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Der rote Ballon (1956) HD online

Der rote Ballon (1956) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Short / Comedy / Drama / Family / Fantasy
Original Title: Le ballon rouge
Director: Albert Lamorisse
Writers: Albert Lamorisse
Released: 1956
Duration: 34min
Video type: Movie
A boy makes friends with a seemingly sentient balloon, and it begins to follow him. It follows the boy to school, to the bus, and to church. Boy and balloon play together in the streets of Paris and try to elude a gang of boys that wants to destroy the balloon.


Credited cast:
Pascal Lamorisse Pascal Lamorisse - Pascal - le petit garçon
Georges Sellier Georges Sellier - Le marchand
Vladimir Popov Vladimir Popov - Un locataire
Paul Perey Paul Perey
Sabine Lamorisse Sabine Lamorisse - La petite fille au ballon bleu
Michel Pezin Michel Pezin
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Renée Marion Renée Marion - La mère de Pascal

With its Oscar win for Best Original Screenplay, the film is (as of 2018) the only short film to win an Academy Award outside of the short film categories.

This film had one of the largest non-theatrical runs in the history of American cinema. Thousands of 16-millimeter prints were distributed to schools across the country.

The film won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, even though it has little dialogue.

Actress Alfre Woodard designated "The Red Balloon" as her favorite film in an AFI poll.

This film had its American network television premiere as a special episode of General Electric Theater (1953) on CBS in 1961. However, it was broadcast in black and white.

Awards: Best Foreign Film (Mexico, 1958). * Gold Medal (Tokyo, 1958)

First film of singer Renaud, aged three.

This film short won the Best Writing, Original Screenplay Oscar for its only Academy Award nomination. It is the shortest film to win a major Academy Award.

Reviews: [25]

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    THE RED BALLOON rescued by a small Parisian lad will transform his life in unbelievable ways.

    This is a marvelous film, full of love & hope, searing sorrow & overwhelming joy. It is also a classic example of what can be done in a very limited time frame, with a compelling story and genius behind the camera.

    The special effects are still entrancing, with wonderful editing & camerawork which turns the byways & alleys of old Paris into the canvas on which this fantasy is painted.

    Director Albert Lamorisse's young son, Pascal, is the very fortunate star of this urban fairy tale.

    If the tribulations & persecutions of the Red Balloon appear to be a type of Epiphany, that is probably no coincidence.
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    The RED BALLOON was introduced to me in elementary school when I was in the third grade. I have vivid memories of the mother putting the balloon out of the window and it stayed near-by, of the boys breaking the balloon and of the "rescue" of the boy by the balloons of Paris. Even after 35 years I remember it with fondness.

    I work for a school district and was excited to find a VHS copy of the film at the media center. I immediately checked it out to share with my students. Watching it again after all these years was like going back in time it filled my with awe and wonder. With the added bonus of seeing these third graders respond to it the same way I did all those years ago.

    I would recommend this film to elementary classroom teachers as a stepping-off to teach story-telling and to mid-school and high-school teachers teaching film. It is a wonderful classic that shows that the simplest story can have great impact when told with care and love.
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    I add to my commentary that the only place in the world the DVD of this film is available is the USA ( as of September 12 2005). The quality of this pressing and the colours leave to be desired .. they are rather washed out and with plenty of clicks and pops. The DVD is NOT region coded and will work on any machine accepting the NTSC color system. It is therefore better than nothing and will partly satisfy those who have been waiting for years to see this film again !

    This truly magical and picturesque film is the colour record of the Belleville area of Paris which was razed to the ground during the late 1960's and left as waste land for 20 years.

    Ninety-five percent of what you see in the film exists no more, the bakeries, the famous Y-shaped staircase situated just beyond the equally famous café "Au Repos de la Montagne" , the long-gone steep steps of the rue Vilin where Pascal finds the balloon initially etc, the waste ground where all the battles took place. All this has gone for ever, disappeared into another dimension, and has been replaced by a featureless modern-day park surrounded by ugly high-rise blocks built in the seventies and where it is not always safe to walk alone - the kids there certainly aren't running about after balloons these days, they're more interested in throwing stones at passers-by ! I personally visited recently on several occasions the site of where this was filmed and couldn't believe my eyes - it was like two different worlds !

