Two Balloons - An Animated Love Story [Film Review]
Bernard and Elba are two lemurs, star crossed lovers, travelling amongst the clouds in their purpose built airships. Across the picturesque cloudy sky they send affectionate notes to one another by carrier pigeon and soon plan to meet on the other's ship in the air. Danger arrives in the shape of a destructive storm that threatens to wreak havoc on their love and lives.
When it comes to anthropomorphic cutesy animated animals, the lemur is perhaps the least featured of all animals. In fact they certainly haven't been explored or put at the forefront of their own adventure as writer/director Mark Smith has done. By making this a silent movie (no dialogue) Smith allowed his award winning animation director Teresa Drilling ("Elf", Coraline, "Curse of the Were-Rabbit") to explore and really bring their animalistic personalities to life. Sure they look a little feral but they are charming and beautiful in every respect, especially with the added human element. Scenes such as Bernard feeding and interacting with his bird, and where he wraps his tail around his body and hugs it as if it were Elba melt the heart like a warm knife to butter.
Bernard and Elba's story has a fairy-tale feel amplified by American composer Peter Broderic's playful score.The notable absence of dialogue really brings to life the emotional weight that the characters themselves feel. Even though no word is spoken, this is a beautiful story told through stunning romantic visuals and set pieces. The level of attention paid to perfecting the little details are fantastic and there will always be something new to notice on repeated viewing.
"Two Balloon" transports the viewer to a dreamlike place filled with imagination and intuition, with stirringly beautiful visuals offering a refreshing take on the old fashioned love story that is gripping and oozes heart-warming charm. The stop-motion animation really enhances the life-like qualities of Bernard and Elba that connects with the audience at deeper level. At just 9 minutes, the film leaves one with a warm fuzzy feeling and wanting oh so much more.