''Creator/CirqueDuSoleil: Journey of Man'' is an IMAX 3D short (39 minutes) from 2000.

The story is an allegory: an {{Everyman}} narrating (via the voice of Sir Ian [=McKellen=]; the character is played onscreen by a succession of Cirque performers) the journey he made through the stages of life, represented by an assortment of acts from Cirque's live shows filmed in mostly RealLife locations. As a child, he is guided into the wild, wide world by two "[[Main/NonIronicClown Flounes]]" who serve as his instincts; as he becomes an adolescent, he leaves them in the dust to explore the world and seek fulfillment. Alas, as a young man his quest is led astray by the mistaken belief that love -- his great desire -- can be achieved through material gain; as a middle-aged man he is rich and well-read but cold and aloof. He must come full circle as a person and regain his ability to love and connect with others.

The film divides easily into "acts" based on this premise; they are:

* Gestation - Taiko drums, ''Theatre/{{Mystere}}''
* Birth/Infant - Underwater ballet, ''Theatre/{{O}}''
* Child - Bungee trapeze, ''Mystere''
* Youth [adolescent] - Aerial cube, ''Mystere''
* Young Man - Statue [hand-to-hand], ''Theatre/{{Quidam}}''
* [Middle-Aged] Man - Banquine, ''Quidam''

The film ran for several years in [=IMAX=] venues around the world, and is available on [=DVD=].

