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Parents' Ultimate Guide to Support our work! Find the best for your family See what's streaming, limit strong violence or language, and find picks your kids will love with Common Sense Media Plus. Join now. The Red Balloon. Movie review by Scott G. Mignola , Common Sense Media. Imaginative story told entirely through vivid visuals.

NR 34 minutes. Rate movie. Watch or buy. Parents recommend. Based on 9 reviews. Based on 4 reviews.

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Get it now Searching for streaming and purchasing options Common Sense is a nonprofit organization. Your purchase helps us remain independent and ad-free. Get it now on Searching for streaming and purchasing options We think this movie stands out for: Character Strengths. A lot or a little? The parents' guide to what's in this movie. Educational Value.

The Red Balloon

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What parents need to know Parents need to know that The Red Balloon is an enchanting short film about a red balloon that befriends a little French boy is more than a joy to watch; it's a provocative exercise in creative interpretation that deserves a place of honor on any Classics shelf. Continue reading Show less. Stay up to date on new reviews. Get full reviews, ratings, and advice delivered weekly to your inbox. User Reviews Parents say Kids say. Childhood, in so many ways, is about learning to navigate the world around us, to make sense of what seems overwhelming and gigantic.

Having a special companion makes that experience more manageable and less terrifying.

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To kids, the world of grown-ups is often alien and untranslatable, and so magic becomes a lens through which the incomprehensible universe as Einstein once called it becomes comprehensible. An adult watching The Red Balloon will not find it difficult to see the title character as a symbol of spirituality, friendship, love, transcendence, the triumph of good over evil, or any of the countless other things that a simple, round red balloon can represent. The music shifts and slows down; overlaid with the tinkling sound of bells, or possibly a xylophone, it hints at things mysterious and fantastic.

Lamorisse added all the aural effects and minimal dialogue in postproduction—as Jacques Tati did for his urban fantasies—resulting in a slight disconnect between what we see and hear, lending every moment an otherworldly, magical edge. The helium is slowly leaking away, and the balloon suffers and succumbs to gravity. In fact, a murder: in a final, brutal moment of terrible mercy, a boy, seen only from the waist down, stomps upon and completely deflates the balloon, putting it out of its misery. We want to believe that we can rise above the difficulties of our lives in the same way Pascal does in the end, thanks to the love he shared.

Love that strong is meaningful to everyone, children as well as adults, and Lamorisse shows how it ties us to the larger world around us and vice versa. His Paris is rather washed-out, although its grayness seems heightened so that the balloon appears more red, more alive; the city never seems just drab or rainy, but to exist in contrast to the title character. During a mysterious and haunting scene in a flea market, set to the lonely strains of a distant violin, Pascal comes face-to-face with an antique, nearly life-size painting of an isolated girl, while the balloon confronts itself in a mirror.

Love that strong is meaningful to everyone, children as well as adults, and Lamorisse shows how it ties us to the larger world around us and vice versa. His Paris is rather washed-out, although its grayness seems heightened so that the balloon appears more red, more alive; the city never seems just drab or rainy, but to exist in contrast to the title character. During a mysterious and haunting scene in a flea market, set to the lonely strains of a distant violin, Pascal comes face-to-face with an antique, nearly life-size painting of an isolated girl, while the balloon confronts itself in a mirror.


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What kind of strange self-realization is going on here? Does Pascal see himself reflected in the blank stare of the painted girl in the same way that the balloon, for the first and only time, sees itself, alive? Is it a moment where both the boy and the balloon contemplate their loneliness, which ultimately confirms their need for each other? We are Pascal. We have a red balloon, whatever it may be.


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  4. It is by our side as we run through the streets of Paris, avoiding danger, falling in love, being saved, and finally, hopefully, borne aloft—away from sorrow and into the air—by all the balloons of Paris. By Emily Nussbaum. In one of his most resonant works of political filmmaking, John Sayles painstakingly brings to life an important and volatile chapter in American labor history.