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The Red Balloon (French: Le Ballon rouge) is a 1956 34 minute short film about a boy and his balloon. It was directed by Albert Lamroisse.
One day, a young boy named Pascal finds a red balloon. The balloon is actually alive and has a sentient mind of its own. Thus, they set off an adventure in Paris.
While a simplistic film made for children and to preserve the Ménilmontant section of Paris in film, critics noted the beautiful cinematography, woodwind score, and idealist allegories in a post World War II Paris. It is noted as an art film.
The film became a sensation in the United States especially with the children. Schools often show the film in cafeterias and the film, for a while, became the largest selling non-running theatrical print.
The film won an Oscar for best original screenplay, the Palme d’Or short films at Cannes, and similar awards in the Academy Awards and BAFTA.
It is also available on the Criterion Collection.
- A Boy and His Balloon
- Animate Inanimate Object
- Balloonacy: In the ending.
- The City of Light
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Guess who’s featuring in the show?
- The Fifties
- Gang of Bullies
- Le Film Artistique
- Kids Are Cruel
- Minimalism: Most of the film is silent and there are around two scenes of actual dialog.
- Scenery Porn
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Definitely idealistic. Brian Gibson, film critic, writes that the film can be seen in an escapist stance towards Pascal.
- Short Film
- Sliding Scale of Living Toys: The balloon is at Level 4.
- You Are Not Alone: In the final scenes.