    One or two shots are taken in Montmartre and there is a brief glimpse of the Seine but be advised that the quasi-totality of the film was shot in Belleville and the adjacent "quartier des Pyrenees". Only the large church ( Notre-Dame de la Croix, between the Place Maurice Chevalier and the Place de Ménilmontant ) remains today, dwarfed by the high rise blocks I mentioned earlier. Only when you look to the top flats of the houses in the rue des Envierges and the sky beyond, can you maintain the illusion that time has stood still ! The opening scene in the film where Pascal is just about to go down the staircase cannot be reproduced today - both the bakery to his left - and the "Maison du Meunier" to his right (as well as the staircase) have been completely demolished !

    Picture quality in the film is excellent and the weather seems to have been quite fine when they made it though I hasted to add that the recent DVD does not render justice to this.

    The little boy in the film, Pascal Lamorisse, is the son of the director (Albert Lamorisse ). I wonder what has become of him. We here nothing of him today.........

    The film unfortunately seems more well-known abroad than in France itself, where it would appear to have fallen into total oblivion, no doubt one day some bright spark will have it remastered and cleaned up and put on to a good quality DVD for future generations of children and adults alike.
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    I wonder, is there any other 30 minute short produced in the history of film that is more enchanting and moving than "Le Ballon rouge"?

    The vivid colors and the wonderful use of Paris scenery is only part of the experience, another large part is the touching performance by the director's six year old son Pascal in the lead (how lucky he didn't fall and break his neck in that opening scene where he finds the balloon!). The look on his face in the final scene is every bit as heartbreaking as that of Jackie Coogan in Chaplin's legendary "The Kid". The whole movie is reminiscent of the best Chaplin had to offer, mixed with a little Jacques Tati and a touch of storybook fantasy. On the basis of only *one* *short* film Albert Lamorisse will forever see his name in gold print in the annals of movie history, which is quite an achievement!

    It will tear your heart with joy, fascination, sorrow and spellbind you with jubilation in just 30 minutes! A true classic, well deserving of it's screenplay Oscar, only a demon could be cold enough in his heart to dislike it!

    Now pleeeaaase; release it on DVD!
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    Le Ballon Rouge is a masterpiece in Short Film making. It tells the story of the day of a life of a parisian boy who finds a red balloon on his way to school. Or rather it finds him. Everybody, it seems is rather keen to see the boy get rid of the balloon. He arrives at school and is not allowed to bring the balloon in with him. He lets it go and it flies off, only to be waiting for him at the end of the day, hovering outside in the school yard. Further adventures ensue throughout the day culminating in a spectacular ending for the boy. It is wonderfully directed by Albert Lamorisse. This fantasy is elegant in direction and editing on the screen. The acting is understated and quite delightful. It has always been my favourite of all Short Films. I wonder if it exists as a theatrical print. I've only ever seen it on TV. I'd love to see it projected.
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    This film is one of my all-time favorites. I consider it a masterpiece, and an emotionally moving experience. As an allegory on the power of love and friendship, it is unsurpassed. Yet one senses deeper, more profound meanings with the balloon as a symbol of the spirit and resilience of life itself, being able to mutate and regenerate itself in an endless flow of passion.
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    Wow, I thought of this film recently and remember it fondly. So, I looked it up on IMDb, hoping that this hadn't been a dream, and that it really existed. I wish I could see this film again today.

