26 April 2018



'Two adventurous lemurs navigate their dirigibles halfway around the world to a place where happenstance and fate threaten to disrupt their reunion.'

Aw, this is the cutest thing I've seen since a three-legged puppy marched determinedly up to me in the park recently wearing a woolly jumper and wagging his ickle tail. He was so cute I didn't even mind when he did diarrhoea on my shoe. His owner said he had a tummy upset, bless him. Bless the puppy, that is, not the owner. I've nothing against the owner though, so don't think that.

Anyway, as the little tagline says, it is indeed the story of two lemurs, each one flying their own dirigible. You know, those funny olde-timey balloon things shaped like zeppelins? I do believe that olde-timey chaps with mutton chop whiskers and pocket watches in their waistcoats used to race each other in 'em. For money, dash it all, and maybe a jolly good meal at their exclusive gentlemens' clubs to boot.

Why these two lemurs have decided to engage in such an isolated and hazardous pastime is something to which we viewers are not privy, but which of us hasn't at some time wanted to chuck it all in to go and live on, say, a barge or something similar for the rest of our lives?

Spend the days sailing up and down the waterways of Ireland or England with the sun on our faces and the wind at our backs? I'd only do it if I could still get X FACTOR on the telly and a pizza delivered every Saturday night. A girl needs her comforts, lol.

Anyway, Lemur One is well set up in his little boat attached to the big balloon thingy. His kitchen looks like something out of a Beatrix Potter story. It has a dinky little log fire, with a whole winter's supply of logs laid on. Beautifully packaged preserves line the shelves and the kettle is boiling for a nice cup of tea. It could not look more welcoming.

Lemur One sits at his table, which looks like a booth from a 'Fifties diner, and intently studies his maps and compasses and things. On the map, he circles a dirigible not dissimilar to his own and smiles. He's obviously edging closer to a connection to which he's greatly looking forward, although he's not entirely devoid of company at the moment.

He's got a sea-bird friend who does home visits. They keep each other company. This beautiful white-feathered chum comes in handy when Lemur One's dirigible finally encounters the dirigible of Lemur Two. Lemur One gives Birdie a present of a book to carry across the calm skies to Lemur Two in his beak, a flip-book with gorgeous drawings of roses in it.

Judging by how appreciative Lemur Two is of this gift, I'm guessing that she's a gal and that Lemur One is a guy, lol. The lady lemur sends back, via the bird, a piece of paper that she's twisted into the shape of an actual rose. It's the most romantic gesture I've ever seen.

Their exchange of gifts is so utterly moving that I couldn't help sniffling, a little at first, then a lot. A very lot. A kind lady brought me a handful of napkins in which to blow my nose and a nice refill of my coffee and I was grand again. But I totally remembered why I'd stopped watching movies in Starbucks, lol.

Then Lemur One requests permission of Lemur Two to come aboard, which is, of course, granted. Lemur One packs a few essential items, including a nice bottle of wine and a jar of his own carefully bottled preserves, prior to jumping ship. You cannae go a-wooing without at least one jar of preserves under your belt. The sexy beast, lol. If a guy was trying it on with me and he wasn't packing preserves, I'd kick him to the kerb so fast.

Thus equipped, Lemur One bravely (or foolishly) attempts the world's most dangerous tightrope walk. Then disaster strikes in the form of a lightning storm, a cruel twist of fate that threatens to tear the two primate friends apart forever.

Will they ever crack open that bottle of vino together and allow those preserved pears (or maybe peaches?) to slide down their eager little lemur-throats to sighs of satisfaction and pleasure? I can't tell you. You'll have to watch this charming little film for yourselves, but that should be no hardship.

It's just under ten minutes long, and there's a beautifully emotive musical score to help the action along as well. I can tell you confidentially that I was bawling my eyes out at the finale, but that doesn't mean that the film ends badly. As a fully-paid-up card-carrying woman, I cry at sad things and at happy things, lol. It's in my job description.

TWO BALLOONS is doing brilliantly on the film festival circuit. Here are a few of 'em just to give you an idea: Foyle Film Festival, FLICKERFEST International Short Film Festival, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand International Film Festival, Anima (Brussels Animation Festival), Cleveland International Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival and RiverRun International Film Festival.

Fancy, eh? I'm telling you, this cute little film about friendship and love between the only two lemurs in the entertainment business not working in the MADAGASCAR films is going places. Cool places. Make sure you catch it on one of its outings.

Director Mark C. Smith’s filmography includes North, Denmark and A House, A Home. As a cinematographer, Mark spent many years filming winter expeditions in North and South America. He is the co-author of two photography books, Osterlandet and The Powder Road. Two Balloons is Mark’s first animated film.


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:


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