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Film / The Butterfly Circus

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The Butterfly Circus is an inspirational short film released in 2009, written by Joshua Weigel and Rebekah Weigel, and directed by Joshua Weigel.

At the height of the Great Depression, the showman of a renowned circus leads his troupe through the devastated American landscape, lifting the spirits of audiences along the way. During their travels they discover a man without limbs at a carnival sideshow. However, after an intriguing encounter with the showman he becomes driven to hope against everything he has ever believed.


This film includes examples of the following:

  • Badass Mustache: Mr. Méndez has a big mustache over his otherwise-stubbly beard.
  • Circus Brat: Sammy.
  • Come to Gawk: Will is early in a circus that exhibits him as funny for his lack of limbs.
  • Evil Counterpart: Mr. Méndez and the other ringmaster are both ringmasters, but while Mr. Mendez exposes the skills of his people, the other ringmaster humiliates them for their flaws.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: Mr. Méndez starts insulting Will and then tells Will that is what he [Will] thinks about himself.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Anna's backstory.
  • Kids Are Cruel: The kids at the freak show throw tomatoes at Will.
  • Produce Pelting: Apparently Will has been the target of tomatoes in his exhibitions, since two children are seen throwing tomatoes at him.
  • Repulsive Ringmaster: The ringmaster of the first circus exhibits people in wrong conditions to humiliate them. He leaves Will, the man without limbs.
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  • Spiteful Spit: Will spits Mr. Mendez despite being the first man to treat him with some decency.
  • True Companions: Mr. Méndez's troupe is basically a family. Mr. Méndez clearly cares for them.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Mr. Mendez prevents the children from dropping tomatoes to Will and even calls Will magnificent, but Will spits at him. To be fair, being mistreated for so long wouldn't make you the kindest man on Earth.

Example of: