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Parents Guide

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MPAA Rated PG for thematic elements including a brawl

Sex & Nudity

  • Some female characters in skimpy costumes.
  • A married man finds himself in a newspaper scandal when a woman who is not his wife kisses him unexpectedly on stage. (She made advances on him before this, which he always rejected.)
  • The bearded lady has a large bust and cleavage that is on display a bit, sometimes while dancing-it is noticeable, but not sexual or gratuitous.
  • The trapeze woman wears daisy-dukes at one point and a few brief scenes show this off, but it is not sexual and isn't gratuitous.
  • A few kiss between a man and his wife
  • Phillip and Anne (the mixed-race couple mentioned above) sing a song that includes some lyrics that are mildly suggestive: "You know I want you/ ... I know you want me/ ... But I can't have you."
  • We see the pair swing together, intertwined, on the end of a rope.
  • After a fall, Anne rolls on top of Phillip.
  • They briefly hold hands and kiss in two scenes.
  • Likewise, P.T. Barnum repeatedly kisses his wife, Charity.
  • Another female character tries to seduce Barnum, but he declines her advances.
  • Later, she kisses him unexpectedly onstage, resulting in a scandal.
  • Women in the circus crew often wear tight, burlesque outfits (lace and garter belt stockings) that reveal their upper thighs and cleavage.
  • There's not sex. Some kisses. It's a movie for kids.

Violence & Gore

  • Circus protesters and performers fight each other in a brief brawl.
  • A man is injured in a fire and does show some slight burn scars.
  • A man slaps young Barnum 's cheek.
  • Young P.T. Barnum is slapped, pushed and hit.
  • Two circus members brawl with unruly men who are shouting names at them.
  • We also see a fire (that's set on purpose), as well as several characters bravely trying to rescue others from it.


  • A few uses of "damn" during the song "The Other Side"
  • We hear the word "d--n" in two songs.
  • As mentioned, circus members are repeatedly derided as "freaks."

Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking

  • Social drinking and smoking throughout.
  • One entire musical number is centered around excessive drinking. It is done in a comical style but may make some wince at the profusion of shots downed in a short period of time.
  • Characters (including Barnum) down beer, champagne and shots of hard liquor.
  • In one particular scene, Barnum and another character knock back enough shots to seemingly raise their blood alcohol level well beyond legal or safe limits.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • Many of the elements of the film, including mean-spirited protestors, the looks of the people in Barnum's show, and the unsettling atmosphere, can be slightly frightening, but the film is quite tame overall.


The Parents Guide items below may give away important plot points.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • The circus theater catches fire and burns down.

See also

Taglines | Plot Summary | Synopsis | Plot Keywords

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