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Western Animation / Angelina Ballerina

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Angelina Ballerina is an Animated Series produced by HiT Entertainment, based on books by Catherine Hollabird and Helen Craig. First airing in 2001 in the UK, and the following year in the US, 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.

Although the TV series is not active at this time, new books based on the franchise began publishing in or around 2020, as well as reissues of the original classics. The new books revert to a more classic look for the character, rather than the pink look seen in the CGI series.

Angelina Ballerina provides examples of the following:

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  • Animated Adaptation: Both the 2002 and 2009 series are adaptations of the book series by Catherine Hollabird and Helen Craig.
  • 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.
  • Cool Old Lady: Miss Lilly.
  • Fake Faint: In one episode, Angelina is initially pleased to be in the school play but becomes nervous when she learns she will be suspended from the ceiling, particularly when she learns it'll only be by a single wire. She pretends to pass out so that her teachers will think she's sick, but gives herself away by winking at Alice before doing so.
  • 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.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Angelina can be at her worst if she gets jealous.
  • Halloween Episode: Two of them - "Henry's Halloween" in the 2002 series and "Trick or Treat" in the 2009 CGI series.
  • Honesty Aesop:
    • In "Angelina's Surprise", Angelina is jealous of the attention the Pinkpaws twins' newborn brother is getting and lies that her mother is pregnant. She later learns not to lie when she mistakenly thinks that the Pinkpaws twins' brother's party is her mother's baby shower.
    • In the spinoff series Angelina Ballerina: the Next Steps, set four years into the future, Polly learns not to lie after breaking her father's fiddle for disobeying their parents' rule about not jumping on the bed.
    Mrs. Mouseling: Lying would have been just as bad as breaking the rules and the fiddle.
  • Injured Limb Episode:
    • In one of the books, Flora sprains her ankle and cannot dance in the play.
    • In "Angelina's Surprise" of the 2002 series, Mrs Hodgepodge breaks her leg, which causes Angelina to fake having sprained hers because she doesn't want to go to a party and admit to having lied about her mother being pregnant, but it doesn't work because the doctor can't find any sprain.
    • In "Hip Hop Boys" of the 2009 series, one of said boys (AZ/AJ) injures his leg.
  • 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.
  • 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) bears little to no resemblance to her book counterpart.
  • No Antagonist: Most of the episodes of both series focuses on slice-of-life issues.
  • 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.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Angelina's parents often fill this role to help with her problems, her mother especially. Miss Lilly often becomes one as well.
  • Secret Message Wink: There's an episode where the eponymous mouse girl is asked to hang from a wire as part of a school play. She's afraid to do it, especially because it's only one wire, and pretends to pass out to get out of doing it. Just before lying down, she winks at her friends to let them know she's not really passing out.
  • The Silent Bob: Played straight with Ms. Mimi in The Next Steps. And also earlier, the frozen yogurt selling mouse.
  • Slice of Life: Yep, one of those series.
  • Tag Along Kid: Henry in the books and 2002 series, Polly in the 2009 series.
  • This Is My Side: Both of the animated shows have had an episode where this was a conflict.
    • 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 The Next Steps episode Angelina and the Poster, 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.
  • 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".

    Book Series 
  • Conforming OOC Moment: Played for Drama in "Angelina and Alice". When a group of older kids laugh at Angelina for pratfalling, Alice (Angelina's best friend) laughs too, leaving Angelina in tears.
  • 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.

     2002 Animated Adaptation 
  • Magic Feather: The eponymous "Lucky Penny" from the episode with the same name, which was said to help Angelina with her ballet practice and believes she doesn't need to for an upcoming audition. After losing the penny when watching a movie, Angelina realizes it wasn't the penny that made her dancing better, it was her time, practice, and hard work, which she uses to help her get through the audition without any penny and all, and passes.
  • New Baby Episode:
    • In "Angelina's Surprise", the Pinkpaws twins get a new baby and so their classmates all give them attention. Angelina becomes jealous of said attention and lies that her mother is pregnant.
    • In "Angelina's Baby Sister", Angelina's mother does have a baby, a girl named Polly, causing Angelina to become jealous of the attention Polly gets. It culminates in her snapping and goes as far as to throwing objects in her room in a jealous rage. Her mother hears this and comes upstairs and reassures her that she'll never be replaced and she loves both of her daughters.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Angelina's parents often fill this role, her mother usually. Miss Lily also plays this on occasion.
  • Playing Against Type: An In-Universe example in the 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.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: In "No Match For Angelina", she borrows her father's old uniform and disguises herself as a boy to compete in the ice hockey championship, which girls are not allowed to play. And her name is Andy.
  • Sweet Tooth: Alice is usually seen snacking on cookies, candy, or popcorn.
  • Tantrum Throwing: In "Angelina's Baby Sister", Angelina's jealousy of her family paying so much attention to Polly gets the better of her that she lapses into this in her room while throwing objects around when her jealousy becomes too much for her to handle. This alerts her family, and her mother immediately comes to resolve the conflict.
  • 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 episode "Treasure Tandems" has Angelina and other mouselings embarking on a treasure hunt/scavenger hunt.

