This mysterious and wonderful Brazilian community of pixellated, hand-made hot air balloon makers is now gone, and photos and video of their crazy balloons is vanishing from the internet as old webpages die. The Internet Archive got a couple scans of this page:
(formerly at balopaixao.co.cc)
Anyways, apparently the whole practice was outlawed because they kept burning shit down.
Artigo 42 da Lei de Crimes Ambientais (Lei nº9.605/98), fabricar, vender, transportar ou soltar balões que possam provocar incêndios nas florestas e demais formas de vegetação, em áreas urbanas ou qualquer tipo de assentamento humano, pode levar a pessoa a ser condenada à pena de detenção, de um a três anos, ou multa, ou ambas cumulativamente.
Maybe for the best, but these were so cool that I want to help archive and remember them. Here’s a collection I got from that Internet Archive scrape; note the Spock and Joker balloons in particular. Mathew Lippincott says they’re largely made of small colored tissue paper squares. My favorite was one (can’t find any photos of it any more) in loving memory of a dog, presumably belonging to one of the balloon’s creators, who felt that the best way to honor its memory was to make a 100-foot wide banner of it to be lifted by a giant handmade hot air balloon. If you ever come across that one, please post a link!