Not too long ago, I stumbled upon a 1956 French short film by Albert Lamorisse simply called "The Red Balloon" (Le Ballon Rouge). It's a charming tale of a red balloon with a life of its own which follows a little boy, Pascal throughout Paris. It's that time when the PSP wasn't invented yet. The balloon is like a loyal dog, only it's made of rubber and filled with helium.
What follows next is a love-deflate relationship between the two. The balloon "dies" on top of a hill when it gets mugged by nasty street children. Pascal is broken-hearted, but suddenly, all balloons in Paris magically congregate to comfort Pascal and literally lift him up from his misery. It reminded me a lot of the Disney animated film "Up." Also, that song "99 Luftballons" by Nena.
The short film won an Oscar for "Best Original Screenplay" as well as other praises from film critics, except for this review by Washington Post writer Philip Kennicott who thought the story had biblical undertones.
I loved it. The story didn't have much dialogue, but it merely boosted its universal appeal. And guess what? The lead actor was actually director Lamorisse's son. His other child, Sabine, also had a brief role in the short film. Magnifique!
[image from wikipedia]