    A little boy is chosen by a red balloon, which colours his otherwise dreary, grey days. I was shown this film in class in kindergarten (late '70s) and again in grade school, I believe. When I first saw it, it was with a rather existential, perhaps detached, view of it. Not much reaction, really. I didn't quite know what to make of it. Fortunately, I didn't rely on a little gang of pals to tell me what to think about it. I had never seen anything like it. It struck me that it was foreign. I liked that about it. The foreignness intrigued me, also the fact that it was old. It always impressed me how kids wore little grown-up shoes in '50s Europe. The quietness of the little boy, Pascal, also had a profound impact on me. I never understood the need for us kids in the U.S. to constantly yak about endless bull**** in order to feel secure. We never enjoy the silence. This carries on into adulthood. There's meaningless small talk, endless jibber jabber, all in an effort to hide, behind voluminous verbiage, our true sensitive selves from the big bad world. There's an existentialist problem for you. If there are any xenophobic misgivings against "the French," it's because they've long faced the human condition in a way that we as "Americans" are far too infantile as a culture to do; and, at this point, far too stunted with cultural arrested development to ever hope to do so.

    I suppose the cruel little boys in the film symbolised the barbaric/insensitive "American" sensibility which I had grown used to. And the story the film conveys through such brilliant, yet simple, symbolism illumines such a range of themes—from xenophobia, alienation, solitude and introspection to friendship, loyalty and sacrifice. Simply brilliant. This film probably taught me more than a handful of my first years of schooling combined. By the time I saw this film the second time my eyes were filled with wonder and, toward the end of the film, welled over with tears.
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    With the little grey cells thinner on the ground nowadays, music recall has sadly become a casualty. Asking me to hum a bit of Mozart from memory (I love Mozart) will draw a blank most days. What price then that the gentle melody that accompanies this lovely film came easily back to me over forty years as I read through the postings. It surprised me that no one has highlighted the film's music; for me it eased the belief that a child's balloon trailing a piece of string could display intelligence, devotion, a sense of humour, and then great pathos in its dying. Of course, if this was acting, it was great acting, and how good to hear that the film has resurfaced. I shall continue to watch the listings until it make it onto terrestrial TV, and the get-together will not disappoint. I know this. When I hummed the theme tune through, tears came to my eyes.
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    This is one of the first films I remember seeing. My grandfather was kind enough to record it off of television for me when I was only one or two years old. I remember enjoying it alot as a very young child and I enjoy this film just as much, if not even more, today. I can appreciate the story more, now that I'm older. It is one of the truly best short films ever made, right up there with the best of Chaplin and other great short-film makers.
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    I can't recall where I first saw this film I only remember that I was very young and that it left a lasting impression on me. It was some 20 years later that I saw it again only for the second time and it brought back such fond memories. For me this movie is magical and brings out feelings of love, sadness and finally one of sear joy. I feel this is a movie for all ages and is a timeless classic. I've seen many movies over the years and for a movie to stay with you like this one has for me says something. Sadly I have had a hard time trying to find this movie in video stores and it rarely runs on TV which is unfortunate. But to the general public if you ever get the chance to see this classic by all means do.
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    Of those who have expressed their feelings about THE RED BALLOON, most have seen it with wonderous eyes through the vision of childhood. I first saw it theatrically when it played in Salt Lake. I would see it several more times in theatres over the years. Later, I acquired a Technicolor 16mm print of the film, which I will be showing to a group of families this evening as part of their New Year's Eve 2003 celebration. It will be interesting to see if the film's magic still works. For me, THE RED BALLOON is something of allegory. The little boy is like many of us in the world -- searching for meaning, friends, love. Into his life comes something very beautiful, something that brings him great delight and joy. The adults around him have no use or time for this intruder. The children are fascinated by it. When they can not posesse the balloon for themselves, they destroy it. The balloon resurrects itself and gathers in all the other balloons of Paris. They lift the boy and carry him off into a world not subject to hate and destruction and uncaring. In a way, the balloon is a Christ like figure that is rejected by mankind -- finally murdered -- and then resurrects. THE RED BALLOON is a beautiful film on whatever level a viewer cares to look at it. It remains one of those special, magical films that only comes along once in a great while!
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    Splendid short movie dealing with the fantasy world of children . A red balloon with a life of its own follows a little boy (Pascal Lamorisse , son of director Albert Lamorisse) around the streets of Paris . Balloon and young boy play together in the streets and slums of Paris and attempt to elude a band of boys that wants to explode the balloon .

