This is a bizarre animated story and yet it reaches out to the cosmos to attempt to figure out why we are and how we are here, weighty questions for sure. The songs, such as Illusion, about life confusion, and Round and Round, feature amazing vocal talent. The songs are hopeful and inspiring and the characters deal with some strange creatures and other characters.
Enmeshed in the story are three main characters–Josh, Angie and Jackie. It’s nice that diversity is featured in the story as Josh is Caucasian, Angie is Asian, and Jackie is an African-American boy. The settings include Fairy Tale City, the Circus, and Castle City. There is also a funny house featured, gnomes, a “shadow” figure, and an eagle, clowns, an elephant and lions.
The animated story relies on particular themes, such as creation, its implications, how we determine our fate, chaos, and also love. The word “love” is embossed on candies in a heart-shaped box and the point is well made that life without it would be pretty much unbearable. Gratitude is another theme of this imaginative story. And in one inspiring scene, a king tells a character, “Never give up in the midst of despair.” Nice! It’s stated too that chaos feeds off fear and lies. The topic of greed is tackled too in the story.
For our Dove viewers and readers of our reviews, it should be noted that there is a scene in which various symbols represent various beliefs. Floating holographic symbols include the OM for Hinduism, the Ankh (Egyptology), the Medicine Wheel for Native American beliefs, the Yin Yang for Buddhism, the Lightning Bolt for Greek, Roman and Norse mythology, and the Crescent Moon and Star (Islam), the Star of David for Judaism, and the Celtic Cross for Christianity. It is unclear what this is supposed to mean, whether or not it implies that there are many religions trying to explain God. The book of Genesis or the God of the Bible is not included in this segment.
Without giving the ending away, ultimately, it becomes clear that a certain character is the “Magician of the Cosmos” and pretty much in charge of his own fate. Of course, there is a certain amount of truth involved in this as our decisions do greatly influence our lives with consequences and destinations. This is a fantasy world and no certain point of view is embraced or denied. For these reasons, we are awarding our Dove seal for Ages 12+ to the film.
There are moments of fighting and even a few characters are stabbed and then vanish. The violence is not carried to the extreme, but parents should consult our content listing to make their own informed decisions as to their kids watching this fantastical story of circuses, ferris wheels, clowns, animals, and the amazing experiences they all learn in their journey. This animated feature could present parents with an ideal opportunity to discuss creation and our belief systems.
The Dove Take:
There are no conclusions drawn in this quest to discover where we are from and headed, but this film does make the point that love is needed and our decisions play a major part in this journey called life.