Fantastic Planet is one of the most unusual sci-fi films I have ever seen. It’s a sci-fi animated dealing with blue-skinned giants known as the Traags, who keep Oms, which are descendants of Earthlings who left their planet after its destruction, as pets.
One Om, named Terr was kept as a pet by a Traag named Tiwa. After Tiwa got bored with Terr, Terr ran away with a Traag learning device in to the woods, home to “savage Oms”. Terr started teaching the “savage Oms” with the learning device, in which they stage a revolt against the Traags.
What makes this movie really special is the bizarre, otherworldy, surrealistic scenes. You get treated with all sorts of strange alien creatures and scenes that look like nothing here on Earth. Music, by far and large, consists of bizarre, 1970s futuristic funk music with strange electronic effects, done by a Frenchman named Alain Goraguer.
My favorite scenes are the ones where the Traags are meditating, and they project these odd spheres. Another is a room where four Traags are meditating and they transform their bodies to look like autumn leaves.
The film was originally made in Czechoslovakia, when the country was still communist, but then the communists did not like the theme of the film (which could have meant a metaphor of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 or simply a metaphor of revolting against communism), so they finished production in France. Lots of socio-political overtones are found in this film throughout.
The production is as far from that slick Hollywood nonsense as you can get. It’s as far removed from the pathetic excuses of sci-fi these days as you get. This is what sci-fi was all about before Star Wars came around and lowered the quality of sci-fi immensely. The animation, while not sophisticated, or elaborate, is still very mindblowing.
Fantastic Planet was aired at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973, and was the winner there! But this is truly one bizarre and trippy film, and I very highly recommend it.
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