    This timeless movie displays haunting and powerful scenes , it's plenty of frames which stay forever in the mind and there is almost no dialog spoken . The story is narrated with sensitivity and intelligence and is treated a simple adventure developed in great sense of ductility and fairness . In spite of runtime is short , this is a medium-length film, as the run is 35 minutes , it is entertaining , amusing and funny . The gentle humor developed in the film is clever and agreeable and dealing with fantastic as well as surrealist deeds . The plot is plain and simple though is only set in Parisian streets , it isn't dreary , neither boring but fun . Director tirelessly maintains the humorous ingenuity and including fantasy as when the balloon following the little boy around like a pet . Spectacular as well colorful finale when other balloons of various sizes and colors descend on the boy from all parts of Paris, and together they lift him into the sky and take him away over the horizon . Lively musical score is enjoyable and cheerful . The motion picture received awesome reviews and deserves the complete knowledge , acquiring an international reputation for its poetic quality ; receiving a grand prize at the Cannes Film Festival, and also winning an American Academy award. In fact , with its Oscar win for Best Original Screenplay, the film is the only short film to win an Academy award outside of the short film categories . The picture is nowadays considered to be an European cult film and it had one of the largest non-theatrical runs in the history of American cinema , as thousands of 16-millimeter prints were distributed to schools across the country.

    The motion picture was stunningly directed by Albert Mamorisse , he was born in Paris and was killed, at 58 , in a helicopter crash while shooting a documentary near Teheran . He was former photographer, he turned to directing short subjects in the late 40s, and 50s involving the childhood and fantastic events . His most successful movies were ¨Crin Blanc¨ (1953) also starred by his son Pascal Lamorisse and ¨The Red balloon¨ (1956) , the latter winning an Academy Award , as it won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, even though it has little dialogue . In the early 60s he turned to feature length films such as ¨Bim¨ and "Stowaway in the Sky" equally starred by his son Pascal , but with considerably less success, then retreated to documentary shorts . His last picture was ¨Le Vent Des Amoureux¨ (1978), a visually stunning helicopter tour of Iran, was later edited from his notes and was nominated for an Oscar as best feature documentary for the Academy award ceremonies of 1979.
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    There are three short films that I can recall watching when I was a child - 'The Telephone box', which was a very disturbing tale from Spain (apparently, I have since learnt, it was made for Spanish TV), a rather odd film about a world contained within a dandelion (and that is about all I can recall about it, I can not even remember its title), and 'The Red Balloon'.

    Of all these it is the Red Balloon that brings back the greatest memories of my own childhood. What appealed to me was the simplicity of it, just a little boy, about my own age when I first saw the film, befriended by a red balloon, which causes fun and chaos wherever they go! That is about it, and the ending, which is very sad! A few years ago my local cinema managed to obtain a crisp new print of the film, and I watched the film through the eyes of an adult. This gave me a new insight into the film, and now I realise that the film is not just about friendship, but also about dealing with the world at large, growing up, lost innocence etc. I think the reason why this wonderful little film has remained a favourite over the years is because of this, the fact that its simple narrative contains enough to relate so much more than the surface.

