Such a Magical Film


I was wondering around Madrid’s Casa de Campo wild parkland the other day when I came across this, above. A lost red balloon.

Suddenly I remembered a favourite family film from the past! Le Ballon Rouge, The Red Balloon. I think it used be on the BBC every Christmas, because I certainly think of it as a Christmas film, though it has nothing to do with this time of year at all.

Here it is below, thanks to the wonders of Youtube. There is some discussion there of what it is about, but the only important thing for me is how it makes me feel in its 34 minutes – wonderful. Or as my son said, “It’s magical”.

Edit: It is no longer available on youtube due to copyright infringement (fair enough!) but you can get in on DVD from Amazon. Definitely worth it.


9 thoughts on “Such a Magical Film”

  1. Thank you so much for this memory-I’m going to watch it with my youngest daughter who I think will love it. Amazing what a walk in the campo can produce. Wishing you and your family a peaceful and merry Christmas.

  2. Ben, thank you so much for posting about this. I remember seeing it on TV when I was about 8 and was entranced by it, so just watched it again! It hasn’t lost any of its wonder over the years. Your son was right about it being magical. May the magic remain with you and your family at Christmas and throughout the new year!

  3. We did not have a family tradition watching the Red Balloon–we watch Charlie Brown’s Christmas and The Year Without a Santa. But I can remember watching that film in school and being enthralled, confused, and at some points scared by it. Now I need to go back and see it. Thanks Ben. I’ve divorced myself from the internet and news in general this season, and so have missed your wonderful website. Glad to be reading it again.

    1. Thanks James, and your internet divorce sounds like a very good idea! I’ve divorced myself from news for some time, but the net still gets me, especially all those guitar videos! Happy Christmas.

      1. Funny you mention guitars. As I read your response I am trying to memorize notes on the frets/strings. I had a small “where the hell’s that note” meltdown yesterday. Then I took a few deep breaths and decided to use writing–my preferred medium–to tackle it. So here I am color coding high A, med A, low A, etc. It will be a Christmas miracle if I can begin to “see” notes on the frets. It’s a good lesson in tackling a skill I must struggle with to progress. Enjoy the your guitar videos 🙂

        1. The guitar is proving a powerful teacher for me. All my recurring difficulties with striving, effort, and rush are coming up again and again as I want to be ‘really good’ as soon as possible! It gives me constant melt-downs as well, moments when I really wonder if I’m enjoying it or not, but I’m starting to see it as an immense opportunity to learn to do things slowly, to enjoy where I am already with something, to not expect perfection etc etc. And to deal with meltdowns!

          And I’m trying to remember the notes on the neck too! I can find all the f’s from top to bottoms, in order, all the c’s, the g’s etc if I follow them in order string by string, but if you point to a fret in the middle of the guitar and say ‘what’s that?’, I have no idea!

          1. In response to your first paragraph: yes yes and yes! And so serendipitous (sp?) that you made a video inspired by the “it’s just guitar” video. I will check that out and hopefully benefit from those same tips. Thanks a million, Ben.

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