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The Red Balloon (The Criterion Collection) (1956)

Red Balloon , Albert Lamorisse  |  G |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Red Balloon
  • Directors: Albert Lamorisse
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Janus Films
  • DVD Release Date: April 29, 2008
  • Run Time: 34 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0012Z361M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,346 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Red Balloon (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Stills from The Red Balloon (Click for larger image)

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
65 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A touching evocation of childhood fantasy and escape. November 23, 1998
Format:VHS Tape
I can't remember the first time I saw this wonderful film, but I know that I will watch it many times more. I think it is one of the most moving, evocative stories about childhood that I know. It is, in my opinion, an authentic vision of childhood retreat into an inner world that is free of mean parents, bullies, and scornful teachers. The last scene is a great symbol for the escape from the loneliness and pain of growing up that many children experience. I believe that adults as well can surely empathize with the little boy in the story as he tries to make his way in the world that seems so cruel. This film is a real classic.
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157 of 177 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Childhood Memories December 15, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
Amazing. Just a few days ago I was thinking about a film that I saw in elementary school (Fairfield Elementary School, Long Island, NY). It was about a little boy and a red balloon that escaped his grasp. I was trying to remember if the film had spoken words, and I thought that it did not. I was thinking about how it was such an unusual film, and how unusual it was that I should remember it almost 30 years later. I made a mental note to some day find it.
Tonight, I sat here browsing Amazon, and I just fell upon it. The Red Balloon. I must have it. Funny, I can't remember if it made me laugh or cry. I just know that it is a memorable part of my childhood, and if I have an opportunity to recapture some little memory of a more simple time in my life, then I must seize that opportunity.
To all the other "kids" out there who remember this film... I'll see you on the playground.
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60 of 66 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great Film - Terrible DVD March 3, 2003
It's a shame that such a classic film has been RUINED by the people who produced this DVD - and I use the term "produced" lightly. It appears that "they" simply found the worst possible 16mm print of the film (probably from a school or library), digitized it and mass produced these discs for the film's nostalgic fans - willing to spend their money to own one of their favorite films in digital format.
Alas, the result looks and sounds like you're watching a bad film in a classroom - terribly scratched images, pops, dust - I think I even saw a piece of Scotch tape go by. How is this even acceptable?
In these days of remastering and the ability to make a film look at least decent without massive expense, it's an embarrassment to the film makers that their classic has been brought to the DVD market with such disdain. Was an original print unavailable? If so, couldn't a few dollars be spent to clean up the only print apparently in existence?
The film doesn't even end - during the final moments, it suddenly cuts out - and segways into a very politcally-incorrect cartoon from the same era.
This DVD is not worth what it is selling for on Let's hope somebody with an eye for quality rescues this classic from the company currently producing this disc. And soon!
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112 of 129 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FIVE STAR FILM - ZERO STAR DVD... what a shame! March 6, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This film is an absolute work of art! It tells the beautiful story of a young boy and his only friend: a big red balloon. Their friendship is true and the living balloon follows the little boy wherever he goes. They play with each other, trust each other... they are together for good!
A very simple and beautiful story... one that makes you remember how good it is to be a kid. ...all the possibilities... all the imagination and the innocence we lose when we grow up. This film will touch everyone who sees it.
The only problem is the print they used for this DVD. Absolutely horrible! Full of scratches and marks... (there are silent films in better shape!) it seems someone dragged the film stock on a street to make it look bad. I cannot believe such an important film had such a lack of caring. The soundtrack is also bad and the rich Technicolor is gone. I was lucky enough to see this film on the big screen during the seventies and... believe me... it was beautiful. Nothing like this.
I knew this print was bad because I read the other reviews, and yet, I bought it because I felt I must have it (for I love this film). But it was still shocking to see how bad a bad print can be.
I think this film is a masterpiece and I will buy it again if this is ever restored and released again... but this is an european film and I do not see that (restoration... or a new print) coming soon. So I bought it anyway - think like this: not even in France this film is available... go figure why!
A beautiful film that is worth every scratch... but it is a shame... Films like this one should be seen over and over and I am sure if it was to be rereleased it would be a success.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Synopsis: Young French boy discovers a red balloon on the streets of Paris. When he discovers the balloon is too large to take on the bus he decides to walk to his destination. His new acquisition is soon noticed by a group of bullies who desire the balloon for themselves and a chase ensues. Will the boy get away with his balloon intact? What eventually happens is both bittersweet and unexpected. It's truly the stuff from which delightful day dreams are made.

Critique: For me, the charming little '56 French film `The Red Balloon' carries with it fond memories of grammar school. Whenever it was too rainy outside for recess the student body would be gathered into the cafeteria to watch a short film or a couple of cartoons. Without question the film most requested by the young audience was `The Red Balloon.'

It had been at least forty years since my last viewing of this childhood classic. I'm happy to say that it still possesses all the charm and childhood wonder as it had upon its initial release fifty years ago. Looking at the streets of Paris as they were in the mid-fifties is a delight all its own serving as a mini-time capsule of a more innocent, naïve time in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

`The Red Balloon' is waiting to enchant a whole new generation of viewers! This is definitely a film that belongs in every child's DVD collection.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this movie
I saw this movie with my children when it first came out and have been attached to it ever since. I was happy to see it again. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Nancy Lamers
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful film for today's kids & fun one for invoking happy...
Was one of my very favorite movies as a child, and was thrilled to find a digital copy on Amazon! I can hardly wait to share it with my grandchildren in the near future! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Cheryl
5.0 out of 5 stars An Untarnished Moment in a Tumultuous Childhood
That's how I'd explain this film's arrival into my life. Actually, came across this recently on the net (it had escaped my consciousness for many years), but immediately realized... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Suzinne Barrett
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic I loved as child...
I first saw this movie 30+ years ago as a kindergarten student. At that time it was on film and played back on a projector. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Virginia D. Carter
5.0 out of 5 stars classic childhood gem
Lovely movie about the magic of childhood, captures the spirit and innocence of youth. Recommend for all ages, especially the young at heart.
Published 1 month ago by Stephen E. Waldhorn
5.0 out of 5 stars It breaks your heart!
I often show this to my first year students. Many don't get it, it seems old since there are not iphones and ipads, but those who do and those who are older cherish this film and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Michael Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Teacher loves The red balloon
I am a pre school teacher. I loved this movie when i saw it in the library years ago. When I saw it listed on your site I purchased it immediately. Read more
Published 3 months ago by twila lea slaughter
5.0 out of 5 stars Le Balon Rouge
It's gorgeous - just the way I remember it when I was a child. A cousin bought the book for our son and I've now passed on the book and bought the DVD. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Margot Paterson
5.0 out of 5 stars The Red Balloon
The Red Balloon has always been one of our favorite books. I read it to my children and have read it to my granddaughter.
When I saw it was in DVD I just had to get it. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Nancy J. Brinkley
5.0 out of 5 stars My kids love this movie!
I was a little hesitant to purchase this, because you just never know if modern kids will relate to older films.... But I need not have worried. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Priscilla T. West
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