Film Reviews

“The circus may be the quintessential American entertainment experience. Its roots are from around the world. Its performers are fiercely independent, yet bound together by the unseen cords of loyalty and camaraderie. It is restless and transient, never content to settle in one place for very long. And those who choose to be a part of this world are forever set apart from the rest of the world.

Children of All Ages is an exquisite film that documents the dying world of the Greatest Show on Earth. It’s three rings of story revolve around Sarasota’s”Sailor Circus,” the world’s longest-running children’s circus; the amazing 3,800 square foot miniature circus created by Howard Tibbals; and behind the scenes interviews with some of the last of the great performers who worked under the Big Top during the heyday of the circus.

Weighing in at a mere 78 minutes, Children of All Ages strolls through the circus world at a pace suitable for a walk down the midway with plenty of time given to explore the wonders of the sideshows. Although it feels unhurried, it never bogs down or allows the viewer to get bored. Like a seasoned showman it keeps the scenes moving along crisply, and there is always something new to be seen, and there is something in the film that will appeal to everyone.

While the interviews with former circus stars (who are all getting up in years) was intriguing and the feats of derring do performed by young performers at the Sailor Circus were pretty doggone impressive, my favorite part of the documentary had to be Howard Tibbals’ miniature circus. Covering more than 3,800 square feet and comprised of around 1 million individual pieces is amazing in and of itself. But once you see the attention to detail and the historical, Tibbals feet becomes the stuff of legends.

Watching Children of All Ages reminded me of why I loved Toby Tyler and the Circus as a kid. It is a world of wonder, where great performers did great feats to astound and amaze, and they did it with style. This delightful documentary opens in limited release on Friday, October 23. Check local listings for a theatre near you.”

—Mike Parker
The Examiner

Premiere cities include:

  • Panama City, FL
  • Bradenton, FL
  • Asheville, NC
  • Durham, NC
  • Greenville, NC
  • Hickory, NC
  • Wilmington, NC
  • Winston Salem, NC
  • Colorado Springs, CO
  • Fort Smith, AR
  • Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Minot, ND
  • Kennewick, WA
  • Eau Claire, WI
  • Apple Valley, MN
  • Moundsville, MN
  • Traverse City, MI

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