Australian Council on Children and the Media

Cirque du Soleil: Worlds away 3D

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Short takes

Not recommended under 5, PG to 8 (Scary scenes; Lack of dialogue)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Cirque du Soleil: Worlds away 3D
  • a review of Cirque du Soleil: Worlds away 3D completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 28 February 2013.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not recommended due to scary scenes
Children 5-8 parental guidance recommended due to scary scenes and lack of dialogue
Children 8 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Cirque du Soleil: Worlds away 3D
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: None
Length 91 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

There is no dialogue in this movie which is a performance by the well-known performing group, Cirque du Soleil. The movie starts with a young woman visiting a travelling circus where she is persuaded by a silent clown to watch the aerialist, the main attraction of the show. She is captivated by the young man but he is distracted by her and misses a catch. He falls to the ground and she runs to help him. They are both swallowed by the ground.

The girl finds herself in another world of clouds and big tops. She goes from one to another in search of the young man. Her efforts to find him are thwarted everywhere she goes but she does get to watch the different performances by the amazing Cirque du Soleil artists as she goes along.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some stylised violence performed in dance, including:

  • A couple of scenes involve battles between ninja warrior types and other people using sticks and spears.
  • A man is tied against a boxing ring fence and hit and kicked.

In addition some of the circus acts involve self harm including:

  • A woman hammers a nail into her nose.
  • Flame throwers are surrounded by a circle of fire and one man appears to be on fire but walks off uninjured.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • People swallowing various objects including a dagger
  • An overly large woman who is spread out on a sofa while she is fanned by a dwarf
  • A clown who appears hunchbacked and laughs maniacally
  • At one point the young woman feels trapped and screams.
  • Large insect type creatures appear.
  • The young woman falls into a huge gap.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be scared by the above-mentioned scenes

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

  • Many of the female performers wear quite skimpy and revealing outfits.
  • When the couple finally meet up they perform a very sensual dance and kiss.

Use of substances

None of concern

In a nutshell

Cirque du Soleil: Worlds away 3D is a visual treat to watch but some of the imagery and the situations in which the young woman finds herself could be quite frightening for young children, particularly in 3D. Also the lack of dialogue may make the story hard for young children to follow, so they may need help with this. The film is therefore more suited to children over 8.

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