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Famous Balloon Movies


An independent director (who asked to remain nameless, but often works for Disney), did these sequences a few years ago for an overseas theme park project. The show was an homage to classic movies, tied together by a running gag of a stray balloon that gets loose. The director added the balloon using After Effects and did an amazing job matching each film’s cinematic style. The balloon subplot was eliminated from the project, but the director has now posted a bunch of his test clips on YouTube.

Balloon Part 1 (Safety Last)

Balloon Part 2 (Casablanca 1)

Balloon Part 3 (Butch Cassidy)

Balloon Part 4 (North By Northwest)

Balloon Part 5 (Star Wars)

Balloon Part 6 (Casablanca 2)

Balloon Part 7 (La Femme Nikita)

Balloon Part 8 (Singin’ In The Rain)

Balloon Part 9 (Wizard of Oz)

Balloon Part 10 (French Connection)

Balloon Part 11 (Mary Poppins)

Balloon Part 19 (Lord of the Rings)

About the film project they were from, the director himself says:

“The main through line was a romance between a guy in the audience and a woman in the movie. The “every man” goes into the movie (right through the screen) and meets a beautiful woman there. There is a spark of romance. He is then chased by villains out of her movie and stumbles through many other classic films, lost and alone. The woman leaves her movie to go on a quest to find him.

“So — now you’re probably wondering where the balloon shots come in. Well they don’t. Not in the final show. However, just before we committed to film the project, we decided to go through a kind of wild card period. Float some totally different ideas. I thought it might be fun to do a nod to “The Red Balloon”. I did a few of these balloon shots at home and took them into the studio. Everybody enjoyed them. So we explored a possible version centered on that idea. I did more and more shots, took them in, hunkered down with the editor and stitched together a draft. We all got a kick out of it, but utimately decided that we missed the romantic comedy of Plan A. So after the diversion, we returned to our original course.

“So I had all these shots at home that I’d done on spec. I figured that since I did them and they contain no material from the studio, and I don’t reference the context we used when toying with them, they’re safe to post.”

UPDATE: For all you Balloonaholics, here is an 18-part, six and a half minute compilation of the Balloon Movies:

Helium and Celluloid

  • They were all good, but visually, I think the Casablanca ones were the best – the balloon seemed to fit best with the mood of the scenes, and appeared the most seamless.

  • beeeautiful timing!

  • Jonathan Sloman

    From the description it sounds like the project was the Cinémagique film at Disneyland Paris.

  • DeK

    Agreed. Despite of the colours one usually relates with balloons, the black and white photography renders that balloon pretty fascinating.

  • Très belle intégration.

  • This attraction eventually became Cinemagic at Disney Studios Paris. Despite the lack of Balloon it’s a great attraction!

  • Safety Last was my personal favorite, but I enjoyed them all.

  • Brilliant! :)

  • Fantastic ! It’s so simple and it’s perfect ! I love the one with Casablanca, too.

  • It’s just stupid enough to be worth my time.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Heh, makes me feel glad I had seen “The Red Balloon” back in the first grade!

  • Funny stuff!

  • The “Casablanca” reactions were great. Laugh out loud funny.

  • Anonymous

    These are great, really funny!

  • ErosLane

    I am proud to say that Walter Hill would never ever use a balloon motif in one of his films.

    And I mention this as a dare. >:-) *hehehe*

  • I like your blog, it’s always fun to come back and check what you have to tell us today.