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Fantastic Planet Movie Review

Fantastic Planet [La planète sauvage] (1973)

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Written by: Stefan Wul (novel), Roland Topor and René Laloux (adaptation)
Directed by: René Laloux
Starring: Barry Bostwick, Jennifer Drake, Eric Baugin
Rated: PG
Watch the trailer

On a faraway planet where blue giants rule, oppressed humanoids rebel against their machine-like leaders.

The animation is so meticulous. Each frame looks completely handcrafted. This tells the story of an revolt, but the themes explore cohabitation, war, and captivity. The ideas are there, but the overall story is rough around the edges. The animation when paused looks great, but isn’t smooth. The dialog is stilted. The feels like a really good short that goes a bit too long.
It depends.

This opens with very little context as a woman holding a baby flees from what we soon see is a giant blue hand. This is a world where ‘humans’ known as Oms are some kind of insect to blue bipedal giants, Draags. The baby in the first scene grows up as a pet to a young Draag.

The animation is very detailed. It’s a creative world in both setting and Draag language. While we don’t understand all of it, we get the context.

The Draags consider the Oms stupid, but the main Om escapes and finds people like him living in the wilderness. With the knowledge he gained in captivity, he’s able to aid them in defending against Draag’s wanting to eliminate Oms.

The wider focus is how we treat others not like us and the superiority some groups feel. Even the different Om groups don’t trust each other, having difficulty in reaching agreements. Despite that the human spirit of revolution finds the Oms fighting against the Draags, though it’s not like they have much choice when overpowered and outnumbered. This only leads to more violence and a culmination that surprisingly ends in an truce.

Part of this is the matter of perspective. We identify with the humanoid creatures, but the Draags see them only as a pest. It’s not a pest when you’re the one being eliminated. The Draags are larger and see themselves as smarter, granting them dominion over all other creatures. There’s certainly a parallel to humans on this planet.


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