into a theatre.
      • She's not good at looking after her cousin Henry or her baby sister Polly.
      • She even loses Henry at the carnival in "Angelina at the Fair".
      • She even ruins the whole show because of Valentine and Sophie in "Angelina's Princess Dance".
    • The Pinkpaw Twins, Pricilla and Penelope, are very unlikeable as they belittle and bully everyone. They're also very bratty and selfish.
    • Sammy is just the stereotypical bully.
    • Miss Hodgepodge is the grouchy neighbour.
    • Henry is just the younger tag-along cousin.
    • Alice, while likable, is a punching bag who just eats too much junk food.
    • William, while likable as well, could be seen as a Gary Stu as he lacked any flaws in his character.
    • Miss Lilly is an Russian stereotype.
    • Valentine and Sophie aren't very talented dancers and quite demanding.
    • Phoebe is the worst offender. She's crazy and will immediately go into a ghost about more cheese.
  2. The plots such as Angelina picking up a coin thinking she has a lucky penny and later losing it, Angelina and Alice losing their tickets to the ballet dance, and Miss Lilly coming to Angelina's cottage for dinner, are either unoriginal, boring, uninteresting, stale, poor clichéd or even bad plots.
  3. The episode "Show and Tell", where Angelina has to look after her baby sister Polly, who suddenly causes chaos at school.
  4. Henry is a complete coward in "Angelina at the Fair", being afraid of all the rides and even crying or screaming because Angelina wants him to go on them.
    • In the same episode, Angelina's mum gives her an allowance so she can take Henry to the fair when she hasn't done any work to earn it.
  5. Angelina and Alice can sometimes be punching bags, such as when they realise that the tickets to the ballet dance are sold out in "The Ballet Dance", when the Pinkpaw Twins make fun of them, or when Angelina slips on the beads that fell off her necklace. Not that Angelina doesn't deserve it however.
  6. The show has slow pacing, but it's done very poorly.
  7. While the voice acting is passable, for the most part, it features crying and sobbing like if they're sad and emotional.
  8. There's a handful of bad episodes that include:
    • "The Gift"
    • "Angelina At The Fair"
    • "The Ballet Tickets"
    • "Midnight Muddle"
    • "Miss Lilly Comes To Dinner"
    • "Lucky Penny"
    • "Angelina and Grandma"
    • "Angelina's Surprise"
    • "No Match for Angelina"
    • "Angelina's Baby Sister"
    • "Anya's Visit"
    • "Sammy's Club"
    • "Angelina and The Silver Locket"
    • "Angelina's Princess Dance"

Original Series

  1. The main reason as to why this show has been generally dislike is its tone, when compare to previous PBS Kids/Sprout shows, Angelina Ballerina has somewhat of a more drama and darker tone, with some mean-spirited and even very out-of-place dark moments that's incredible jarring, especially since the original Angelina Ballerina book series was more light-hearted.
    1. While there's nothing wrong with making a darker television series/show be made into a Children's Program, those kind of shows that go that route (e.g Samurai Jack/Swat Kats of Cartoon Network, Avatar: The Last Airbender of Nickelodeon, Gargoyles/Mighty Ducks of Disney and even Yugo of 4Kids) are from programs that are aim towered older children of 10, 11 and 12, while PBS Kids/Sprout meanwhile is aim for toddlers of 3, 4 and 5.
  2. Too many unnecessary fade-outs.
  3. Non-existent or bad morals, especially in the original.
  4. Poor grasp from the source material.
  5. Overall due to its tone, Angelina Ballerina feels more fit for a Cartoon Network/Disney program, not something out of PBS Kids/Sprout.

The Next Steps

  1. This continuation was barely needed as basically no one asked for it. This clearly could be seen when PBS Kids put it in random weekend slots and Nick Jr. in the UK moved it to the graveyard slot less than 2 years after the premiere.
  2. The CGI animation can be cheap, lazy and unfinished, even for 2009 standards, which can be dated by the mid-2000s (as in 2003 to 2006).
    • Examples of this are the poor movement of the characters when they're jumping, bad shading, and stiff dancing motions (especially in this scene where Angelina dances to the flamenco).
  3. Angelina, despite being better-behaved in The Next Steps is much blander and becomes a huge Mary Sue, but she cries way less than the original series.
  4. Her friends also lack depth, even characters described as "mean" like Gracie aren't that mean at all.
  5. The setting and writing of this series lack much of charm of the original series.
  6. Even slower and more boring pacing that will bore you out as it's just overall bland dancing and spinning.
  7. Even more poor grasp from the original book.
  8. The songs and the soundtrack are rather forgettable, since the soundtrack resembles dated bubblegum pop songs from the mid-2000s.
  9. The specials of this series are literally edited-together redubbed clips of the original, and half of these written in as flashbacks.

Good Qualities

  1. The voice acting in both the original series and The Next Steps is passable.
  2. The international dubs, while not great, are, at least, not as bad as the original English dub.
    • The French dub was pretty-well received in both the original series and The Next Steps.
  3. The traditional animation in the original series is simple but cute and adorable, light-hearted and relaxed, and almost flawless.
  4. The Next Steps shows various dances and all kinds of music from around the world, but it's still mediocre at best due to the poor character redesigns, the cheap, lazy and unfinished CGI animation (as mentioned above), and several characters from the original series being removed.
    • Depending on your view, it's slightly better than the original series.
  5. The music is pleasant to hear, especially in the original series.
  6. Some likable characters like Alice, Henry, Mr. and Mrs. Mouseling, Miss Thimble, Miss Lilly, Anya, Valentine, Sophie and Phoebe. Along with that, William Longtail, despite being a Gary Stu, is still a great character, particularly owing to how exceptionally gentlemanly he is for his age, and his crush on Angelina is rather endearing.
  7. Despite being very heavily flanderised in this series, Angelina can sometimes have her original personality from the books.
  8. There are still some good or decent episodes, including:
    • "Angelina in the Wings"
    • "Arthur the Butterfly"
    • "The Legend of Big Paw"
    • "The Ballerina Rag Doll"
    • "Rose Fairy Princess"
    • "Angelina and Anya"
    • "Alice's Present"
    • "The Gymnastics Championship"
    • "The Show Must Go On"
    • "The Big Performance"
    • "Angelina Sets Sail"
    • "The Anniversary Party"
  9. The books are much better than the two notorious adaptions.

Videos

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