Hot Air Balloon trips are one of the most dramatic scenarios a film-maker can conjure up, what with the tension of being trapped and the only escape being down.
Of course, directors also like the opportunity they give for a hero or a villain to escape, particularly in films set earlier in history. Hot air balloons can also be romantic as well, as the happy couple sail off into the distant sunset. Below are a few films which have featured balloons.
An elderly balloon salesman goes on the adventure of his life when he accidentally ties one too many helium balloons to his house which then takes him sailing off in this Disney-Pixar movie.
Must less light-hearted than Up, this 1982 film focuses on the real-life tale of two families who escaped from East Germany to West Germany in a home-made balloon. Obviously it is set (and released) before the fall of the Berlin Wall when crossing this point was illegal and highly dangerous.
Around The World In Eighty Days
The Jules Verne novel has been adapted to film several times as the hero, Phileas Fogg, and his valet, Passpartout, see if they can get around the world in eighty days in order to win a bet made with the members of his gentleman’s club. This is set in Victorian times where travel was much slower, and consequently there is a scene set in a hot air balloon as they find it to be the only way to conquer some of the geography they encounter.
In a story that seems almost as if it could have been the Whacky Racers, an eccentric hotel owner challenges some of his most eccentric customers to see who can make it first to Mexico for the chance to win two million dollars. It’s hard to describe what ensues as anything other than pure farce, with one memorable scene involving a hot air balloon chase.
The Red Balloon
The Red Balloon, or Le Balloon Rouge, is a story told from the point of view of a balloon which drifts around and through Paris will being chased by a young boy. As you would expect he comes across plenty of adventures and even the plot outline suggests an analogy with the impact of fate upon our lives as we struggle to react to events that are completely out with our control.