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Fantastic Planet

September 30, 2010

574. La Planète Sauvage (Fantastic Planet)
Directed by René Laloux
Czechoslovakia/France, 1973

IMDB | allmovie

Reviewed by Ally
First viewing

Description:

The planet Ygam is ruled by a race of blue-skinned, red-eyed beings called Draags. The planet is also inhabited by Oms — hommes/humans, geddit? — who are tiny by comparison. Draag children keep Oms as domestic pets and playthings. However wild Oms are regarded as pests and are regularly exterminated. When domesticated Om Terr escapes his owner, he sets in motion an Om revolt.

Thoughts:

Fantastic Planet was apparently intended as a metaphor for the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia but, if like me you’re not familiar with Czech history, it can be applied to just about any social inequity. I had taken it as an allegory of humanity’s own treatment of the natural world, depicting the humanoid Oms as the victims as if to say “how would you like it?” Deep, man…

Metaphors aside, this is one trippy piece of animation — like Yellow Submarine with crosshatching and pastels, minus the daft humour and the great pop tunes. So not really anything like Yellow Submarine. The planet of Ygam is populated by all manner of strange creatures, the Draags practice psychedelic meditation rituals and woah, the humans are, like, tiny! The drawing style, coupled with the proggy 1970s soundtrack, made me feel like I was watching a Gong LP come to life.

If that sounds like your sort of thing, then you probably can’t go wrong with Fantastic Planet. But one viewing was more than enough for me.

Fantastic Planet is available on region B blu-ray from Eureka! Masters of Cinema.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 7, 2010 3:39 pm

    Ha ha ha, love the Gong reference! I’ve never heard of this film, but I really want to see it.

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