!!This short film contains examples of:
* BookEnds: A blue and yellow aurora borealis illuminating a starry sky.[[note]]Blue and yellow are Cirque du Soleil's signature colors.[[/note]]
* BreakingTheFourthWall: The Narrator looks out at and addresses the audience directly for the film's closing line.
* DealWithTheDevil: The Young Man wants love badly enough to be willing to make this; a demon (represented by a stilt-walker who, in ''Mystere'', is actually named "Mephisto") arrives as soon as he thinks so, and gives him the wealth and power he thinks will buy love for him via the golden hat that replaces the old one that's just blown away. Alas, TheDarkSideWillMakeYouForget, and while he doesn't become outright evil he ages into a man who thinks he has everything he wanted...and yet has no one to love or be loved by, because power, wealth, and knowledge became ends in themselves instead of means.
* DramaticThunder: Played straight when the Young Man chooses the wrong path to happiness and the demon arrives. The skies darken, lightning flashes and thunder peals, and his hat is swept away by the wind.
* EmpathyDollShot: When the Child decides to pursue his destiny and lets the bungee "birds" carry him away, the teddy bear he intended to take with him falls to Earth. The Flounes take it with them as they try to catch up. [[spoiler: When they are finally reunited with him -- when he is an Old Man -- they still have it. *sniff*]]
* TheEveryman: Our hero.
* EverythingsBetterWithSpinning: Aerial cube.
* EvilLaugh: The demon has one.
* FountainOfYouth: Played with. He becomes "young again" when he accepts the old hat, [[spoiler: but ''physically'' ages into an Old Man]].
* TheFourLoves: Explored.
** Storge: The Flounes serve as The Child's first friends, parental figures, and constant companions. Unfortunately, as he becomes an Adolescent, he leaves them behind. [[spoiler: They return at the end, when he achieves Agape.]]
** Eros: The Young Man realizes he wants to be loved via witnessing the statue act (performed by a man and a woman), triggering his DealWithTheDevil. The deal leads him away from ''all'' love, however...
** Phileo: The Middle-aged Man is reminded of what he left behind when the Vagabond Girl offers friendship (and his old hat) to him, and the banquine performers are a demonstration of friendship's strength and power. Reaching an epiphany...
** Agape: He becomes a man with an unconditionally loving heart.
* FriendToAllChildren: The protagonist, in the end. It turns out that he's recounting his experiences to some of them ([[BreakingTheFourthWall as well as the audience]]) as they prepare to embark on their own journies.
* GrowingUpSucks: Zig-zagged. The protagonist is excited as he matures from Child to Youth to Young Man, as he becomes independent and able to shape his destiny...but he leaves his faithful guardians behind in the process, and eventually his adult longing for love leads to him becoming a chilly Middle-Aged Man who has no joy, wonder, or friends. In the end, he chooses to embrace his childhood ideals once more [[spoiler: and thus reaches true maturity, becoming a loving Old Man who can guide others]]. Growing up doesn't suck...but one has to know what growing up truly means, namely learning and growing into an independent person without abandoning all ideals and connections with others.
* LivingStatue: The hand-to-hand performers are playing this.
* LonelyAtTheTop: The Middle-Aged Man denies that he feels this way, but his memories and regrets nag at him...
* LoveRedeems: See ThePowerOfLove below.
* ManInWhite: The Infant is clad in a white bodysuit (the same outfit that the Child in ''Saltimbanco'' wears).
* MatchCut: The transition from the Young Man in the garden to the Middle-Aged Man in his grand foyer is accomplished this way. We go from a LivingStatue on a lily pad to a lifeless replica of it in an alcove.
* NamelessNarrative: No characters have proper names, mostly because there isn't any real-world language dialogue between them.
* NiceHat: The hero's plain black bowler. The golden one is not so nice.
* NostalgicNarrator
* OvernightAgeUp: This effects the transformation of [[spoiler: the Middle-Aged Man into the Old Man]], with the twist that [[spoiler: he doesn't feel old, as love redeeming him also gives him back his youthful spirit]].
* PaddleballShot: While the [=IMAX=] 3D format is used primarily to give the film a look and feel of grandeur and envelopment, there are toss-things-in-the-viewer's face shots too: the first sight of a bungee "bird" is shot from the hero's POV as it descends to within inches of his/the viewer's face, for instance.
* PanUpToTheSkyEnding: The final shot takes place just as the sun is beginning to rise; panning up to the remains of the clear, starry night sky, the drifting blue and yellow aurora borealis seen at the start of the film appears again up there -- symbolizing both a happy ending (the protagonist has found personal fulfillment...) and a happy beginning (...and will now guide others towards their own destinies).
* ThePowerOfLove: It is altruistic love, born of respect and compassion for others, that brings the protagonist around and is declared the greatest of the three keys to fulfilling life's journey.
* RewrittenPopVersion: The end credits music, taken from an act in ''"O"'', is in [[Main/SingingSimlish Simlish]]; the pop version that appeared on the soundtrack album replaced this with newly-written English lyrics.
* SameLanguageDub: For the closing scenes that have the protagonist actually speaking onscreen, the performer playing him has his voice dubbed over with Ian [=McKellen=]'s (down to the gasps of delight when [[spoiler: he's reunited with the Flounes]]). The filmmakers were able to get away with this because [=McKellen=] wasn't yet a household name when it was made -- the first ''[[Film/XMen1 X-Men]]'' movie opened a few months after this hit theaters -- so most viewers wouldn't have realized this trope was in effect.
* SceneryPorn: Creator/CirqueDuSoleil + scenes shot primarily on location rather than in a studio (save for the opening segment in the cave) + [=IMAX=] + [=3D=] = this.
* ShooOutTheClowns: The Flounes literally vanish into thin air after the aerial cube segment, representing TheEveryman starting to forget his roots. [[spoiler: They return at the end.]]
%% * ShortFilm
* SilenceIsGolden: There's no English dialogue -- just linking narration that transitions into a monologue in the final scene.
* SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids: The Young Man believes he has to leave his childhood dreams and wonder behind if he wants love and happiness, not realizing that the former work in tandem with the latter.
* SingingSimlish: The film's soundtrack, though as noted above the CD included an English-language version of one song.
* SpeakingSimlish: The Flounes.
* StockAesops: A few ambition-related ones work in tandem here. Happiness, adventure, and love are worth having and achieving -- the bigger, the better -- but if you try to do so via material things and/or cynicism, you'll be left lonely. You can only be truly fulfilled in life when you hang on to your childhood instincts and ideals (as the movie puts it, "Dreams, faith, and love").
%% * ThreeDMovie
* VanillaEdition: The [=DVD=] and Blu-Ray editions; even though the film had two trailers and a promotional short -- the latter appeared on the [=VHS=] release! -- they're never included on disc despite ''tons'' of available space, owing to the film's brevity.
* TheWorldIsJustAwesome: The Youth's flight over the desert canyons, shot from his [=POV=] and filling over a minute-and-a-half of screen time, is the most obvious example. The Child and the Flounes exploring the forest also counts, especially with the odd creatures (''Mystere'' characters) roaming about.
* YouAreNotAlone: The Vagabond Girl comes to return the old hat to the Middle-Aged Man, representing the niggling doubts he has; she and the banquine performers remind him of What True Happiness Is.