    It is my hope to see the film again in, say, 20/30 years time, ie when I am reaching the autumn of my life, and to see if the magic holds up through the eyes of an older man.
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    This film is one of the most beautiful films ever... Visually, the idea of having a red balloon fly through the gray-filled landscapes of the long-lost neighborhood of Belleville is such a magnificent visual element that it will make some viewers' lower jaw drop. The symbolic story, along with the elements into which it unfolds into a dramatic and lyric masterpiece, are as simple and therefore as stunning as the visual thematic of the film. I have seen this film again a few months ago, and was amazed at how well it ages. I presume it has to do with the fact that the film's central topic is the journey of this boy, his joys and sorrows, his hopes and disappointments, friendships and conflicts, or just his imaginary world. But I would also bet that the unmatched simplicity of the plot, the mesmerizing color tones of the film and the cinematography that deserves it are equally important in what makes it universal and a must-see for every child in the world.
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    I remember this short story when we watched it in the 2nd grade. I later happened to catch it on TV, while my parents were watching, a few years later. They thought it was great. How can I possibly remember this movie? Some movies touch you so well that they never leave you. It's the cutest story you'll ever see. There is no dialog in this charming little movie and all of the story is told through the visual very effectively. The red Balloon befriends this little boy. Where else can you have inanimate objects come to life and show personalities? Only cartoons and animations? The Red Balloon even shows interest in the opposite sex. One would only guess by the fact that it sees a girl with a pink balloon and thus follows. This movie should be seen for yourself in order to appreciate it. Everyone will love this movie. It's also a good date movie.
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    The late French filmmaker Albert Lamorisse made this classic, 1956 short work (34 min.) about a lonely little Parisian boy (Pascal Lamorisse) befriended by a large red balloon, which seems to have a will of its own. As with his preceding short, 1952's Crin-Blanc / White Mane, Lamorisse took home a grand prize from the Cannes Film Festival for The Red Balloon, and the latter film also won an Academy Award. There have been some stimulating pieces of film criticism (some pro, some con) written about the aesthetics of this little movie over the years, but there's no question it makes for a touching, allegorical piece always certain to prompt conversations among viewers of any age. (Tom Keogh,
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    I'm so glad in 2008 that Criterion made this beautiful film available on DVD with an excellent transfer. This is a famous very short film (half hour) in which a big red balloon follows a little boy everywhere he goes.

    Finally, jealous kids bust the balloon, but in the end, other balloons around the city come to him and carry him away!

    It all sounds a bit silly, but it works. It's a very charming, sometimes funny fantasy tale. Kids and adults alike seemed to have enjoyed this French movie over the years. It's now been around for a half century!

    There is almost no dialog. The kid ("Pascal," played by Pascal Lamorisse) calls the balloon a few times and the other schoolchildren excitedly yell, but that's it for dialog.

