Better Than Coffee: “The Red Balloon”

Bon matin! May flowers are blooming, kites are flying, a dirigible is idling on the wind above my good city by the bay, and for some reason I can’t stop thinking about this film:

La grande finale of Le Ballon Rouge. Watch the entire movie here.

Written and directed by Albert Lamorisse, The Red Balloon has got to be one of the most gorgeous and enduring depictions of childhood ever committed to celluloid. 34 minutes depicting youth’s resilience, playfulness, longing, loneliness, passion, violence, innocence, fearfulness, and most of all, JOY! It’s all here, presented in glistening primary colors and awash in natural Parisian light.

Cheers, mates. Enjoy the beautiful day.

10 Responses to “Better Than Coffee: “The Red Balloon””

  1. Zoetica Says:

    Awww! I remember this from childhood.

  2. Nadi Says:

    aww i almost forgot about this movie!

  3. Mer Says:

    Yep… I first saw it in 1st grade…it’s unforgettable.

  4. Fritz Bogott Says:

    A) Someone needs to do a Ballon Rouge vs. Mon Oncle mashup STAT!

    B) (Me, in lotus position, chanting) Dirigible. Houseboat. Dirigible. Houseboat…

  5. Shay Says:

    I have a very vague memory of this… Uncanny.

  6. Tequila Says:

    @Mer…Same. I remember an auditorium full of kids who all were dead silent by the end of the film. The print I remember was much less colorful though. It wasn’t till I bought the Criterion release of this and the directors other masterpiece White Mane that I saw how colorful this film really was.

    Criterion has some really good essays about the film on their site worth reading. The first one being completely dead on.

  7. choklit Says:

    Did anyone watch the recent film homage to the classic, with Juliette Binoche, Flight of the Red Balloon?

    I haven’t seen it but was intrigued. Travesty or transcendent?

  8. Nathaniel Johnstone Says:

    I’d never seen the movie but I had a book adaptation of this when I was small. It was a bunch of stills from the film with the narrations and dialog in easy English for the young reader.

    I had no idea it was a movie until just now. Thank you for posting this!

  9. Mer Says:


  10. m trucco Says: