Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Red Balloon

I had seen this picture numerous times before, but didn't know where it originated from until I recently watched the short film "Red Balloon". This film won an Oscar for best original screenplay in 1956. Running only 34 minutes long, I find it astounding that this film won its award before the Oscars even had a category for short films. Using very little dialogue, this film tells the story of a boy who discovers a balloon with a mind of its own. I was impressed by the production quality for it is such an old film. The Foley sound effects were done well, the colors were bright and defined, the music was driving, the location was utilized well, and I know this may sound childish, but I was intrigued by the balloon's seemingly self-achieved movements. I spent a lot of the film trying to figure out how they were able to make the balloon swoop left to right, up and down so deftly. At one point I was able to see the fishing wire that connected the balloon to the little boy so it looked as though the balloon was following him, but I was unable to figure out how they did other more difficult maneuvers like having the balloon go in and out of windows and doors. My favorite shot of the whole film is pictured below. I think it is very aesthetically pleasing and would love to have seen this in person. 

Many of you may have already seen or at least heard of this film. It is a very popular film that has been shown in many elementary schools. I read on one critics blog that "The Red Balloon" is the single largest-selling nontheatrical print in history. If you have not already seen it, I would strongly suggest doing so. Here is a copy of it that I found on Youtube. Ignore the introduction, I'm not sure who put that on there.

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