We Review: Isabelle Dances Into the Spotlight


We Review IsabelleDid you catch the Isabelle movie last Saturday on Disney Channel? We watched it ourselves and couldn’t wait to share our opinions on it with you! To make our discussion a bit more natural, we’ve formatted it as a conversation between the two of us. Read our thoughts, and let us know what you liked – or didn’t like – below!

B: Lulu! :) Having seen all of the American Girl movies, how do you think Isabelle’s movie compares?

L: I thought that the last two GOTY movies (McKenna and Saige) were okay, and I always adored the historical movies; Isabelle’s film seems to fall in between.

B: Interesting! I actually liked the Saige movie better {let’s not even talk about McKenna’s}, and like you, I LOVE the historical ones. However, as I’ve grown up past the intended audience of the AG films, I’ve noticed that my enjoyment of the movies decreases bit by bit. I believe it’s due to American Girl’s tendency to not be so subtle with their messages. For example, with Isabelle Dances Into the Spotlight, I couldn’t help but observe how often confidence lessons {i.e. “it’s okay not to be perfect,” “don’t give up,” and the like} were shoved in the audience’s face. Your thoughts?

L: I definitely see what you mean! I remember in some of the older AG movies that the messages were still there, but were represented more by the characters’ actions instead of everyone having these long, unrealistic, inspirational speeches. This was pretty strong in Isabelle, which had lots of the same messages as the 2009 Chrissa movie. Both had little bullying messages thrown in – and yes, Isabelle’s aren’t as loud or anything, but that’s because it isn’t the central theme – but I felt that Chrissa did it better (Also, they both sew. And both have one doctor-like parent and an artist parent… hmm, I sense no originality).

B: Oh, totally – the parallels between Chrissa and Isabelle’s stories were never as apparent to me until I saw the movie. From the mean girl storyline to the artistic parent, it was clear to me that it wasn’t all that original, especially when you add in the fact that Marisol had the dance theme too! However, one of the more positive aspects of the film was the awesome chemistry between Isabelle {Erin Pitt} and Jade {Grace Davidson}. It was so nice seeing such a strong sister relationship on-screen, and one that reminded me of us two at that!

L: Aww… thanks :) But seriously, they did have a very nice relationship. You could see that they’re best friends, yet they still have fights and disagreements that they are able to solve in a believable way (and time period!). I also enjoyed seeing how they dance together, along with all the dances in general.

B: The dances were one of my favorite parts of the film! I love watching any form of dance – we’re watching So You Think You Can Dance while we write this – so I think it’s awesome that so many dance numbers were included. While young ballet dancers will easily resonate with the movie, I’m glad that I, someone with no dance experience, was still able to follow along.

L: I was glad too, although I’m pretty sure with all our Dance Academy watching, we are now experts :) My favorite dance number from the movie was the Halloween Benefit dance, which was creepy cool. I also loved the costumes and sets in that number; the glow-in-the-dark umbrella was awesome!

B: It was clear that plenty of attention was given to the costumes! In the Saige movie, I thought that the characters were dressed WAY too old for fourth graders, so seeing the wardrobes toned back a bit was a big plus. I, unfortunately, can’t say the same about the giggling…

L: Yeah, those laughs were pretty painful. They sounded so fake and the things the characters were laughing at weren’t usually very funny. But that’s okay! The rest of the acting was very good, especially Erin Pitt’s performance as Isabelle.

B: Agreed. The casting was spot-on. Any last remarks before we wrap it up?

L: I also really liked Isabelle’s best friend, Luisa’s character. I thought the two of them had some good scenes together, even if that song their fathers wrote and performed about (ugly!) waterlily sculptures was a bit uncalled for.

B: Haha, that scene was a bit painful to watch! Overall, though, I think Isabelle Dances Into the Spotlight delivered exactly what was promised: a fun, family friendly film that showcases a passion for dance.

L: I think that sums it up perfectly!

Let’s discuss! What did you think friends? Agree or disagree with our thoughts? Favorite AG film? We can’t wait to hear.

Have a great night!

Bella and Lulu


11 thoughts on “We Review: Isabelle Dances Into the Spotlight

  1. I really like your review. I started watching a bit late and missed the water lily scene. Plus I haven’t seen all of the girl of the year movies. I have seen Molly and Kit and Saige and McKenna. Molly was my favorite because it seemed closest to the books. Kit is a close second. The Girl of the Year movies are okay. As you said, obvious messages. I think the Saige and McKenna movies are closer to the books than Isabelle, but it was entertaining.

    • Oh, definitely see Felicity! That’s one of our favorites :) The water lily scene made us cringe a bit, but it was entertaining overall! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      • I loved the review you guys did! I personally love the isabelle movie! I love the dancer bits too and now i’m inspired to dance as well. I’ve even mastered the BFF jam even though i’m a bit to old for that sort of thing. I think the laughters in the movie are sort of fake and cheesy but love the sister connection there is. I’ve been watching the movie on youtube and even writing a book on the subject as well. I haven’t really read the books on Isabelle but I don’t plan too. Not for any particular reason, I just don’t want to. I know that Isabelle (the actor) is just playing a character and memorized lines from a script but she’s still a role model to me meaning the character isabelle :)! Thanks again for the review!

  2. Awesome, but you guys forgot that this is a 14 year old playing a nine year old. Think she pulled it off? I think the reason they gave the role to a 14 year old instead of a 9 year old is that we often forget age while reading these stories. (I know I do) I also know that the actress has blue eyes and not Hazel eyes, but honestly it’s not a huge detail. It was a good movie and I can see what you’re saying that it definitely falls between the others.

    • Cute movie but the girl who played Isabelle is actually 14 years old trying to play a 9 year old and it was obvious. Most 9 year olds can’t dance with that proficiency yet. She just looked and acted much older which my daughter noticed immediately.

      • I see where you’re coming from, but Lulu and I both thought that Erin Pitt did a great job giving the material she had to work with! I’m sure the dance numbers were exaggerated {as you said, few nine year olds have that ability}. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! :)

  3. Pingback: Monthly Recap / August 2014 | Doll Mag

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