Video Review:    Angelina Ballerina: Angelina in the Wings

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Angelina is a little mouse who dares to dream--of being a prima ballerina--and who always has a few life lessons to learn. Based on the stories by Katherine Holabird and illustrated by Helen Craig, this video features four animated stories all about Angelina and her many escapades. 

In the first story, Angelina's ballet teacher makes an announcement: the famous Madame Zee-Zee is coming to the girls' class, and there will be a big audition to be a Sunbeam in her show. Angelina is excited, but she soon finds out that she has to bring Henry, her little mouseling cousin, to the audition! Grudgingly, she brings him along. What's worse, Madame Zee-Zee is so taken with the little mouse that she announces that HE will be the Sunbeam and Angelina will be a mere understudy. Of course, Angelina is devastated. How this problem, and its resolution, play out is suspenseful and fun. Three more stories--featuring bad-mannered bicycle-riding twins, a boat contest in which Angelina is paired up with a boy mouse she doesn't much like, and a boy mouse who deals with teasing because he wants to take ballet class--round out the rest of the video.

Angelina in the Wings is beautifully animated and the British voiceovers are well-acted. Each story is pleasantly complex, suspenseful, and involving. Angelina's character is strong, and her passion for ballet is just as powerful. In her own words, "there isn't anything else". Angelina is competitive and she dreams big--and her good-heartedness always reigns at the end of the day. 

The stories emphasize social interactions. The value of teamwork and playing fair are underlying themes throughout. There is quite a bit of "nasty" behavior -- bragging parents, aggressive children, name-calling, and so forth. Of course, the problems generally get resolved and the overall message is positive, but parents of preschoolers may want to take note.


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Angelina Ballerina - Angelina in the... (VHS) 


  • Beautiful animation
  • Features 4 satisfying stories for a total of approximately 48 minutes.
  • Aspiring ballerinas will likely enjoy Angelina's escapades.


  • The stories, in their attempts to describe social interactions, present quite a bit of undesirable behavior, such as name-calling. Although these are generally resolved, the video may not be as suitable for preschoolers.


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VHS   Ages 4-9  



See also:




Clemente Micarelli - Ballerina Dreams
Ballerina Dreams
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Reviewed September 2002   Comments? Email us.

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