Cartoon of the Day: La Planète Sauvage (Fantastic Planet)

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La Planete SauvageEnglish Title: Fantastic Planet

La Planete Sauvage English Title: Fantastic Planet

A cartoon we get asked about a lot (and I do mean a LOT!) is La Planète Sauvage (English Title: Fantastic Planet). Not one I saw when I was growing up, but many of you obviously did. This joint production by French and Czechoslovakian filmmakers was seen as a metaphor for Soviet oppression of Czechoslovakia, and pressure from the Communist government.

On the fantastic planet of Ygam, located in a far solar system, a race of huge blue creatures called Draags keep Oms as domesticated pets. Oms are the descendants of the human survivors of Earth, comparably antlike in size and mistreated by the Draags. With the aid of a Draag knowledge device, an escaped orphaned Om manages to unite a society of wild Oms to revolt against their oppression. The wild Oms attack the Draags in their most vulnerable spot, a mystical moon orbiting around their home world: a moon which holds a powerful secret to the Draags’ existence.

Originally brought to America in the early 1970s through Roger Corman’s New World Pictures “European Acquisitions,” the film was wildly successful on the B-movie circuit with the “post-hippie trippers,” seen as a metaphor for class struggle.

Production design based on the artwork and drawings of Roland Topor.

First shown publicly at the Cannes Film Festival, May 1973. Commercial release: December 6, 1973. Re-released in February 1977.

Also known as: “Divoká Planeta” (Czechoslovakia), “The Fantastic Planet”, “Planet of Incredible Creatures” and “The Savage Planet.”

So when did you first see this sci-fi social commentary animated film? Does it still hold up today?

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