Western Animation / Angelina Ballerina


Angelina Ballerina is an Animated Series produced by HiT Entertainment, based on books by Catherine Hollabird and Helen Craig. First airing in 2002, the series is a Slice of Life type program. It features the misadventures of a mouse named Angelina Mouseling and her friends.

In 2009, the series was given an All-CGI Cartoon makeover and subtitled "The Next Steps" as Angelina goes to attend dancing school. Angelina herself received a makeover in this version of the show: She's now light pink in color. In the original series and books, she was white.

A third Angelina Ballerina animated series is currently in development, co-produced by Mattel and 9 Story Media Group; initially slated to premiere in 2017, it's now unknown at present when or even if it will air, or whether it would continue the 2009 series or be similar to the 2002 series.

Angelina Ballerina provides examples of the following:

  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Majority of the cast in the original series.
  • All-CGI Cartoon: The 2009 CGI revamp.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Pink mice in The Next Steps (logic being that pink sells better to girls).
  • Animated Adaptation: An adaption of books by Catherine Hollabird and Helen Craig
  • Anthropomorphic Shift: From the books through to the 2002 series, Angelina and the other mice were firmly in a Mouse World/Civilized Animal setting but as of the 2009 series, where the dance aspect of the show became a more dominant element, they had become Petting Zoo People. This was to enable more diverse styles of dance to be performed by the characters and to be more relatable to the older viewer demographic they were now aiming at.
  • Art Evolution: As time moved on, Angelina became less plump, taller, and her fur color changed from white to light pink. This is actually less evolution, more wholesale In-Name-Only as far as looks are concerned.
  • Art Shift: From traditional animation to CGI and a huge one at that.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome / Put on a Bus: Henry received the short end of the deal when The Next Steps rolled around as he was sent off to be essentially replaced by Angelina's younger sister, Polly.
  • Christmas Episode: The 2002 series episode "The Show Must Go On"
  • Cool Old Lady: Miss Lilly.
  • Distant Finale: The very first book ends by saying that Angelina grew up to be a famous ballerina, with a final illustration showing her as an adult dancing onstage to a packed house. The many sequels and the two animated series all go back to focusing on her childhood, though.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: The 2002 series episode "Treasure Tandems" has Angelina, Alice and the Pinkpaw twins laughing at the surprise victory by William and Henry during the episode's treasure hunt.
  • Face Palm: In the episode "Angelina's Oldest Friend", the titular character of the episode and Angelina pulls this.
    • Angelina's mother has this in the end of episode, "Angelina's Sleepover".
  • The Faceless: Ms. Mimi appears this in "Angelina's New School". Her face is revealed in the next episode.
  • Full-Name Basis: For some reason, on Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps, Angelina's little sister Polly regularly refers to her as "Angelina Ballerina" and not simply Angelina.note  For that matter, even Angelina herself does this when narrating the intro for each story. "I'm Angelina Ballerina and today..."
  • Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal: Angelina and the other kids in the original series when at dance school and performing on stage. Plus Ms. Lilly in the regular cast. Became the norm for the CGI series.
  • Halloween Episode: Two of them - "Henry's Halloween" in the 2002 series and "Trick or Treat" in the 2009 CGI series.
  • I Can't Hear You: Played straight in an episode of the 2009 CGI revamp.
  • Imagine Spot: In The Next Steps, Angelina gets so caught up in hers that somebody usually has to shout her name a couple times to snap her out of it.
  • It's All About Me: Several episodes of the 2002 series depict Angelina acting like a drama queen and whining up a storm as a method of getting her way.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Mrs. Hodgepodge in the original series.
  • Licensed Game / Edutainment Game / iOS Games: One for the iPhone (although like most iPhone games, it runs on most other iOS devices as well).
  • Limited Wardrobe: In The Next Steps, Angelina wears her ballerina outfit at home as well. Averted in the original series as there was no real wardrobe to speak of.
  • Lighter and Softer: The 2009 CGI revamp is this compared to the 2002 series.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Like most animated adaptations, it was originally created to sell the books but since the new series this has been geared mostly towards selling dolls and miniature figures which may explain why both Angelina is pink and why she (and everyone else) bares little to no resemblance to her book counterpart.
  • No Antagonist: Most of the episodes focuses on slice-of-life issues.
  • No Time to Explain: Played straight in the episode, "Angelina and Alice's Big Night".
  • Petting Zoo People: The character design in The Next Steps is this whereas the books and series preceding are anything but.
