The Travelling Picture Show kicks off in Lichfield today. (I'm not there but apparently it's going very well.) One of the most consistently popular films in the programme is a fifty year-old French short with hardly any dialogue about a boy and his balloon, and even if you haven't seen it there's a good chance you've come across something influenced by it.
For a start there's a Juliette Binoche film and a stage production, and note the multicoloured balloon clusters currently floating about in Pixar's Up and Sofia Coppola's Dior ad. These films celebrate the feelgood side of The Red Balloon - if you want the brutal underbelly check out the Don Hertzfeldt cartoon Billy's Balloon. Decidedly not for kids.