     2009 Animated Adaptation 
  • All-CGI Cartoon
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Pink mice (logic being that pink sells better to girls).
  • 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 more humanoid. 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 Shift: From traditional animation to CGI and a huge one at that.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome / Put on a Bus: Around half the original series' cast were given the shaft when The Next Steps rolled around.
  • Bait-and-Switch Compassion: In "Show and Tell", Angelina's baby sister Polly and her classmate's yoyo go missing. Angelina sees him searching around. Initially, she thinks he's looking for Polly, but he's actually looking for the yoyo.
  • 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 the 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, 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..."
  • Hiccup Hijinks: The episode "Angelina's Hiccups" has Angelina get hiccups on the day of a school recital when she laughs too hard. She and her friends try the various cures, but to no avail. She eventually gets cured when she's scared, though the episode ends with her sneezing.
  • I Can't Hear You: Played straight in an episode.
  • Imagine Spot: Angelina gets so caught up in hers that somebody usually has to shout her name a couple times to snap her out of it.
  • Licensed Game / Edutainment Game: One for the iPhone (although like most iPhone games, it runs on most other iOS devices as well).
  • Lighter and Softer: This CGI revamp is this compared to the 2002 series.
  • Mistaken for Brooding: In one episode, Ms. Mimi is playing sad music on the piano. Angelina believes that she is doing this because she's actually sad, but her classmate explains that she just likes to play sad music sometimes.
  • No Time to Explain: Played straight in the episode, "Angelina and Alice's Big Night". Alice wants to tell Angelina she is transferring to Camembert but Angelina doesn't let her talk until the end.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Gracie and Marco's respective French and Hispanic accents are lost in the UK dub in favor of generic British RP accents, as well as Alice's Yorkshire accent from the 2002 series.
  • Plague Episode: In "Angelina in the Wings", multiple mouselings have caught a disease known as the mousepox and are therefor unable to dance as sunbeams in Madame Zizi's show, one in particular opening a spot for Angelina to dance in their place. Both Angelina and Henry manage to stay healthy long enough to perform, but then the episode ends with them having caught the mousepox as well.
  • Poor Communication Kills: In one episode, 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.
    • In another episode, Angelina is planning a surprise party for Viki after she breaks her Irish music CD, but Viki partially overhears them and thinks they are making rumors of her. When Gracie apologises to Angelina for thinking she slipped the secret, Viki thinks her fears are confirmed until Angelina tells her they were holding a party.
  • 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 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.
    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.
  • Soft Reboot: Not only does this feature Art Evolution and almost all of the 2002 cast Put on a Bus, this show has a focus on broader world music and dance rather than just ballet
  • Something We Forgot: Played straight in the episode, "Angelina's Lost Ice Skates".
  • Sneeze Interruption: Angelina tries to sing the lyrics to a music box to cover up the fact that it's broken, but sneezes, ending up with the phrase "la la la achoo".
  • Spell My Name with an S: Broadcasters and fans of the show can't seem to agree whether it's "Vici" (as Nick Jr. UK and Channel 5 spell it), "Vicki" (as the YouTube channel spells it) or "Viki" (as the producers and US broadcasters spell it)
  • 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: 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" 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.
  • Thriving Ghost Town: This 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. In "Angelina En Pointe", there are revealed to be older students that audition for professional ballets, but we never actually see them.
  • Triangles Are the Worst Instrument: Averted in one episode, where the band needed the triangle player because the triangle was important in maintaining the rhythm.
  • The Voiceless: Ms. Mimi becomes this in one episode when she has laryngitis.

Alternative Title(s): Angelina Ballerina The Next Steps


Angelina's Baby Sister

Angelina meets her newborn baby sister Polly.

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