The Red Balloon
In this deceptively simple, nearly wordless tale, a young boy discovers a stray balloon, which seems to have a mind of its own, on the streets of Paris. The two become inseparable, yet the world’s harsh realities finally interfere. With its glorious palette and allegorical purity, the Academy Award–winning The Red Balloon has enchanted movie lovers, young and old, for generations.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
A film that transcends beauty. Albert Lamorisse's classic tale of innocence was made in the 50s, but it possesses a breathtaking visual quality that is equal, if not better, than anything that comes out today. Simply following a young boy and his red balloon and they travel throughout Paris. The boy is played by Lamorisse's son Pascal and his daughter Sabine also appears. It is so simplistic, showing Pascal and the balloon wandering the city like lost orphans, briefly attending school where they get into trouble, exploring street-side art galleries, escaping church, avoiding an army of bullies, and, most importantly, simply indulging in the natural wonders of life. Lamorisse's exuberantly brings the balloon to life with all the characteristics and personality of a young child like Pascal, a glorious embracing of innocence with a touch of tragic honesty and a final dash of fantastic purity.
The Good: The concept. The themes. The cinematography. The special effects. The musical score. The editing. The magic. Everything about it is sheer perfection. Endlessly watchable.
The Bad: None.
The Bottom Line: A simple, timeless masterpiece, The Red Balloon is the closest thing to a perfect film that I've ever seen. Essential viewing.
So utterly charming, whimsical and simple in the most wonderful of ways. Some luscious cinematography of the winding French streets is only the tip of the iceberg; Lamorisse creates a fully-functioning and heartfelt character from a piece of rubber on a string with helium in it.
And if that is something we can't applaud, then I don't know what we can.
I love how this little charmer changes pace several times throughout it's short running time. It starts out sweet, with the young boy finding the balloon and walking around Paris with it. Then, it turns into a comedy, when the balloon gets a will of its own, to gradually go over into a chase movie of sorts, as the other jealous kids want his balloon. And then we get that warm, fuzzy ending. Loved it!
I don't think I would have watched this film, if it wasn't for Letterboxd and the poster for the film. I found the poster to be very interesting, which features a bland looking world as a un-focused backdrop, but with a boy and his red balloon.
Directed by Albert Lamorisse, there are barely any lines that are spoken in The Red Balloon, but yet conveys many emotions in such short time. Another film that shows cinema at its best as a art form. The visual aesthetic are fantastic and made me want to pause at every single shot. I was always astounded by how they made the balloon do what it does in the short film.
The film's biggest quality…
This film has near universal acclaim, and is probably one of the most beloved short films of all time. It is a cute story of a boy and his friend, who is a red balloon. The cinematography is fantastic, and its a sweet story, but I was also bored. It got repetitive, and I had a hard time keeping my attention on it. It's a nice story, and I can see why people connect to it so much, it just didn't do all that much for me.
Obra mestra. 34 minuts sensacionals, plens de màgia i inolvidables d'amistat entre un nen i un globus vermell.
My only complaint is the main kid looks like he needs to poop whenever he's running.
Simply a classic. This film says so much in just 30 minutes, it's quite remarkable. A must see for everyone.
Simple, beautiful and charming.
Such a cute and merry feelgood film about a rather snappy balloon. Who thought such a simple object could become an interesting character?
Lovely setting of Paris in different, pretty colors.
More of a cute movie than a great one, but really fun to watch nonetheless. It has a nice light message and some beautiful photography in the streets of paris, reminiscent of The 400 Blows, a film released 3 years later.
What a wondrous fantasy this is! I've seen The Red Balloon countless times before, and it not only holds up every single time, but improves with age.
Director Albert Lamorisse creates a simple, original, and intelligent fable about the relationship a young boy develops when he finds a stray Red Balloon on the quiet streets of Paris. It's a dreary world that lacks color, and the boy is soon hopelessly attached to the Balloon. Indeed, even when he tries to walk away from it, the Balloon follows him! The world, in its many forms, eventually sets out to separate this boy from his friend, his dream, whatever you may see in the Balloon...
Lamorisse went on to win an Academy Award and a Cannes award for this short film, which I would say is just the start of the praise it deserves.
My favorite short film, to be sure.