The Red Balloon (Le Ballon Rouge) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Red Balloon (Le Ballon Rouge) Reviews

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September 6, 2016
Three things combine to make this film a joy. 1. The lovely story that touches all our childhood memories. 2. The beautiful film-making; the grey against red, the cinematography...which leads into 3. Belleville in Paris in 1956...the little details like the adverts posted on the wall, the Parisians caught by surprise by the passing filmakers, the crumbling but evocative walls. One of the most evocative films ever made. And yet...the ending does not satisfy as it should...the red balloon lies on the dusty ground while the boy flies away...surely the other balloons should have carried the red balloon away???
½ May 2, 2016
I can usually dive with ease into a child's mind to appreciate Toy Story or Pinocchio for what they are, but as far as this film is concerned, I'm sorry but I just can't.
Super Reviewer
½ April 29, 2016
A marvelous, imaginative and magical short film (the only ever to have won an Oscar for best original screenplay) with a beautiful musical score and so many layers of meaning in its simple story that it should speak to most children and make any adult feel like a child again.
½ March 2, 2016
I don't rate shorter films much, but this was indeed a clever piece of storytelling.
January 24, 2016
Delightful fantasy piece. Make of the fable what you will, but the balloon certainly brings a source of companionship to the child, from bullies both young and old. And its brightness contrasts with the drabness of his home and neighbourhood. And where are his parents? Only an elderly woman probably his grandmother is around, taking him to church but not school. Wonderful street scenes of the Paris of 60 years ago.
October 7, 2015
That the director convinces us that the titular balloon has a mind of it's own and a distinct personality is enough. To go further and make us care so wholeheartedly for this thing that we feel crushed without it - that is the mark of a genius.
My first act as President of the World will be to sit down every child and watch this film.
August 17, 2015
A great, classic family short film with comedy, drama, and a whole lot of wonder! A magical short film that will touch all ages!
July 5, 2015
Powerful in its elegant simplicity, "The Red Balloon" is a magical meditation on childhood imagination and a joyous celebration of originality that absolutely deserves to be considered one of the greatest films ever made, short or otherwise.
April 10, 2015
My whimsy meter is set too low, because I found this 34 minute movie way too long. It was pretty to look at, though, and interesting to see Paris in the fifties. Too precious for me.
March 7, 2015
Charming short film that I remember watching many times in elementary school. I recently showed it to my daughters and they were quite unchanged with the film, wanting to give it repeated viewings.
November 20, 2014
Cute, short movie about a boy and his balloon (duh). Has a great ending and the movie is filled with French charm. Hardly any talking, the movie is largely symbolic. The balloon reminds me of a cute dog or something and actually makes me quite sad when it meets its end. I think this film inspired the movie UP.
October 3, 2014
A charming short film. Great visuals great music.... And its neat how the film makes you feel for a balloon
August 28, 2014
Amazing childhood movie memories!!! Not too much dialogue, but so what!!
August 27, 2014
Imaginative, sweet and wonderful, "The Red Balloon" may be one of the most epic short film all time. A simple perfect.
August 21, 2014
Charming, beautiful, nostalgic, (quite literally) uplifting, and short enough anyone can afford to give it a chance.
August 20, 2014
Review In A Nutshell:

Maybe I'm just not intellectual enough to understand or appreciate this film. I found this film to be so highly ambiguous that I was left distant the entire time. It wasn't until 30 minutes in that I gained some sort of idea of what the metaphor for the balloon is, and what I came up with felt highly far-fetched. I gained this idea that the balloon was a representation of the child's uniqueness and because of its out-there quality that the majority of society are intimidated and want it gone. The common theory that people have come up with revolves around the metaphor of innocence, but I wasn't able to feel this at all. On a positive note, the film does feature some wonderful imagery as colors pop with beauty. The film's score was a tad forced but appropriate for the film's subject matter. I came in hoping to rave about it and join the bandwagon with everyone else, but I guess it just wasn't meant to be.
August 19, 2014
Review In A Nutshell:

Maybe I'm just not intellectual enough to understand or appreciate this film. I found this film to be so highly ambiguous that I was left distant the entire time. It wasn't until 30 minutes in that I gained some sort of idea of what the metaphor for the balloon is, and what I came up with felt highly far-fetched. I gained this idea that the balloon was a representation of the child's uniqueness and because of its out-there quality that the majority of society are intimidated and want it gone. The common theory that people have come up with revolves around the metaphor of innocence, but I wasn't able to feel this at all. On a positive note, the film does feature some wonderful imagery as colors pop with beauty. The film's score was a tad forced but appropriate for the film's subject matter. I came in hoping to rave about it and join the bandwagon with everyone else, but I guess it just wasn't meant to be.
April 21, 2014
I loved this movie's minimalist approach combined with the whimsy of children and the realism of childhood. Very good movie.
March 29, 2014
I know I'm supposed to like this but it was just alright. Nothing really happens, which is fine, but the film itself isn't interesting enough for that to really work. I'm starting to expect shorts to either have some pithy quality to them or just be a fun, quick escape. It can be hard to do this with a short running time but I've definitely seen it done. This would have been better if it had been shorter as the film sort of drags on. I also don't get why the little boy is wearing sweat pants. Who does that in public in Europe?
March 18, 2014
Quite charming and very French, Le Ballon Rouge is a sort of fable of a film about a kid with a balloon that magically follows him around. That's it in a nutshell, but figuring out how the special effects people moved the balloon up, down, through doorways, windows, make it more like watching one long magic trick. All very agreeable. 8/10
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