Canada Far and Wide: Canada’s Best CircleVision Movie Yet

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The new film for Canada’s CircleVision 360 theater, Canada Far and Wide, debuts today, January 17, 2020.

This is the third CircleVision 360 film to showcase Canada’s nature, people, and cities.  The first, O Canada!,  ran from 1982 to 2007. O Canada’s fantastic imagery and catchy song undoubtedly inspired throngs of people to visit. If the original film had a fault, it was that its tone may have been too reverent for modern audiences.

The second version of O Canada! debuted in 2007 with comedian Martin Short as an on-screen narrator.  This revision included new show scenes, and more importantly, humor, with jokes ranging from igloos and penguins, to Martin Short marveling that his supposedly old family movies were coincidentally filmed in CircleVision.  And like the original, the updated O Canada! did a beautiful job of showing off the country and promoting tourism.

The new film, Canada Far and Wide, is the best version yet.  It combines all of the visual majesty that you’d want in a 360-degree film, with a faster, modern script that works its way from one end of the country to the other.  Like the previous films, Montreal, Quebec, Calgary, and Vancouver get their own segments (some of which are re-used from the previous films).  Far and Wide has additional clips of Canada’s capital, Ottawa, and specifically mentions Canada’s three territories – the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut – and highlights their indigenous peoples and cultures.

The subject of people and culture is one of which Canadians are rightfully proud, and it comes up in the first few seconds of Far and Wide, in this bit of script:

Canada has remained a cultural mosaic, a place where you can keep and nurture your language and traditions, while embracing the future.

(The script doesn’t mention that Canada’s points-based immigration system favors young, employed, college-educated emigres already fluent in English or French.)  We don’t speak Canadian, so when we translated this to American, it read as either a fact-based statement about Canada’s national values, or the most Canadian way of drawing a subtle distinction between it and its neighbor to the south.

If you think it’s the latter, then that’s exactly what it did: when discussing Far and Wide with a friend who’d also seen it, we debated the relative merits of Canada’s formal points-based system and integration into society, versus the United States’ arguably more open policy that seems to produce more than its share of “Go back to where you came from” sentiment later on.  If Epcot is still dedicated to “entertain, inform, and inspire … man’s ability to shape a world that offers hope to people everywhere”, then this little slice of World Showcase does its job to perfection.

Canada Far and Wide closes with the original movie’s classic song Canada (You’re a Lifetime Journey), performed by Eva Avilla.  The only better way to end this film would be if the gift shop had direct flights to Chicoutimi.

Running time: About 11 minutes

Canada Far and Wide  ***1/2 stars

Len Testa

Len Testa is the co-author of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, and has contributed to the Disneyland and Las Vegas Unofficial Guides. Most of his time is spent trying to keep up with the team. Len's email address is len@touringplans.com. You can also follow him on Twitter: @lentesta.

6 thoughts on “Canada Far and Wide: Canada’s Best CircleVision Movie Yet

  • January 17, 2020 at 6:27 pm
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    I’m going to imagine that the second and third to last paragraphs don’t really exist so that I can enjoy your review as much as I think I’ll enjoy Canada Far and Wide.

    Reply
  • January 17, 2020 at 8:11 pm
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    Really?! As a Canadian from New Brunswick… a large number of our immigrants are Syrian, whom are just learning English. How rude! I’ve never been disappointed in a TP review as I am in this one.

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  • January 17, 2020 at 9:05 pm
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    So. You want to tell me that Canada has a less open immigration policy than the US? I would think again. I study Law (more specifically immigration law), it is easier to obtain refugee status here, it is easier for an immigrant to have a life here. So I recommend you check your facts, and re-evaluate your outlook on immigration.

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  • January 17, 2020 at 9:08 pm
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    You also put the link to ONE of our immigration programs, you do realize that that’s a VERY small part of our immigration? That is the exact same as someone judging the US Marine Corps based on one small battle they lost. Very disappointed in this “review”.

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  • January 18, 2020 at 10:01 am
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    Well, this review left me, as a Canadian, feeling weird…. if that line in the film can make even an educated, calm, well-travelled person like Len feel defensive about his own country because of a perceived slight, perhaps they should remove it.

    Reply
  • January 18, 2020 at 10:47 am
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    What is wrong with you and who at Touring Plans is still paying you? Madness. Go play on Twitter if you want to lecture people.

    Reply

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