The Red Balloon

The Red Balloon (Released by Janus Films, in association with the Criterion Collection)

Stills from The Red Balloon (Click for larger image)

Newly restored and available for the first time on DVD, Albert Lamorisse s exquisite The Red Balloon remains one of the most beloved children s films of all time. 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 pa
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3 thoughts on “The Red Balloon”

  1. This review is from: The Red Balloon [VHS] (VHS Tape)

    Amazing. Just a few days ago I was thinking about a film that I saw in elementary school (Fairfield Elementary School, Long Island, NY). It was about a little boy and a red balloon that escaped his grasp. I was trying to remember if the film had spoken words, and I thought that it did not. I was thinking about how it was such an unusual film, and how unusual it was that I should remember it almost 30 years later. I made a mental note to some day find it.

    Tonight, I sat here browsing Amazon, and I just fell upon it. The Red Balloon. I must have it. Funny, I can’t remember if it made me laugh or cry. I just know that it is a memorable part of my childhood, and if I have an opportunity to recapture some little memory of a more simple time in my life, then I must seize that opportunity.

    To all the other “kids” out there who remember this film… I’ll see you on the playground.

  2. This film is an absolute work of art! It tells the beautiful story of a young boy and his only friend: a big red balloon. Their friendship is true and the living balloon follows the little boy wherever he goes. They play with each other, trust each other… they are together for good!

    A very simple and beautiful story… one that makes you remember how good it is to be a kid. …all the possibilities… all the imagination and the innocence we lose when we grow up. This film will touch everyone who sees it.

    The only problem is the print they used for this DVD. Absolutely horrible! Full of scratches and marks… (there are silent films in better shape!) it seems someone dragged the film stock on a street to make it look bad. I cannot believe such an important film had such a lack of caring. The soundtrack is also bad and the rich Technicolor is gone. I was lucky enough to see this film on the big screen during the seventies and… believe me… it was beautiful. Nothing like this.

    I knew this print was bad because I read the other reviews, and yet, I bought it because I felt I must have it (for I love this film). But it was still shocking to see how bad a bad print can be.

    I think this film is a masterpiece and I will buy it again if this is ever restored and released again… but this is an european film and I do not see that (restoration… or a new print) coming soon. So I bought it anyway – think like this: not even in France this film is available… go figure why!

    A beautiful film that is worth every scratch… but it is a shame… Films like this one should be seen over and over and I am sure if it was to be rereleased it would be a success. Perhaps one day someone like Criterion (who for once released it in Laserdisc a looong time ago) will take this film and give the treatment it deserves.

    By the way, the DVD comes with an american animated cartoon : “The Pincushion Man”. It is about a ballon-like city with ballon-like characters. The print is equally bad. It is an early thirties “silly symphonies-like” color cartoon produced by Castle Films. The film is nice and it leaves you wondering about how many great films are there left to rot. …

  3. This review is from: The Red Balloon [VHS] (VHS Tape)

    I can’t remember the first time I saw this wonderful film, but I know that I will watch it many times more. I think it is one of the most moving, evocative stories about childhood that I know. It is, in my opinion, an authentic vision of childhood retreat into an inner world that is free of mean parents, bullies, and scornful teachers. The last scene is a great symbol for the escape from the loneliness and pain of growing up that many children experience. I believe that adults as well can surely empathize with the little boy in the story as he tries to make his way in the world that seems so cruel. This film is a real classic.

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