Written and directed by Mark C. Smith, Two Balloons follows two lemurs in love flying dirigibles around the world. They communicate via carrier pigeons and decide to reunite. As they are docking, a destructive storm descends upon them, damaging their flying ships which might spell doom for the intrepid adventurers and their romance.
I love crazy, aero-centric transports of all kinds! From the silly arcade game Prop Cycle to the nostalgic fun of Silver Hawks; heck, I might be one of the only people on the planet to have loved the inclusion of airships in Paul W.S. Anderson’s misguided The Three Musketeers a few years ago. Adventure films are my favorite genre and stop-motion animation is an underrated form that when utilized properly, creates wondrous living vistas. So, yeah, everything contained in this movie is right up my alley. But just because it checks off the awesome box in my brain doesn’t mean it is technically good. So, is it well crafted enough to be good on its own term, biases aside?
“…stunning to behold. It is nothing short of a masterpiece.”
The movie is only 9 minutes long, so besides the ending, which will not be spoiled, the story is encapsulated above. The stop-motion animation is glorious to behold. The lemurs look cute and move in a believable fashion. Their aerial vehicles are immaculately designed, and I would love to live on one of them. The score, by Peter Broderick, holds all the emotional weight and is quite superb. The lack of dialogue, literally not a single spoken word in the entire movie, is not just a gimmick, but also a wonderful way to showcase the wondrous set and character designs in a visually mesmerizing way
Have you ever watched a movie that was seemingly created just for you? As if the writers reached into your brain and plucked a story straight from it. An eerie serendipity builds when the director and the actors and everyone involved with the production then tells the story in the precise manner you always dreamed. While watching this animated short that is exactly how I felt. Everything about Two Balloons is stunning to behold. It is nothing short of a masterpiece.
Two Balloons (2018) Directed by Mark C. Smith. Written by Mark C. Smith. Two Balloons is screening at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.