René Laloux's mesmerising psychedelic sci-fi animated feature won the Special Jury Prize at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival and is a landmark of European animation. Based on Stefan Wul's novel Oms en série [Oms by the Dozen], Laloux's breathtaking vision was released in France as La Planète sauvage [The Savage Planet]; in the USA as Fantastic Planet; and immediately drew comparisons to Swift's Gulliver's Travels and Planet of the Apes (both the 1968 film and Boule's 1963 novel). Today, the film can be seen to prefigure much of the work of Hayao Miyazaki at Studio Ghibli (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away) due to its palpable political and social concerns, cultivated imagination, and memorable animation techniques.
Fantastic Planet tells the story of Oms, a human-like species, kept as domesticated pets by an alien race of blue giants called Draags. The story takes place on the Draags' planet Ygam, where we follow our narrator, an Om called Terr, from infancy to adulthood. He manages to escape enslavement from a Draag learning device used to educate the savage Oms - and begins to organise an Om revolt. The imagination invested in the surreal creatures, music and sound design, and eerie landscapes, is immense and unforgettable. This release includes the early LaLoux short The Snails.
Don't expect cartoon cutesy here: The focus is closer to Dali than Disney, with a touch of Che Guevara thrown in. --Wired
Laloux's film is a provocative foray into the psychology of state-sponsored terror...it is difficult to watch any scene without being aware of its symbolic and metaphorical potential. --Senses of Cinema
A theremin-toned time capsule...Although the visuals are worth the ticket alone, Fantastic Planet also crackles with emotional and political resonance. --Village Voice