The Red Balloon by Albert Lamorisse

The Red Balloon by Albert Lamorisse

Alejandra Valera
May 5, 2008

It's been quite some time since we had seen Albert Lamorisse's classic film, The Red Balloon so we were a bit fuzzy as to what happens but we do remember being simultaneously captured and saddened by the short film. Still, our son (who will be four next month) was interested and wanted to watch it...

The story deals with a young boy who finds a red balloon on his way to school one morning. The balloon, with a life all its own, then follows the boy through the streets of Paris and the two form a quick bond.

While watching the movie, our son was intrigued and the memories of the entire movie came flooding back to us as we watched when a group of unruly boys suddenly begin to try to pop the balloon. Our son, as well as we, were turning away in a panic and turning the movie off.

New York Times critic, Bosley Crowther wrote of The Red Balloon and director Albert Lamorisse, "...with the gray-blue atmosphere of an old Paris quarter as the background for the shiny balloon, he has got here a tender, humorous drama of the ingenuousness of a child and, indeed, a poignant symbolization of dreams and the cruelty of those who puncture them." Well, that may be the case but even though the movie ultimately has a happy ending, we (as well as our inner child) couldn't finish watching it.

Have your children seen The Red Balloon? What was their reaction? What's your The Red Balloon memory?

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