    In all, a classic film that stands by itself for originality and charm.
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    Some people found it creepy because of a balloon following a kid around on its own; while other people found it very charming. No matter what people think of the film, the Red Balloon was indeed beautiful to watch due to its visual effects and amazing cinematography. It also indeed had a great music score. The Red Balloon is a thirty four minute French short film directed by French filmmaker Albert Lamorisse. The film is about the adventures of a young boy (Pascal Lamorisse) who one day finds a red balloon who has a mind of its own. At first, it might seem like a normal regular balloon, but the days that followed, the red balloon begin to catch the attention of not only the boy's parents, teacher, and classmates, but the whole Ménilmontant neighborhood of Paris. The film catch the attention of a number of critics, and won numerous awards including an Oscar for Lamorisse for writing the best original screenplay in 1956. In my opinion, I wouldn't have gave them best original screenplay, because there were way better written screenplays in 1956 than this. Plus, the film has a little dialogue, so most of the screenplay was just describing how things should be shots. Not enough to be worthy best screenplay. Director Lamorisse used his children as actors in the film. His son, Pascal Lamorisse, was the boy and his daughter Sabine portrays a little girl with the blue balloon. I love the inquisitive looks from adults and children. It was the best thing in the film. I laugh my butt off, when somebody sees the red balloon following a kid around and he gives off the 'huh' look. I like how in the beginning, the red balloon almost hit some old lady in the face. The ending was a bit odd, and disturbing. Did the kid went to balloon heaven or something? Some critics see a Christ like metaphor ending to this film. The streets represent the post- World War 2 attitude of everybody. Everything is grey and dirty. Everybody is cruel and hateful. The balloon represent 'the spirit'. When the red balloon dies and its "spirit" is reborn in thousands of other balloons, there to rescue the boy and preserve his innocence. In my opinion, I really was hoping to see all the balloons take their revenge on the bullies, but it doesn't happen. Sadly, they just carry the boy away into the sky like he was dead. I think people are looking too much into the film. I didn't find any message of anti-war or pro-religion in this. The only thing I notice about the film is the Cinéma Pur (French for Pure Cinema). It was a great example of the avant-garde film movement which features films with vision and movement rather than dialogue full films. The film has great shots, but it clearly shown that they use multiples balloons for each shot. The size of the balloon, and length of the string different and changes throughout the film that it get annoying. The goal of the avant-garde movement was to create a cinema that focused on the pure elements of film like motion, visual composition, and rhythm. The film only success somewhat of its goal. By minimizing story and plot, focusing instead on visual concerns by using close-ups, dolly shots, montage, lens distortions, and other cinematic techniques, Red Balloon was just one simple movie that a lot of people can relate to. The film is fairy harmless. The film fails in some things. First off, the boy never go into a character arch. With the little dialogue he spoke, it sounds like the boy was very controlling of the balloon to the point, the red balloon felt very submissive. He was a bit cruel, and selfish to the balloon. Unwilling to share it with the other children, no wonder why he had bullies. He was even unwilling to allow the balloon to hang out with the blue balloon, if he meets the girl. He quickly pull the red balloon away from the blue balloon. It would had been a better film, if the red balloon and blue balloon ran away with each other, rather than the boy keeping it all for himself as if an abuse submissive slave. If only if he was willing to share the balloon, maybe the balloon wouldn't had commit suicide like it did. Clearly, I felt that the red balloon was very unhappy of its self by the end of the film. The movie was depressing and dull. He seems to get over the red balloon being gone way too quick in my opinion. Like he really didn't care. Talk about being gone, the whole neighborhood of Menilmontant is nearly no more, as poverty took its toll on the area. By the 1960s, the area was so bad, the Parisian government demolish the area as a slum-clearance effort. So this is one of the few movies left that show the pre 1960's Paris. The movie was really popular that it spawn sequels and remakes like 2007's Flight of the Red Balloon and 2010 and 2013's horror film, Red Balloon. The movie became so popular, that elementary schools around the world became to show it at schools, so a lot of school children watch this over the years. With each new generation, a group of new audience are able to watch this film, and view their opinion. My opinion states that, the red balloon was a pretty OK film, just wish it had more depth.
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    This 34-minute fantasy short film is wonderful. It's almost incredible that it was made in 1956 because it's far from looking that old, partially because it's colored and partially because of its film-making. Looks more like something made in the 1970's than 11 years after the end of World War II.

    Ahead. The ingenuousness of this story captivates, but the way it is told is just as captivating. This isn't a silent tale however it has very little dialog. But it works. The wonderful music by Maurice Le Roux and the images speak for themselves.

    This is the lovely story of Pascal, a cute and adorable 5/6 year-old child who, while walking through the streets of good old Paris, finds an unexpected but very special friend: a red balloon with a life and mind of its own. The balloon quickly gets fond of his human friend, following him everywhere and patiently waiting for him whatever time it takes. The kid accepts his unusual new friend and together they spend time and have fun in the streets of Paris.

    The pair draw attentions from society (they don't seem to understand and accept their friendship). Worse is the envy of a group of bullies, who near the ending throw rocks at the innocent balloon. And then one of them intentionally stomps at the dying balloon, killing the poor balloon.

    The ending is rather childish but undeniably charming and magical: countless balloons come to Pascal and take him on a balloon ride over Paris. It's as if the balloons are taking Pascal to a fantasy world where balloons and children can be happy forever. It's amazing how they did these "tricks" with all those balloons in 1956 and so masterfully!

    Albert Lamorisse superbly directed this and his own children star in it: his son Pascal Lamorisse plays Pascal, while his daughter Sabine Lamorisse plays the little girl with a blue balloon (equally with a mind of its own). Pascal Lamorisse is magnificent in this role. So is the red balloon, a great "actor" on his own. And the other balloons too.

    The Paris scenario is very pretty and colorful, accenting the feeling of french charm. 95% of what we see here no longer exists. That is sad. So many good things are sacrificed in the name of progress.

