Fantastic Planet (1973)

Terr(right) fights an Om in the 1973 French animated film "Fantastic Planet"

By now most children of the 60’s and 70’s have seen this one, but for those of you who may have missed it, “Fantastic Planet” is a classic in both storyline and visual presentation. The original French version, titled “La Planét Savage” (translates to the savage planet) was the masterwork of French animator René LaLoux, whose work includes “Time Masters” (1981) and “Gandahar” (1987). The use of muted tones and pencil line contours rather than the hard-edged outline of most conventional 2d animation in the art give it a very soft appeal. Nice incidental music, mild nudity and a lot of hidden trivia for those who venture to study that sort of thing (case in point; Oms, the name of one of the races in the movie, was supposedly derived from the French word hommes, meaning men)

The story is based around two races of beings; the Oms are a small feral race of individuals who reside on this planet amidst the giant race known as Draags. The Draags are a telepathic race who treat the Oms like pets (or pests) and soon fall prey to the uprise of the oppressed Om race, led by Terr. I enjoy watching this one from time to time as a reminder of how expressive the visual artform of animation can be.


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