TV Review: Disney+’s “Madu” is a Beautiful, Emotional Look at a Young Boy Chasing a Dream

Several years ago, a video of a young Nigerian boy dancing in the rain went viral. Then-11-year-old Anthony Madu stole the hearts of millions with this video and received a scholarship in the process. Now, Disney+ is telling his story as he chases his dream.

Madu follows 12-year-old Anthony Madu as he leaves his family and community in Nigeria to study at one of the most prestigious ballet schools in the world in England. Having never left his home outside of Lagos, Anthony finds himself thrust into a new world where his wildest dreams are suddenly within reach. His courageous journey is a story of extraordinary obstacles as he searches for belonging and acceptance, a family far away, and unexpected challenges that could impact his future. Forming a rich and immersive tapestry told on multiple continents, Madu introduces the world to a boy chasing a dream of inspiration that will resonate with us all.

First and foremost, Madu is beautifully shot. Whether or not the story is of any interest, the audience will find themselves getting lost in the stunning visuals and mesmerizing movements of both the cameras and Madu himself. It’s almost as if this documentary about ballet is performing a sort of ballet of its own.

As for Madu’s story, it is an incredibly emotional journey that takes the audience on countless ups and downs. A young boy dealing with bullying, leaving his family to chase his dream, pushing through adversity and creating a life in a new home are just some of the powerful storylines featured in this doc. And in between those, there are plenty of happy and playful moments that are sure to put a smile on your face. It’s a roller coaster that just keeps the audience guessing.

Due in large part to all of that emotion being poured out on the screen, it quickly becomes impossible not to become invested in Madu and his friends and family. As you see Madu’s journey, you can’t help but root for him and feel for him in his worst moments. Also, for such a young age, he has an incredible grasp on his mental health, which only makes the audience connect with him even more.

For a documentary about dance, it’s incredibly fitting that it is beautifully scored. The music adds to the emotionality of the film and truly completes the experience. Whether it’s a tense, sad moment or a beautifully calm and happy one, the score perfectly accompanies each and provides exactly what the film needs in that moment.

Overall, Madu may not cover a topic that immediately appeals to everyone reading the logline. But, at its core, it tells a story that does. It’s an incredibly emotional journey for a very relatable and likable young boy who is sure to grab the hearts of many all over again. Plus, his powerful story is only enhanced by some truly stunning visuals and a score that takes it over the top. Madu is absolutely worth a watch for anyone who isn’t afraid to shed a tear or two.

Madu premieres March 29 on Disney+.

Mike Mack
Mack is the Editorial Director for Marvel and ESPN content and he has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed "nerd."