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The Red Balloon/White Mane
The Red Balloon/White Mane
Director: Albert Lamorisse
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
UR     2008     1hr 14min

Studio: Image Entertainment Release Date: 11/04/2008


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Movie Details

Director: Albert Lamorisse
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: Criterion
Format: DVD - Black and White,Color
DVD Release Date: 11/04/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 14min
Screens: Black and White,Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 11
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

The Red Balloon
Jerome Foreman | Indianapolis, Indiana | 02/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is the movie of a little boy in post WWII France who encounters a red balloon. The ballon follows him around. Eventually the neighborhood kids pop the balloon. Then all of the balloons every where flock to the little boy.
The only time I remember seeing this movie was on a reel-to-reel projector in the 4th grade, I'm 35 now. This is one of the best movies a kid could ever see. The movie has not been re-broadcast or released in over 50 years!"
Two classic Albert Lamorisse award winning short films toget
Dennis A. Amith (kndy) | California | 11/09/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Two classic shorts by Director Albert Lamorisse are now featured on DVD restored in High Definition Digital and new and improved English subtitle translations courtesy of Janus Films.

Albert Lamorisse will be forever known for his films and documentaries and also for inventing the strategic board game "Risk". But it was in 1956 in which his third short film "The Red Balloon" (Le Ballon rouge) would earn him the Palme d'Or Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and an Oscar for best original screenplay in 1956.

"The Red Balloon" is a fantasy short film which starred his young son Pascal and his daughters Sabine and Fanny. The 34-minute short film revolved around Pascale, a boy who sees a red balloon tied to a pole.

The boy takes the balloon of the pole and carries it with him on his way to school. Unfortunately, the balloon is too large to fit inside his ride to school and thus he ends up being late. On his way home after school, you see young Pascal caring for the balloon as he tries to make sure it doesn't get rained on and thus puts it under strangers umbrellas while walking home. But while at home, his grandmother doesn't allow him to bring it inside and she sends the balloon outside the window.

But instead of flying out into the sky, the balloon gently waits for Pascal to bring it inside. The following morning we see how the balloon starts to follow Pascal and even tries to play games with him. Upon going to school, the other kids and even some adults try to get the balloon but the balloon outsmarts them. But because of the kids being loud because of the balloon, Pascale is locked up until the school ends.

While walking home, he meets a girl with a blue balloon (played by his Albert Lamorisse's daughter Sabine) and we see the two balloons interacting with each other.

But the boys from school and the local bullies have their eyes on Pascal's balloon and will do whatever they can to get it and destroy it. Can Pascal protect the balloon?

The second short included on the DVD is "White Mane" (Crin-Blanc) which Albert Lamorisse directed back in 1953.

The 40-minute short is featured in black and white and won a Palme d'Or Grand Prize award at the Cannes Film Festival.

The film takes place in the marshes of Camargue, France and we see a herd of wild horses as they follow their leader, a white stallion known as White Mane.

A group of ranchers try to capture it but White Mane doesn't like humans. Meanwhile, a young fisherman named Folco (played by Alain Emery) wishes he can get close to the wild white stallion. As the ranchers try to catch it again, they fail. Folco asks the ranchers that if he can capture the White Mane, can he have it and the ranchers agree (thinking there is no way the boy can tame the wild horse).

Through challenges between the horse and Folco, the two end up becoming friends but when White Mane returns to his herd, we see the white stallion fighting another horse for leadership and loses. White Mane then retreats and goes back to the boy.

But as the boy learns to get close to White Mane, the ranchers try to catch him.

Can Folco protect White Mane from the ranchers?


"Red Balloon" is featured in 1:33:1 and in color. The restored high-definition digital transfer actually makes this film look very nice for a short film that is 53-years-old.

The film has a fine layer of grain and there are some dust particles but for the most part, they are not disturbing or plentiful. If anything, the short film is colorful and I don't think I saw any major warping or any major problems with the video transfer.

