Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away

  • Review Date: December 20, 2012
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 91 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Spectacular, but without a real story, it might bore kids.
  • Review Date: December 20, 2012
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 91 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The only theoretical "message" is that if you're meant to be with someone, no obstacle is too great to overcome.

Positive role models

Mia is a positive role model because she's willing to follow the object of her infatuation into another world to find him. All of the performers could also be seen as role models for their talent and abilities.

Violence

Mild simulated violence with spears and arrows in a couple of the film's set pieces.

Sex

Some scenes/pieces are sensual and even titillating. One of the performances is from the "adult" Cirque show, Zumanity, and features a woman dressed in a very sheer leotard dancing in and out of a fishbowl of water in a possibly provocative manner. The final aerial duet is beautiful, flirtatious, and very romantic; it ends in a kiss.

Language

There's barely any dialogue in the film, and none of it is strong language.

Consumerism

While it offers an entertaining look at various Cirque shows, the film could also be perceived as a 91-minute commercial for Cirque du Soleil's various high-concept shows, primarily the ones in Las Vegas. Some segments feature music from popular artists like Elvis and the Beatles.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away isn't a documentary about the inner workings of Cirque performers but rather a 90-minute performance (with a framing story) featuring 3-D segments from most of the company's popular Las Vegas shows. There's little dialogue, and many of the performances are high-concept, death-defying acrobatic stunts. Some of the pieces include a bit of violence (all simulated, obviously, but they do include weapons such as spears and arrows), and a couple are focused on romance and sensuality -- especially the performance from the Cirque's "adult" show, Zumanity (which centers on a woman in a very sheer leotard), and the climactic lovers' duet.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Produced by James Cameron, this 3-D look at the Cirque du Soleil follows Mia (Erica Linz), a young woman who wanders into a traveling circus, where she's transfixed by the big top's star aerialist (Igor Zaripov). During his death-defying performance, he locks on eyes on Mia and falls. But instead of just landing in the ring, he falls into sand that takes him and Mia -- who follows him -- to another dimension, where there are several circus tents. Having lost sight of the aerialist, Mia goes from tent to tent, where she witnesses various amazing performances until she's finally reunited with her beloved.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

There's an awe-inspiring artistry and athleticism to Cirque du Soleil shows that are unmatched in the world of circus performances. There's a reason tickets to the most popular of the Las Vegas-based Cirque shows can cost upward of $150: These world-class acrobats, contortionists, and other performers will absolutely blow you away with their gymnastic theatricality in breathtaking sets that you won't find at the "regular" traveling circus. 

But high-concept circus numbers aren't for everybody. Those who already fans of or are intrigued by Cirque du Soleil shows will appreciate the showmanship, the technical precision, and the beauty of the performances, but those who are ambivalent about this form of entertainment will likely be bored by some of the more esoteric segments, with the exception of the more straightforward "Viva Elvis" and "Beatles Love" productions. CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: WORLDS AWAY may be one long advertisement, but it's also an affordable way to see the most impressive performances from a variety of the company's shows.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the way Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away is part performance piece and part marketing tool. Does the movie make you want to see a live Cirque show? Why or why not?

  • Do you think the framing device works? Did you expect more dialogue? Did it feel strange that it was missing?

  • Did the segments featuring music by Elvis or the Beatles seem more accessible than the ones with less familiar music or story lines? How do the Cirque performances compare to what you've seen in more traditional circuses?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 21, 2012
DVD release date:March 12, 2013
Cast:Erica Linz, Igor Zaripov, Lutz Halbhubner
Director:Andrew Adamson
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Genre:Documentary
Topics:Arts and dance
Run time:91 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some dramatic images and mild sensuality

This review of Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 3 and 6 year old Written bycwyatt January 5, 2013
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

Neutral from a Cirque fan. Okay for kids. NO consumerism.

I love Cirque du Soleil. I have seen two live performances, The Journey of Man movie, and a recorded stage performance. Alegria is the stage performance that I've let my kids watch on DVD since they were 2. So I felt pretty confident taking my 3 and 6 yr old to the movie theater on this one. Some great scenes, but definitely disjointed as the professional reviewers say. I don't expect a plot, but the performances were short and scattered. 'Journey of Man' had vinnettes, but this did not. As previous reviewer have said, there are dark scenes with dark music and battles between groups. There are also some beautiful performances. Some of the darkness comes from the lighting to give the underground cave effect. Not the brillance from the forest scenes in other productions. I don't know anything about the Vegas performances, but having the Beatles music in the middle ruined it for me. Common Sense media missed the mark on the consumerism point. There is NO consumerism in this movie! Cirque du Soleil is a brand like Disney or Pixar, but there are no action figures, clothing, or coloring books to sell! Cirque du Soleil promotes individualism, imagination, strength, and skill. This is only the second movie in a theater I've taken my kids to. No regrets, just hide their eyes during the previews. The previews are more violent than the movie.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Teen, 14 years old Written byBooks rule December 31, 2012
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Just okay

I was really looking forward to seeing this movie. Then I saw it. The acrobatics were incredible, but other than that it was really boring. It was kinda like a really long commercial.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Parent Written byEZKF January 1, 2013
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

When it comes out on DVD I will definitely buy it.

This is a very artistic film. If you enjoy Cirque du Soleil performances you will want to clap at the end (as the audience did at the theather we went to). There are a couple of "violent" seens but they are very well choreographed fight performances. The 3D element adds a feeling of having front row seats.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

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