The Red Balloon

The Red Balloon (1956)

Genres - Drama, Fantasy  |   Sub-Genres - Family-Oriented Adventure  |   Release Date - Mar 11, 1957 (USA - Unknown), Mar 11, 1957 (USA)  |   Run Time - 34 min.  |   Countries - France  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Lucia Bozzola

A classic short film and a beloved children's story, Albert Lamorisse's Le Ballon Rouge (1956) radiantly celebrates the ability of a child's imagination to take flight. Starring Lamorisse's winsome son, Pascal Lamorisse, and the most expressive crimson helium and rubber object ever, Le Ballon Rouge's tale about a boy and his eponymous object is a touching fable of friendship and loss, as the balloon takes it upon itself to join the boy in his daily activities. Floating along with the boy, the balloon wreaks comic havoc on the boy's daily routine, and moves lyrically through his Paris neighborhood; their seemingly doomed adventures reach a magical conclusion that caps the film's visual beauty. A prize winner at Cannes and the New York Film Critics Circle's Best Foreign Film, Le Ballon Rouge even enchanted the Academy enough to win the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, a rare honor for a short (not to mention foreign and dialogue-free) film, and a testament to its durable, fanciful charm.