For Reel

Fantastic Planet (1973)
April 24, 2017, 8:08 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: René Laloux
3 Stars
Fantastic Planet.jpgOn the planet of Ygam, a subservient race of pint-sized humanoids known as Oms are both kept as pets and eradicated by the ruling Draags, colossal cyan beings who frequently engage in unusual meditations. By the end of the film, an educated Om comes to learn that the Draags intend to completely eliminate their kind, and so the Oms must fight against their rulers until a harmony between the two races can be reached. The way the film deals with fascism, genocide, and racism gives it broad, worldly relevance, but Fantastic Planet is moreso known for its wholly unique visual style. Aside the straightforward narrative are the numerous cutaways to Ygam’s plant and animal life—in one scene, a reptile-like creature emerges from an egg and is quickly met by an approaching beast that maternally cleans it with its tongue just before devouring it. Similar, bizarre plant life reaches with tentacles to attack passing creatures, and in settling disputes the Oms attach beaked monstrosities to their chests as their choice of weapon. Roland Topor, the Polish animator who designed the universe, had teamed with Alejandro Jodorowsky in the 1960s with the ambition of creating a new surrealist movement, and in framing this bizarre, hugely allegorical story in an animation style that resembles the moving picture books of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the film became a vision that remains easily identifiable by any snapshot.

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