    This short couldn't be more innocent and sweeter, and yet at the same time it is slightly humorous (in its majority it is) and sad (such is the case when the balloon is cruelly destroyed). It is also a powerful reminder of the age of innocence, when children were really children and were happy with the simple pleasures of life, such as a balloon and wandering around. I still remember when I was a kid and how I'd get so happy over a balloon whenever they bought me one. One simple thing like a balloon was something special. And I am from a time when children still could wander around in some safety. Nowadays you never see children wandering around and they don't appreciate balloons and many other things like the children of my generation and before my generation did.

    Anyone who loves this has got to love 'Clown' (1968), equally a short film and french and similar in some ways.

    Title in Portugal: unknown, but it would make every sense to be 'O Balão Vermelho'.
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    At just over half-an-hour, The Red Balloon is for me nothing less than a beautiful masterpiece. It is truly enchanting, touching and never fails to warm my heart. Firstly, it is stunning to watch. The cinematography is beautiful and the scenery is magical. Another outstanding asset is the music, is it me or isn't it absolutely beautiful?

    The story is very simple, but also very heart-warming and charming. I love the unique friendship between the young boy and the red balloon, for me along with the visuals and a scene that I will mention later this was what made The Red Balloon so good. The Red Balloon apart from the reactions of the children and the young boy is almost dialogue-less, but I think it works that way.

    And I have to say Pascal Lamorisse responds very naturally to his father's adept direction and to his surrounding and does so in a very endearing and adorable way. The message of loyalty and love over cruelty and envy is admittedly weighty especially with a story so simple, but Albert Lamorisse carries it off with panache. My favourite scene has to be the joyous and heart-warming balloon-filled finale, which was a treat visually too. The Red Balloon moves very briskly so I was never bored or dissatisfied.

    Overall, a beautiful masterpiece. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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    I just caught The Red Balloon on Turner Classic Movies and I found myself being instantly transported back in time to grade school. I must have watched TRB at least 10-12 times as a kid and enjoyed it immensely. Although I surely did not understand all of the symbolism throughout the film I do remember being enchanted and thoroughly entertained. I mean it was a movie about kids-not adults, what could be better? As a kid TRB always made me laugh and think. You know it's funny, out of all of the hundreds of films that I have seen in my life TRB is one of the few that has made a lasting impression. I did not fully realize the extent of the affect until tonight when I saw it agian for the first time in probably 15-16 years. Perhaps it is the funky energy of the film - the whole look, sound, and pace is so unique and honest. Growing up in the suburbs of Florida full of strip malls,gas stations and "nice" yet sterile housing developments, seeing a film about a young Parisian boy engulfed in the business of being a kid was a revelation. (That kid could have been me!) Maybe that was truly the first time that I experienced the ability of a film to magically transport me to another time and place. At any rate I am glad to share my thoughts with you. TRB brought back a little nostalgia for me tonight, and unexpected jolt to a childhood imagination that I had not considered in years. Judging by some of the other comments on this site many of you feel likewise. I realize that it is a rather simple observation, but I am heartened by the fact that the comments have come in from around the world about TRB. The fact that such a short and simple film has made such an impact on such a wide variety of people fills me with surprising amount of hope. Normally I am a bit of a cynic. I wonder if the kids in the Middle East have the opportunity to watch TRB? Just wondering...
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    For a one-reeler,this work can boast numerous comments:not one of them-bar one- comes from France!Since its success in the festival de Cannes 1956,Albert Lamorisse's short film was relegated to purgatory.Often dismissed by French critics as bland ,mushy and arty,it sank slowly but inexorably into oblivion.The other countries have always had a warm spot for it.And they are right.

    If you were a young student in the late fifties/early sixties,"le ballon rouge" was one of your initiation books.After 1968,the story almost completely disappeared from textbooks.

    Actually it was new wave "avant l'heure"! Filmed in the streets of Paris -as Varda ,Truffault and countless others would do afterwards-,its form was innovative .And the red balloon ,against the grey walls of the French capital,it's "Schindler's list" brainwave in 1956!Some details date the movie -the verger(or "suisse")in the church- but they inspire its vital charm:those old schools of long ago,those alleys full of little hoodlums ,those buses where dogs,cats and...balloons are not allowed,those countries you long to see a long way from your colorlessness,in a nutshell,those memories you keep deep in your heart when you become a grown-up,all this and more come back when you see "le ballon rouge" ,one of the two imperishable French childhood monuments.The other is Yves Robert's "la guerre des boutons".