As for "White Mane", the short film is presented in B&W and there is a fine layer of grain and you do see dust and scratches but it is by no means intolerable. Overall, the digital restoration is well-done and the overall presentation looks clean.

As for audio, the audio for "Red Balloon" is presented in mono and is in French. While "White Mane" features the original French soundtrack but also an English narration by actor Peter Strauss. "Red Balloon" doesn't have any dialogue and is mainly the sounds to the environments and the music. "White Mane" does have dialogue and you have the choice to watch the film with English subtitles.

Subtitles are in English and are new and improved English subtitle translations.


"Red Balloon/White Mane" do not come with any major special features but a theatrical trailer promoting both films is included on the DVD.


Both "The Red Balloon" and "White Mane" are two short films that have been popular with children for over five decades and have received only rave reviews from critics from various decades.

"The Red Balloon" and "White Mane" were released by THE CRITERION COLLECTION and Janus films back in 1986 on LD and were re-released in 2008 on DVD.

As a person who grew up with "The Red Balloon", I can't help but share with you of how much I loved both shorts. "The Red Balloon" is a children's film that shows you the innocence of youth, a fantasy film that captured the attention of so many through the balloon's interaction with young Pascal and of course, the final scene of the short film makes you wonder how they even created that scene.

But it's a short film that capture innocence but also how bullies wanted to destroy the one thing that Pascal has become friends with. Also, it was great to see (in color) a part of Paris via the Belleville area which no longer exists. And thus, the film not only stands out as a popular children's fantasy short film, it also serves as a record of the Belleville neighborhood in Paris during the mid-1950's.

As for "White Mane", watching it today, one can be enamored by the beauty of the cinematography of the short film but it also captures the marshes of Camargue, France and the wild horses in the region but as a children's film, some parents today may find it a bit much when White Mane tries to fight another horse for dominance and you actually see the two horses fighting and biting each other and causing harm to one another. It's part of nature and it was a film that was loved for many decades but I can understand if some parents of today's society who find that sequence a bit much for their children and also for those who may be sensitive to certain scenes which they may deem as cruelty to animals. I guess in some ways, it is good that the film was in black and white, otherwise we would have seen some bloody horses.

But "White Mane" is a more action-oriented short film as the young Folco befriends a wild horse and this horse really has a distrust towards the humans as it looks as if one of the actors (ranchers) could have really been injured in this film during the making of it. but it's how things were back then and for the most part, you get a sincere look at ranchers going after wild horses and how wild horses react to each other for dominance.

Overall, "Red Balloon/White Mane" is a DVD collection for those who want to own these two Lamorisse classics. It's a solid release, especially if you grew up with either shorts. It's important to note that THE CRITERION COLLECTION is offering the two Janus films now along with William Mason's 1966 short "Paddle to the Sea" but you can find this 2008 release with both films together on one DVD for a good price these days.

This is definitely a short film DVD release that is highly recommended!"
Great film.
Jane Ragusano | Pioneer, Ca United States | 05/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"For a film that has been around for over fifty years, it still has kept its charm."
Classic Shorts Make Memories For Young And Old
THOMAS B STRONG II | California, USA | 12/24/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Red Balloon/White Mane

I purchased this for two reasons. I remember seeing THE RED BALLOON on 16mm many times in elementary schools in my youth. It was always a magical experience and I wanted to share that experience with my son. Honestly, I don't remember ever seeing WHITE MANE before but I wasn't disappointed. I wouldn't recommend WHITE MANE for younger audiences because it does have a rather violent scene with some horses fighting, but since it is in black and white and my son is ten years old, he enjoyed the film anyway. We made some memories together and shared quality time that isn't always easy to do any more. And we both really enjoyed that, male bonding moment.

THE RED BALLOON is great for all ages. There is very little dialog and the theme is magical and universal.

I strongly recommend both films as required viewing for all film students.