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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