    NB:singer Renaud was an extra,as one of the twins.
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    "The Red Balloon" ("Le Ballon Rouge") is a well-known short by the French filmmaker Albert Lamorisse. The film, which lasts just over half an hour, tells a simple story with very little dialogue. One day a young boy named Pascal, while on his way to school, finds a red balloon drifting through the streets of Paris. The balloon appears to have a mind of its own and follows Pascal wherever he goes. It even obeys his commands, remaining outside a shop like a well-behaved dog when he tells it (in one of the few lines of dialogue) "Ballon! Attends-moi la!" The film then follows the adventures of Pascal and the balloon throughout the day.

    A British or American filmmaker would probably have set this story in the well-trodden tourist quarters with plenty of shots of the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Sacre-Coeur and other landmarks. Lamorisse, however, shot it in the working-class Belleville area with no well-known landmarks in sight. In the fifties Belleville was regarded as a slum area, and many of the buildings shown here were demolished as part of a slum clearance programme in the early sixties. The colours, principally greys, browns and dark blues, are mostly sombre; for most of the film the only bright colour is the red of the balloon, except during a brief sequence in which Pascal meets a little girl who has her own bright blue balloon, which also seems to follow her about.

    With a theme like this, the film would seem to have been aimed at children, and indeed it has always been popular with younger audiences. It has also, however, been popular with adults who have (as is often the way with adults) tried to find deeper meanings in it. The balloon, which drifts not with the wind but wherever it wants to, becomes a symbol of freedom; it may obey Pascal but only does so because it has befriended him. Its colour, red, has traditionally been the colour of socialism and the Left, so there may be a political subtext here.

    On the other hand, the balloon has also been seen as a Christian symbol. (It is notable that a church is a prominent feature in many scenes). This element is particularly strong in the scene in which a gang of bullies, envious of Pascal's new toy which also serves as his playmate, destroy the balloon with their catapults. In this context the balloon's colour takes on a very different meaning, because red in Christianity is the colour of martyrdom and sacrifice. The film's ending, in which hundreds of other balloons of many different colours lift Pascal high above the city, can therefore have several meanings. It can be an image of the hope which enables us to rise above our surroundings. It can be symbolic of political liberation. Or it can be an allegory of Christian resurrection.

    Or it can simply be the charming end to a magical children's film with no deeper meaning. Lamorisse has achieved the difficult feat of making a film which can be one thing to children and another to adults. This feat of condensing so much into a short film meant that, despite the sparseness of its dialogue, "The Red Balloon" became the first, and so far only, short to win the Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Screenplay). 8/10
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    I saw this first as an 11 year old and it has stayed with me ever since. A work of film- making genius. Brilliantly shot and a magical story told with real skill. The special effects are wonderful and work beautifully to tell the bittersweet story. The whole thing works because of the direction cinematography and the central performance of the little boy - whatever happened to him? This film always made me want to visit Paris and at the age of 63 I still have not made it there. It is not so far away for me but I fear it could never live up to my expectations of it. I am unsurprised that it won so many awards - it should be compulsory viewing for every budding filmmaker as a lesson on how to tell a story visually.
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    This is one of the first foreign films I have ever seen. I was in Long Island when I first saw it. I was in kindergarten at the time. This movie was indeed wondrous and breath-taking. Having a red balloon as a friend, can be weird. But if it follows you around, then it is a friend. A kid named Pascal finds this red balloon and he goes all around Paris with it. The only trouble he got himself with are the boys who want it themselves. Their first attempt to burst it failed. In the second attempt, they succeeded. They may have done the deed, but they are the losers. You may have killed the red balloon, they didn't kill the spirit. More balloons of every color fly towards Pascal. It's liked chasing a rainbow, only easier. There's no need for words, this movie speaks for itself. 5 stars!