Fantastic Planet

On a distant planet populated by the Draags, a race of giant blue aliens, humans are booth pets and pests. When one of their number, Terr (Jean Valmont, Eric Baugin), acquires some of their knowledge he teaches the humans, or Oms, as they’re known, to fight back.

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This French animation from 1973 mirrors the story and themes of Planet of the Apes, but swaps rubber ape masks for pyschadelic animations. Terr takes on the role of Ceasar, acquiring knowledge which lets him lead his barbarian brothers and savage sisters against their alien overlords. The allegory with how humans treat animals is clear, not least in the way the Draags cull human numbers regularly for purely economic reasons. But like Planet of the Apes it’s critical of its human characters too as they use animals in combat and kill them, just as they are mistreated by the Draags.fantastic_planet_la_planete_sauvage

It’s told in what nowadays looks like fairly basic animation, but it’s kept visually interesting throughout thanks to the surreal character design and bizarre plants populating every scene, making it as trippy as Fantastic Voyage, but less so than A Fantastic Woman. This is an alien world in every sense and it’s pretty bloody weird, especially when the Draags meditate in floating orbs. It’s accompanied by an equally weird but effective funk-sounding score which ensures this extraterrestrial exploration of animal exploitation is never a Draag.

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