Director - Albert Lamorisse
This is a short little fantasy tale about a boy who befriends a red balloon and the journey the two go on. Not to be mistaken with Billy's balloon, which was my only prior source of information on this kind of subject.
The relationship with Pascal and his balloon is much sweeter. The boy untangles the balloon from a lamp-post and the balloon subsequently follows Pascal around - much to the annoyance of the adults and jealousy of his peers.
The balloon is an incredible character (and believe me, it is a character) - Firstly, the colour.... compared to the drab greyness of post-war Paris, the balloon seems unreal. A redness so bright that it appears almost CGI. Of course, that's impossible, so it is an impressive feat on the behalf of the film makers. I don't think it is down to lenses either, I just think Paris was a lot greyer back then.
The balloon also seems to emote (certainly, it acts much better than some of the smaller roles throughout) - you get to see a happy balloon, an interested balloon, a scared balloon, a yearning balloon.
It really helps to make a rich relationship between Pascal and his balloon, which means you care about their fate. So the persecution of the balloon becomes really sad to watch.
The film's ending is bittersweet, but after focusing on this beautiful relationship and as it reaches its natural conclusion, we get the final shot. An impressive and utterly beautiful final shot.
So beautiful, that I don't want to ruin it by showing you it. But you can click here to see it.