Fun In Ballooland (1965)

Joseph M. Sonneborn Jr. has exactly one credit as a director and producer. It’s this movie. One wonders if he had been kept from ever coming near a camera again after this, as this is the kind of movie that will test your resolve and perhaps, even make you question your existence.

It was written by Dorothy Brown Green, who unconfirmed sources claim is also the narrator of the most insidious Christmas movie of all time, Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny.

While this movie is 52 minutes long, only 15 minutes of it take place in Balloonland, where we meet young Sonny. He’s ended up there after his mother read him a bedtime story and he fell asleep. Now, he’s inside a world filled with giant balloon people and animals.

Then, we watch a Thanksgiving parade somewhere in Pennsylvania that seems to go on forever.

If you ever wanted to watch a befuddled child wander through the warehouse of what one only imagines is a parade float company. From trying to get a prince and princess balloon to kiss to meeting the king of the sea to getting to be the sheriff of Ballonland, that’s the extent of the storyline. Once Sonny fires his gun, we leave. Perhaps this is a statement on the way guns allowed the west to be tamed. It could be an indictment on the Second Amendment. Or probably just sloppy filmmaking.

Whoever is doing the talking — most think it’s Dorothy Brown Green — remains bored for most of the film, until certain balloons show up and she becomes so fervently intrigued by them that you may wonder what drugs were being passed around Ballonland.

Mike Nelson of Rifftrax has said that this is his favorite movie they’ve ever done. Take that and understand just how frighteningly inane, insane and intense this movie gets. These are the Christmas films that I truly love, movies that make you wonder if you are even on the same plane of consciousness that you started on. They are drugs on video.

You know, since it’s Christmas, why not just watch the whole movie right here? You can also watch the Rifftrax version for free on Tubi.

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