The Red Balloon (1956)

A boy and his balloon. The Red Balloon (1956) © The Criterion Collection
A boy and his balloon. The Red Balloon (1956) © The Criterion Collection

The Red Balloon is storytelling at its simplest and most beautiful. This thirty minute short film follows a little boy through the streets of Paris as a red balloon captures his attention on his morning walk to school. The balloon ultimately captures his heart as their relationship can best be described as a love story of sorts.

It’s hard to abbreviate the plot without giving away this thoroughly charming short story. But it is worth mentioning how hostility arises from a team of bullies when they observe the uncorrupted joy and happiness between the boy and his balloon. Their reaction is to want to destroy it. Suffice it to say, though, that love prevails in this sweet, simple and exhilarating little tale directed by Albert Lamorisse.

The Red Balloon is part of the Criterion Collection and is available for rent or purchase on iTunes or for streaming on Hulu Plus.

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