Geeks logo

"Fantastic Planet" (1973)

Movie Review

By S.M PertetPublished 4 months ago 4 min read
"Fantastic Planet" (1973) Movie Review
  1. Quick Info
  2. Film Is Civil Rights Allegory
  3. Heads Up! Were the Animals
  4. Book vs Movie
  5. Meditation Only in Movie
  6. Different Origin Story
  7. Film's Not Just About Aliens
  8. Draags are Metaphor for Unchecked Power
  9. Need for Equality
  10. Don’t Watch with Your Kids!
  11. Memorable Psychedelic Soundtrack
  12. GRADE: I’ll Give it a B
  13. Grand Prix Special Jury Prize Winner (Cannes)

  1. Quick Info

Director: René Laloux

Writers: René Laloux & Roland Topor

Distributor: Argos Films & New World Pictures

Released: December 6, 1973

Runtime: 75 minutes

Availability: Streaming on HBO Max and My Family Cinema. On DVD print. Purchasable on Amazon, I Tunes and other stores.

2.Film Is Civil Rights Allegory

On Ygam, human beings are known as Oms and they're considered either vermin or house pets by the ruling Draag. The story of Terr unfolds from his life as Om pet to his eventual escape, where he meets his kind living in the wild. Terr eventually takes the path of the oppressed: revolution.

Terr, the Om protagonist, is adopted by Tiwa’s family—members of the Draag race—and is taken in as Tiwa’s pet. He's nothing more than a tiny plaything to be fed, clothed, and played with; doing anything his benevolent master fancies. As Tiwa matures, so does Terr. This leads to his exodus born of boredom and solitude.

3.Heads Up! Were the Animals

He sets out with a trinket: a tuition device that permanently uploads Draag knowledge into his mind and with that descends into a carefully charted out chaotic exploit into the unique eco-system of Ygam where he meets the so-called vermin that Draag’s detest: Wild Omms.

4.Book vs Movie

Let’s dive into obvious differences. First off, meditation wasn’t in the book. That said, the psychic practice gave the Draags an alien vibe as opposed to their human disposition in the book.

5.Meditation Only in Movie

In Fantastic Planet, Terr and his rapidly populating kind (since one Draag week is a year in Om time) are seen building rockets and setting course for a satellite in Ygam’s orbit. It is later discovered—much to Om dismay—that the satellite is a free-for-all orgy for meditating Draags.

In Oms en série, boats are in place of the shuttles. Terr and the Oms cross the waters of their adopted planet and unsurprisingly encounter sea monsters along the way.

6.Different Origin Story

Lastly, the book talks about how the Oms started out on earth and evolved so much that they had nowhere else to go but the beginning: their primitive selves. We are not given this backstory in the film.

Instead, we're left to speculate that the tech savvy Draags took pity on the Oms and ferried them across the galaxy to give them a life they thought suited them: life as leashed pets.

A look at the Omms: Chief Head hat at the centre

7.Film's Not Just About Aliens

The film was ahead of its time, both in its underlying themes and Roland Topor’s art. The film brought all of Wul’s work to life, blending 2D and 3D into the novelty of Ygam.

8.Draags are Metaphor for Unchecked Power

You are put in the Om’s shoes and question endless possibilities, one where homo sapiens aren’t at the top of the food chain. What really distinguishes us from the Draag?

The film subtly plants intrusive triggers in our minds (much like Tiwa’s tuition device) which leads us to wonder what we'd really do on Planet Ygam Also, are the Draag merely an inverted version of our species through Wul’s, Laloux’s and Topor’s pinholes?

9.Need for Equality

The film is neither Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek nor George Lucas’ Star Wars. Still, this little gem embodies heart, soul and the scientific mind of one Pierre Pairault (aka Stephan Wul).

Fantastic Planet tells the story of mankind all too well. A resilience, a hunger for knowledge and a tenacity for revolution. Terr reminds us that, whether we are in a far-off dystopian planet or on big blue that all lives are equally worth living, regardless of the color of our skin.

10. Don’t Watch with Your Kids!

Fantastic Planet does not shy away from full frontal nudity; albeit it’s frequency it is never sexual. It’s rather logical.

Although, there was one scene where giant nude sculptures were duet dancing and were shot down by Omms. Yeah, it’s as unsettling to write about as it was to watch.

11. Memorable Psychedelic Soundtrack

Alan Goraguer combined soul, jazz and funk to create a freaky psychedelic soundtrack. The music went so well with the scenes in the movie. There were times when the music was soft and tender to contrast with scenes of violence and conflict.

My favorite tracks are "Déshominisation (I)" and "Déshominisation (II)," which put your mind at ease even if you’re looking at Draag faces. Urgh! They still creep me out.

12. GRADE: I’ll Give it a B

Time and time again we’ve learnt that for a film to become a masterpiece, dramatic irony is a key component. In short not all of our burning queries have to be cleared.

That said, I don’t think I can forgive the director for overlooking the importance of Tiwa’s and Terr’s relationship, a reunion would have been nice.

13. Grand Prix Special Jury Prize Winner (Cannes)

All in all, it was great. To the very last atom. It definitely earned the Grand Prix Special Jury Prize at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival

Were there parts I wish were adapted from the book? Yes. Do I feel like a sequel or even a trilogy are in order? No doubt.

Do you really want to watch It in the first place? You definitely need to, especially if you're a diehard sci-fi fan, or want to watch the trippiest adult film of your life!

listvintagetvreviewproduct reviewpop culturemoviematureentertainment

About the Creator

S.M Pertet

A superhero movie and anime nerd who doesn't read as much as he'd like to. He's probably bingeing a show he loves right now that he's probably gonna write about later.

He's also an author, in the works.

Hope you like his writing.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments (1)

Sign in to comment
  • Jeff koli4 months ago

    WOW! so different from what am used to reading. This story is fantastic

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.