The Flight Fantastic

Watch The Flight Fantastic

  • 2016
  • 1 hr 32 min
  • 8.4  (8)
  • 66

The Flight Fantastic is a 2015 biographical documentary film that delves into the fascinating story of the Gaonas, a family of Mexican trapeze artists who have been flying high through the air since the early 20th century. The film, directed by Tom Moore, chronicles the family's journey through the ups and downs of their life, from their humble beginnings as cotton pickers in Texas to their name becoming synonymous with the trapeze.

The story centers around Tito Gaona, a legendary trapeze artist who served as the inspiration for the character of the same name in the acclaimed movie Catch Me If You Can. Tito's start in life was difficult, as he was born into poverty and lived as a migrant farmer in Texas before he began performing in a traveling circus. From there, he went on to join Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, where he worked alongside his brothers Armando and Richie.

Throughout the film, viewers get an intimate look at the Gaona family's awe-inspiring feats on the trapeze, which often involved performing without a net. The film shows footage of their truly breathtaking stunts, such as the incredible seven-person pyramid, which soon became their signature act. It's hard not to feel the adrenaline rush alongside them as they execute their daring tricks high above the ground, twisting and turning with perfect precision.

Beyond the awe-inspiring stunts, the film also details the struggles that the Gaonas faced behind the scenes. Between the challenges of traveling constantly and the physical toll that their work took on their bodies, the family members had to overcome countless obstacles to keep their dreams alive. The documentary does an excellent job of humanizing these fearless performers, showcasing their fears and vulnerabilities alongside their incredible talent.

One of the most striking threads throughout the film is the way that the Gaonas' story reflects the larger history of Mexican-Americans in the United States. The family's journey is emblematic of the struggles of many Mexican-Americans who came to the U.S. seeking a better future, only to face discrimination and hardship. By overcoming these obstacles and becoming one of the most successful acts in the circus world, the Gaonas served as trailblazers for generations to come.

The documentary also sheds light on the incredible bond that the family members share with one another. Despite the often-dangerous nature of their work, the Gaonas remained fiercely loyal to each other, relying on their trust and communication to execute their death-defying stunts. As Ritchie Gaona once said, "There's a bond between us. We've got to be together."

Overall, The Flight Fantastic is a compelling look at the lives of some of the most talented performers in the world. By weaving together stunning performance footage, intimate interviews, and historical context, the film provides a nuanced and insightful portrait of the Gaona family's legacy. Even those who have never set foot in a circus tent will find themselves inspired by the Gaonas' passion for their craft, their fearlessness in the face of danger, and their unbreakable bond with one another.

The Flight Fantastic is a 2016 history movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 32 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.4 and a MetaScore of 66.

Where to Watch The Flight Fantastic
The Flight Fantastic is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and YouTube VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent The Flight Fantastic for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 32 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    8.4  (8)
  • Metascore