Videos & Podcasts

Le Ballon Rouge: The Story Of The Red Balloon

Le Ballon Rouge (The Red Balloon) an unmissable movie thanks, to it being a  pure flight of imagination, filled with everyday beauty and a wonderful young boy in the midst of it. This French movie conceptualised and directed by Albert Lamorisse leaves the viewer speechless with wonder.

A young schoolboy, played by Pascal Lamorisse finds a shiny red balloon on the way to school. He is stopped by the bus conductor but he prefers to run to school instead of letting go of the balloon. Later that evening the child seeks shelter fo the balloon under their umbrellas to protect it from the rain, while he himself gets wet. This act of kindness earns him the balloons love and loyalty. The  balloon listens to the boy’s instructions. Dangers, however, lurk in the form of the principal of the school and the older boys in his neighbourhood.

The boy and the balloon go through native France where men in their berets wait for the bus and the postman delivers mail to the old matron. The boy himself roams free of his family, enjoying a pastry at the local bakery. Cobble-stoned narrow lanes, guards in feathered helmets speak to us of a slower time.

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One scene shows us the boy parted from the balloon as he admires the painting of a little girl. They soon move towards each other, finding peace only when they are together, hand and string.

Each frame of this 34-minute featurette or short is straight out of a picture book.Dialogues are few with all the ensuing action effectively communicating to us.True friendship it seems has no bounds.

The friendship comes to a sad end, with a few mischievous boys destroying the balloon. The movie has a happy end though with the child getting the ride of his life. You can watch this beautiful movie in its entirety here:

Recommended by the British Film Society as one of the top 50 films to be watched before the age of 14, this piece of art is worth watching  any age. The Red Balloon won the Academy Award for Best Screenplay, the Palm at Canne Film festival and the BAFTA in 1956. Albert Lamorisse penned a book The Red Balloon with stills from the movie which won him the Best Illustrated Book award from the New York Times.

The book is an adaptation of the film, for children to enjoy the story and movie stills.

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A delightful story about the enduring friendship between a boy and a balloon that will stay with you forever.

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