365 Films in 2017 # 6 Fantastic Planet (New World, 1973)

Rene Laloux's Fantastic Planet is a masterful Franco-Czech animated science fiction film that uses stop motion and cut out animation to tell the story of humans that are controlled by large humanoid aliens on a distant planet. The aliens known as Draags consider them animals, and some are treated as barely suitable pets for their children. Others live in the wilderness and are subject to periodical purgings. When his mother is teased to death by children, a Draag leader finds Terr. He grows up the pet of the leader's daughter, Tiva, and learns from her education headphones. Later, when he escapes he takes them with him and joins a tribe. When they discover that the Draag plan to exterminate them, they make plans to leave the planet.

The bizarre animation, which recalls 60s underground comix, Vaughn Bode for instance, is coupled with a jazzy psychedelic soundtrack by Alain Goraguer (I have been long familiar with the soundtrack but never watched the film). The film is heavily allegorical, and the animation is fanciful yet scary.  I recommend it highly. Arguing that it reminds me of Heavy Metal, would do it injustice, yet fans of that film, or trippy animation in general, should check it out. Fans of intelligent science fiction will also enjoy it immensely. Fantastic Planet is one of my favorites so far.


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