  • Ping-Pong Na´vetÚ: Henry's ballet skill in both the books and the 2002 series. Depending on the Writer, Henry actually knew how to dance or was so inept that he annoyed Angelina and needed coaching from her.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Angelina's pink tutu, and then being pink herself in The Next Steps.
  • Playing Against Type: An In-Universe example in the 2002 episode "The Show Must Go On" - in a special Christmas production of Cinderella, the usually sweet Angelina is cast as the Wicked Stepmother (or "Stepmouse" as called on the show) while Priscilla Pinkpaws gets cast as Cinderella.
  • Poor Communication Kills: In an episode of "The Next Steps", Marco wants to play hockey with the adults but is barred due to his age. Angelina and Alice want him to perform in an ice-skating routine and try to recruit him. Marco is under the impression that since Angelina's dad is the hockey team captain, she's gotten him to make an exception.
  • Precedent Excuse: In "Angelina's Sleepover," Angelina and her friends promise Angelina's mother that they're about to go to sleep, but then stay up to complete the carnival hats that they started. They do this on the excuse that they even though the mother had told them to go to sleep, she also always says that they should finish what they start, and they hadn't finished making their hats yet.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Alice really pulls this off in one episode of The Next Steps.
    It's. My. Turn!
  • Recap Episode: Dreams Come True, an hour-length The Next Steps movie released on DVD has a definite feel of this, with a lot of flashbacks to past events and past song numbers
  • Same Language Dub: The Next Steps has two versions - one dubbed for the USA and the other for the UK. The UK dub has a slightly different theme song and different character voices. At least one character name is different too - AJ in the UK, AZ in the US.
  • The Silent Bob: Played straight with Ms. Mimi in The Next Steps. And also earlier, the yogurt selling mouse.
  • Skirt over Slacks: Alice, Vici, and Ms. Mimi wear this in The Next Steps.
  • Slice of Life: Yep, one of those series.
  • Something We Forgot: Played straight in the episode, "Angelina's Lost Ice Skates".
  • Spring Is Late: With a twist in "Angelina's Spring Fling". The characters know perfectly well that there's nothing they can do to stop it from being cold and snowy outside. So, instead, they decide to try to create a bit of spring inside by doing things such as pretending to play baseball, painting Easter eggs and playing a CD of Vivaldi's "Spring."
  • Stock Animal Diet: In Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps, at least, Angelina and her friends have a fondness for cheese. In the "Dancing in the Moonlight" song, they sing about having "some Camembert to share."
  • Surprise Party: In "Angelina's Irish Jig," from Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps, after Angelina accidentally messes up Vicki's Irish music, she decides to throw her a surprise Irish party, but things are nearly ruined because Vicki overhears Angelina and the other characters whispering about her and thinks they're being mean.
  • Sweet Tooth: In the 2002 series, Alice is usually seen snacking on cookies, candy, or popcorn.
  • This Is My Side: In the original series episode Two Mice in a Boat, Angelina and Sammy did this after they were assigned to work on a boat together. Angelina wanted a Swan Princess boat and Sammy wanted a Pirate ship, but when their boat started to sink, they started throwing boat decorations in the water to keep it afloat. They somehow ended up winning the teamwork prize in the end. In Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps, Angelina and Marco did this with a poster after they were assigned to work together. Marco didn't want frills and a tutu on his poster, while Angelina couldn't abide by the idea of having soccer balls in the poster. It didn't work out, and they went through a couple of other hangups, before finally hitting on a working idea.
  • Thriving Ghost Town: The CGI series has this in both Angelina's school and in the town of Chipping Cheddar. It's quite rare to see any other inhabitants other than the cast strolling about town. As for Angelina's school, Camembert Academy, the building is shown both on the inside and outside to be huge; yet, apart from the occasional extras, we usually don't see anyone except Angelina, Miss Mimi and Angelina's friends.
  • Totem Pole Trench: In "The Costume Ball", Angelina and Alice do this in order to sneak into said party. It ends catastrophically.
  • Town Contest Episode: The 2002 series episode "Treasure Tandems" has Angelina and other mouselings embarking on a treasure hunt/scavenger hunt.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Inverted in both the 2002 and 2009 series. William and Henry (Angelina's younger cousin) are the only two boys in Angelina's predominantly female ballet class. The Next Steps has Marco and AZ (AJ in the UK) as the only regular boys in the cast.
  • The Unfavorite: This is what Angelina feels like when Polly debuts in the book and original series episode, "Angelina's Baby Sister".
  • The Voiceless: Ms. Mimi becomes this in one episode of The Next Steps when she has laryngitis.