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I’m trying to remember a movie that was circus based where I think animals were turned into people.

They couldn’t leave as they would die. The ringmaster did it with magic eye things(?)

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    Can you describe some more detail? Maybe add in when you saw the film? Whether it had a cinematic release? What language it was in? Any possible actors? – Edlothiad Apr 19 at 10:37
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    Seen within the last 5 years I think. Quite a dark movie I’m pretty sure kids saw it at the movies but they are older so not a little kid movie. English – Helen Cole Apr 19 at 10:40
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    And did he turn people into animals, as per the title, or animals into people as per the text? – FuzzyBoots Apr 19 at 13:48
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You might be thinking of We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story. There are some time-traveling dinosaurs who manage to befriend a pair of children. These children, a boy and a girl, fall into the clutches of one Dr. Screweyes, who runs a creepy circus, and turns them into chimpanzees (y'know, for evil!).

Does this image jog your memory at all? enter image description here

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    This sounds like a good match. Doesn't Dr. Screweyes have an evil eye too that he hypnotizes his victims with before he transforms them with pills. – Bjorn Eriksson Apr 19 at 17:23
  • I think so, but this movie traumatized me badly as a child, and googling images makes me feel slightly ill. – Adele C Apr 20 at 4:01
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It might be the movie Animal Crackers (2017)

It takes place at a circus and some of the performers are humans transformed to animals. They can leave the circus, but they need to eat a human biscuit from the box that transformed them or they remain animals forever. The magic is not performed with a magic eye but with magic animal-shaped biscuits. Otherwise it seems to be a match.

Some main characters with the magic biscuits

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I know I'm a bit late to the party, but I too was looking for this same info. I didn't find it at the time when I first read this post but today, I believe, I've found what we are looking for. It's the last two episodes of the first season of Creeped Out on Netflix. The episodes are called Side Show: Part 1 and Part 2. Does the main character looking to get away happen to be a dog?

A circus ringmaster, Zephaniah, introduces his star acts. Palooka, Nincom and Hijinx are clowns; Gudge and Puck are twin high-divers; Kid Herc is a strongman; and the rarest of them all is 'Ace, the Amazing Aromarologist'. Using only his sense of smell, Ace makes a series of guesses about members of the audience; to their surprise and delight, he turns out to be correct about everything.

....

The next day, Ace gives a lacklustre performance, making inaccurate guesses. Meanwhile, Indigo breaks into Zephaniah's trailer. As she is studying a series of glass eyes and marbles in an intricate case, he catches her. He admits that she and the others have been given false memories and tells her this power is held in a special charm – the glass eye he wears. She threatens to tell the others, but when he waves the eye in front of her face, she loses the ability to speak.

.....

Small lights begin to fly towards each of the circus performers, and their true forms are revealed: they are all animals. Gudge and Puck are penguins, Kid Herc is a bear and the clowns are monkeys; the latter drag Zephaniah away. Indigo is revealed to be a hummingbird.

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    This looks like the start of a good answer. Can you flesh it out a bit more? Maybe an image from the episode, or some details about the ringmaster's powers to line up with the question? – Jontia Oct 5 at 5:18

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