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The Red Balloon (The Criterion Collection)

Pascal Lamorisse , Sabine Lamorisse , Albert Lamorisse    G (General Audience)   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 17.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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The Red Balloon (The Criterion Collection) + Little Nicholas / Le Petit Nicolas (Version française) + Welcome To The Sticks / Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'tis
Price For All Three: CDN$ 45.81

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Product Details

Product Description


The late French filmmaker Albert Lamorisse made this classic, 1956 short work about a lonely little Parisian boy (Pascal Lamorisse) befriended by a large red balloon, which seems to have a will of its own. As with his preceding short, 1952's White Mane, Lamorisse took home a grand prize from the Cannes Film Festival for The Red Balloon, and the latter film also won an Academy Award. There have been some stimulating pieces of film criticism (some pro, some con) written about the aesthetics of this little movie over the years, but there's no question it makes for a touching, allegorical piece always certain to prompt conversations among viewers of any age. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

Newly restored and available for the first time on DVD, Albert Lamorisse s exquisite The Red Balloon remains one of the most beloved children s films of all time. In this deceptively simple, nearly wordless tale, a young boy discovers a stray balloon, which seems to have a mind of its own, on the streets of Paris. The two become inseparable, yet the world s harsh realities finally interfere. With its glorious palette and allegorical purity, the Academy Award winning The Red Balloon has enchanted movie lovers, young and old, for generations.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring April 5 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I rented this video in the early 90's based on a review in one of those video review books. Now I will admit I'm not an artsy guy, but this was boring. Excruciatingly slow. We stopped the video after 15 minutes of thinking something would happen. I guess I missed the point. My point is, don't rent if you are looking for an attention grabber.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Red Balloon June 30 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Excellent, loved by me as a child and now my grandson. It's a classic, every child should have a copy.
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By Torval Mork TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As soon as I saw that this film was available on DVD, I knew it would be a touchstone for my young son, who had just turned 2 when I received it in the mail. We spend some father son time each week watching the latest Pixar and Disney movies, but it's hard to escape the reality that they've been engineered through test audiences to ensure that children absolutely must enjoy them. I've been yearning to introduce him to some visual narratives that don't rely on the smoke and mirrors that the digital age has used to drive up the take at the box office at the expense of the stripped down simplicity of a good story.

Enter The Red Balloon.

The opening shot is of a boy (played by the director's son, Pascal Lamorisse), walking on his way to school along a Parisian cobblestone street. He comes to the top of a stairwell, begins walking down the stairs, and up in a tree he spies an oversized, spherical red balloon. He scales the wall with the help of a handrail, and unfastens the string from the branches. Thus begins the journey of a little boy and his balloon. As the boy soon finds out, the balloon has a personality of its own, and an agenda to boot. The tale is timeless - and the construct is dialogue free, reducing the barriers for children of all ages to enjoy. At 2, my son kept saying "boy", "horse", "train", "balloon", and "bus"... along with the many other visual cues that a street scene in 1956 Paris may bring about.

There is plenty of scenery to soak in, but the triumph is in the ending, and is the epitome of many a child's dream. If you like this, I also highly recommend The White Mane, also directed by Albert Lamorisse.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In love with a balloon!! April 8 2008
Once in a blue moon, something precious comes along and grabs you! It's hard to believe (for me at any rate) that more than fifty years have passed since I saw this little "flick" with my father in London. He had actually taken me to the local cinema to see something else but this was in that ancient-history-time when you got two films for the price of one. "Le Ballon Rouge" had just won an Oscar so it was being shown to tout le monde. The main feature that day must have really made an impression (not!) because I don't even remember what the title was. However THIS little treasure has stayed in my memory all these years and I can't wait to receive it at the end of the month and show it to my grandchildren. I know that they are going to love it as much as I did, and still do! The story isn't complicated and there is no dialogue. However, whether this is ultimately about imagination or a dream or just plain old-fashioned magic, there is such a sweetness about this tale that it draws you in. I was going to say that the young boy who was the main protagonist was simply perfect in the role. Well, he was - but it's the balloon that is the real protagonist here.

I've talked about seeing it as a child and wanting to share it with my grandchildren. However, this is a must see for ANY age. Do yourself a favour and watch this one. I don't think it will disappoint!

PS (on April 29) Received my copy today and watched it right away. You know what? It's BETTER than I remembered. Just saying!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Like It Oct. 2 2002
Format:VHS Tape
As did everyone else, I watched this film many times in elementary school and, in remembering this, I all of a sudden think I perhaps had an o.k. education. Who knew American public schools could make such great decisions? Showing this film over and over was one of the best ideas any of my teachers had.
I am so thankful that I had such a lovely tale to help inform my bank of visual knowledge. I am happy to say that I make drawings for a living and really do believe I may not have been as intereted in art, film, literature, etc. in general had it not been for this film. It is a must see for anyone who enjoys anything GOOD!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hidden Gem May 7 2008
What a delicious treat to be able to own this movie. It all began in elementary school when my teachers, from each year, would show the class 'The Red Balloon'. It was something I always looked forward to.
You can imagine my surprise when 25 years later I found it. I look forward to sharing this delightful movie with my kids.
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5.0 out of 5 stars question ??? May 24 2004
By Laura
Format:VHS Tape
I am trying to find this wonderful movie in dvd format. Is it hopeless? If so why?
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5.0 out of 5 stars A classic that needs to be restored.. March 26 2004
Format:VHS Tape
This timeless little film is probably the best known French film in the United States. This is due to the fact that nearly every elementary school had a copy which they used to babysit the kids when a teacher was absent. This film is such an effective "babysitting" tool because it completely draws in and engages the viewer no matter their age. Lamorisse truly knew and practiced "camera as stilo". I find this film to be as fascinating and colorful now (at age 34) as I did when I was ten years old. This is truly a film masterpiece, just one of many to come out of France in the 50's and 60's.
It is a shame that the DVD is so grainy and the sound so poor, the copy I have is actually a Korean DVD which is no problem as you can turn off the Korean subtitles. It would seem, as some reviewers have suggested, that this DVD was made from a copy of the film stock that was dragged through the streets. It is still watchable but it is a crime that this film masterpiece should be in such a poor state on DVD. Someone has to step up and remaster this film for DVD so that it can continue to reach children in future generations.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best childrens movie ever made
I saw this when I was first in kindergarten. I cried when the evil gang of boys popped the poor red balloon at the end. Read more
Published on March 24 2004 by Everett
5.0 out of 5 stars One of My Favorite French Films!
I have fond memories of Watching The Red Balloon when I was a little girl in the 70's. I remember it being shown in my Elementary school with an old movie projector and I also... Read more
Published on March 12 2004 by Calinira
5.0 out of 5 stars C'est Bon!
I first saw Lamorisse's "The Red Balloon" in Kindergarten. It was years before I saw it again at a public library in Seattle. Read more
Published on Oct. 7 2003 by thisisgibbie
2.0 out of 5 stars stupid
i remember this stupid movie.
i may have blocked it from my memory if all my teachers didn't show it when they were absent and make us write 5 page papers on it.
Published on July 11 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars pop the damn thing already!
I had read great reviews of this movie a while back and was so excited when i saw it in the tv guide. What a disappointment. Read more
Published on June 27 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars Scandal
It is a scandal that such a poor quality DVD of such a great children's movie would be released in this fashion. The VHS tape is of much better quality!
Published on June 20 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Magically Appears
I... have been thinking about this film recently and had promised myself I'd try to find it sometime soon. Read more
Published on Dec 12 2002 by Angie Miles
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