9 Best Movies About The Circus That You Should Watching Update 07/2024

Movies About The Circus

You’ll love these movies if you like the circus!

The drawbacks. The food. The outfits that everyone is wearing. The acoustics It’s exhilarating. Even if you don’t have the time or money to go, there’s nothing like going to a carnival or a circus. Regardless of whether they are well-known around the world or appear out of nowhere, they never fail to amuse their audience.

Watching movies about circuses and carnivals might help us feel like we’re there every time we go! Yes, you read that correctly… There are a slew of options available, but we’ve narrowed it down to ten that we think everyone should see.

1. The Greatest Showman

The Greatest Showman

Rather than wasting any time, let’s get this list going right away.

The Greatest Showman, which premiered in 2017, is a well-known film about the circus. It had an all-star cast, including Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, and Zendaya, and was based on the life of P. T. Barnum. Additionally, this film was nominated for various Oscars and received numerous distinctions, including a Golden Globe for Best Original Song (That award was because of the songThis Is Me,though, as fans know, there were so many great tunes in this work).

2. The Greatest Show On Earth

Betty Hutton and Cornel Wilde starred as trapeze artists in the 1952 film The Greatest Show on Earth, which also featured Charlton Heston as a circus manager and James Stewart as a clown who never removes his clown mask. The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was the setting of the story, therefore the genuine troupe of 1,400 humans and hundreds of animals was featured. Two Academy Awards and three Golden Globe Awards were given out as a result of this, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the world of circuses.

3. Arabian Nights

Arabian Nights

Nominated for four Academy Awards during World War II, this was one of Universal Pictures’ more unusual stories. So, while Aladdin, one of Disney’s most beloved films, did not focus on life in a traveling circus, this tale did.

4. Big Top Pee-Wee

Big Top Pee-wee was released in 1988, following Pee-Big wee’s Adventure in 1985. Of course, Paul Reubens appeared as Pee-wee Herman, and Danny Elfman composed the soundtrack.

With a ringmaster named Mace Montana and trapeze performer Gina Piccolapupula at the helm, the story revolved around a touring circus Even if it isn’t the most well-known movie ever made, this one does a great job of capturing the wonder of what goes on beneath the big top!

5. Oz the Great and Powerful

Oz the Great and Powerful

A spiritual predecessor to one of the most beloved films of all time, The Wizard of Oz, was released in 2013 under the title Oz the Great and Powerful. Sam Raimi’s film, starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, and Zach Braff, was nominated for an Oscar.

As Oscar Diggs, a magician who found up in Oz, a land full of flying monkeys, small dolls, and witches, Franco played the role. Additionally, Danny Elfman also composed the soundtrack for this film! And it won the MTV Movie Award for Best Villain as well as Best Live Action Family Film for its performance as a villain (specifically given to Mila Kunis, who played the Wicked Witch of the West).

6. Freaks

This is about a trapeze performer who marries the leader of the carnival sideshow his inheritance, which is a disturbing movie. Dwarf siblings Harry and Daisy Earles and conjoined twin sisters Daisy and Violet Hilton played the sideshow acts.

If you think this film is disgusting, you’ll be happy to know that it has been preserved by the United States National Film Registry since it is considered a classic.

7. The Funhouse

The Funhouse

Similarly, Tobe Hooper, who earlier directed The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, made The Funhouse in 1981. Four teenagers are trapped on a carnival ride with a killer in this film’s narrative… What a great idea!

It’s worth noting that this was also released under the title Carnival of Terror, and Dean Koontz wrote the novel version as well.

8. Water For Elephants

Water for Elephants, a cinematic adaptation of the novel of the same name, was released in 2011. As the ringmaster’s wife, played by Reese Witherspoon, and Jacob Jankowski, played by Robert Pattinson, this love story about a guy who joins a traveling circus falls in love.

The 1930s setting, the animals, the romance… In addition to reading and watching, there is a lot to see and do in this area!

9. Dumbo


This, of course, is Dumbo, Disney’s fourth animated feature film, released in 1941. Dumbo, an elephant with large ears, is the star of the show, as he learns and then helps to give a nice lesson.

Live-action versions of this narrative were also released in 2019, with Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito and Eva Green starring in the latter. Because of this, there are now two versions of this enchanting film to watch and enjoy!