Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Red Balloon, The

(ot Le Ballon Rouge) French movie (1955). Films Montsouris. Pr Michel Pezin. Dir Albert Lamorisse. Screenplay Lamorisse. Starring Pascal Lamorisse (The Boy). 34 mins. Colour.

A simple tale of a little Parisian boy befriended by a red balloon seemingly possessed of free will; it even briefly dallies with a blue balloon. But eventually a gang of bullies seize it and burst it. On its "death" balloons all over Paris escape their owners and rally to the spot; they bear the boy aloft for a magical aerial journey to who knows where.

It is impossible to convey the extraordinary charm, poignancy and sense of Magic of TRB. It received La Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1956, and La Medaille d'Or du Cinéma Français in the same year; it was a huge international success, and is justly regarded not just as a classic of the fantasy Cinema but also as probably the cinema's finest short. [JG]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.