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The Red Balloon


Sepiatone
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Tomorrow, Feb. 14, TCM has THE RED BALLOON scheduled.

 

Now, I've mentioned before that back in the '60's on Thanksgiving day, after the local TV station, WWJ, broadcast the J.L.Hudson parade, they'd show this little film.  I'd watch it every year, too( for at least five or six years) THEN they'd show "34th Street", then eventually, picked up "Wonderful Life, and then, about 1967, picked up on SCROOGE with Alistair Sim.  But, THE RED BALLOON was a thanksgiving day staple of post parade broadcasting.

 

We had a black and white TV,back then, so the balloon being red was implied.  And, after all the times I saw it, and even NOW, since I had for some years now, a VIDEOTAPE of it, I STILL have no idea what this thing is supposed to be about!  I know SOME lesson or other is supposed to be asserted, but, HELL if I KNOW just what it is!

 

Anyway, it is an interesting little film.  I'll have to try to find some TURKEY SCENTED candles to light while watching it, as the turkey was always in the oven when I'd watch it back "in the day". ^_^

 

 

Sepiatone

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I just watched this for the first time and I think it's a nice little film.

 

I guess we just have to make what we want out of it. I don't believe there is any specific message, just kids being kids. The balloons are a fantasy. You could easily replace the red balloon with a kid who has just moved into the neighborhood and is going through what every new kid must deal with.

 

One good thing, Albert Lamorisse didn't make this a 120 min film. It's 34 minutes works just fine.

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I first saw THE RED BALLOON (1956), when I was a kid at school.

It was one of those dreary, grey and rainy days.

Someone set-up a projector in the cafeteria and instead of going to the playground after lunch, we all gathered in the cafeteria and watched this fascinating little film about a boy and his "pet" balloon.

Endowing this inanimate object with the personality of a dog was somehow unquestionably believable to me as a child.

The kids in the film were the same kids from anywhere. We all acted the same, and could become most insensibly cruel when in a gang.  

Somehow, Pascal, the boy befriended by the "red" balloon, was like most lonely children.

And his relationship with the balloon made him special.

With the death of his "friend" and the gathering of all those balloons that came and carried him away... to who knows where... (RO said there was a sequel, which I haven't seen) we are left with fanciful wonder that such a thing could happen.

 

But the memory of that little film stuck with me, until not that many years ago, I ordered the DVD from Amazon, just so I could revisit my childhood and see it a second time.

 

Sometime after that, in 2011, TCM showed it, and I watched it for a third or fourth time.

 

And on Saturday, Feb 14, 2015, TCM showed it again, and I watched one more time.

 

It is still a very special, timeless little fantasy, worthy of a rewatch, especially with a child, or grandchild, on your lap.

 

As to the "moral" of the tale... Not sure I will ever know.

But, for a long time after I first saw it, I was never cruel to any balloons that came my way... ;)

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