“Fantastic Planet (La Planète sauvage)” is a 1973 French–Czechoslovakian animated science fiction fantasy film by French illustrator, cartoonist, painter, and writer Roland Topor and French animator and film director René Laloux. It was based on the novel “Oms en série” (1957) by French science fiction writer Stefan Wul. Screenplay and adaptation by Roland Topor and René Laloux. Original design by Roland Topor. Directed by René Laloux. Animation produced at Jiří Trnka Studio in Prague. 72 minutes.
The story is set in the Planet Ygam, an uncanny world where bizarre life forms live. On the planet, the Draags, who are the gargantuan humanoids with blue skin and red eyes, have built a strange civilization.
Small human beings, who are called the Oms by the Draags, are forced to live under primitive conditions in the wilderness because the Draags treat the Oms like insects.
One day, a prefectural governor of the Draags, Sinh’s daughter, Tiwa finds a baby boy of the Oms. She names him Terr and starts keeping him as a pet.
Terr matures into a boy. When Tiwa learns with a learning device like a headband, Terr also learns much about the Ygam through the device. Terr learns that the Ygam has a moon named “The Wild Planet (La Planète sauvage)”, and adults of the Draags need an out-of-body meditation for survival.
Terr escapes from Sinh’s house, carrying the learning device because he becomes frustrated with his circumstances as a pet.
Terr becomes a member of a hidden settlement of the Oms. Meanwhile, the Draags launch a program to eradicate the Oms. Many people of the Oms are slaughtered by the Draags, but Terr and other surviving people of the Oms build a hidden city in the rocket cemetery of the Draags, and they start development of a rocket to emigrate to “The Wild Planet”.
“Fantastic Planet” is a surrealistic and psychedelic film that animated the brutal and humorous fantasy world of Roland Topor, like the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch and Yves Tanguy, by use of the technique of cutout animation. It is not for children because it includes violence and nudity.
The allegorical story is descended from the tradition of satire by the authors such François Rabelais and Jonathan Swift.
Alain Gorageur’s hypnotic rock music score, including drones and electronic sounds, is impressive.
The film won the Grand Prix special jury prize at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival.