Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away Movie Poster Image
Spectacular, but without a real story, it might bore kids.
  • PG
  • 2012
  • 91 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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 & Representations

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.


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


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.


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


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

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 3 and 6-year-old Written bycwyatt January 5, 2013

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... Continue reading
Parent of a 6-year-old Written byCyberdave January 5, 2013

Overall a good film to see some of Cirque's spectacular acts if a little too long

We love Cirque and our daughter has watched Journey of Man on DVD since she was three and loves it. Now 5 1/2 we thought Worlds Away would be a good next step s... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old July 30, 2013

Don't bother! This is a piece of junk.

Some acts were exciting but I only watched 20 minutes as it was so bad! Don't waste your time!!!

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love performances

Themes & Topics

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