In the world of the animation business there is a recent trends towards super- realism where computer graphics are being increasingly used. Although I appreciate animations like Finding Nemo or the Incredibles for they represent a renewal of the genre (in the same way the Disney movie did in the 50's), the artistic style of La Planete Sauvage is unmistakable and accords perfectly with the dark atmosphere of the movie. This animation is based on the book Oms (a deformation of the french word homme, man) from the French SciFi writer Stephan Wul who should also be credited for being the writer of The Time Masters (another SciFi animation worth your time). Wul's real name is still a mystery. The rare things we know about his life are that he wrote his 10 (or so) only books when he was studying dentistry at the University. He apparently graduated and became too busy to continue his writing activity. What a pity. I've read most of Wul's book and they are all unique and beautiful. The animation sticks true to Wul's vision. The art by the Czech master Topor is dark and oppressing, despite the bright color of the 60-70's-influenced graphism, adding to the uncomfort of seeing human beings treated as pets or pests by giant extraterrestrials. However, the roles are interchangeable and humans do behave too often in the way the extraterrestrials do in the movie with other living creatures on Earth. Hard to find but worth the search.
What a great movie! I had completely forgotten about this film -in fact, I hadn't seen it in over 20 years. Well, I rented 'The Cell' and while I was watching the scene where Jennifer Lopez is in her house with the television on, I noticed those blue aliens and the memories came rushing back! Of course, I came to IMDB to figure out what the title of the film was (it was in the trivia section of 'The Cell' review), and I was pleasantly surprised to find the title. I went and bought the DVD, which is truly outstanding! The basic premise of the movie is that a race of aliens keeps domesticated humans as pets, while eliminating their feral brethren in the wild. The story centers around Terr, who is rescued from a pack of cruel alien children by the daughter of a high-ranking official. Eventually he runs away and ends up meeting the humans living in the wild. They become tired of the treatment they suffer at the hands of the alien race, and seek to exact revenge on their captors.This movie was made nearly 30 years ago, so the animation is not really comparable to modern-day animation, but the story and the plot transcend time. The premise of the film is as valid today as it was in the 70s.The DVD edition of the movie comes with three additional animated shorts by Rene Laloux, and they are just as entertaining. This is a real gem of a movie...truly beautiful. My kids love it as well. A true masterpiece.9/10.
A delightful, original an odd French-Czechoslovakian animation movie by Rene Laloux that wan Cannes Jury's award in 1974.The 2-D animation is something that you can expect from the seventies, but it is very original and innovative for the time. It has the detail and charm of all good illustration books, and, despite the limits in movement, the characters are very expressive and beautifully drawn, as well as the landscapes. The world and atmospheres created by Laloux are superb, both familiar and strange. The Recipe? Mix Dali surreal landscapes, Bosch architecture and fauna/flora creatures, add a hint of 19th century botanical drawings, slowly pour some Pink Floyd-ish music, and whisk all energetically with a fat-free faux-mythological metaphorical story, and you have The Savage Planet, which is the original title of the movie in French.The story is very interesting and has many possible interpretations and readings: the role of humans in Nature, cohabitation and coexistence of different species and political systems, what makes different species superior and savage, among others. I found funny that the people in the story are called Oms (French word for people is Hommes and it sounds the same as Oms), and the main character is called Terr (the name of earth in French is Terre and sounds the same as Terr).The main problem with the story and the characters is that they are not always engaging as they don't transmit enough emotion or feeling to the viewer. The viewer doesn't feel empathy towards the poor suffering human pets or towards the aliens, the first because they really act like a pest, and the second because they are too spiritual and developed to tolerate others than themselves. This is all intended, but still frigidly expressed. The lack of thrill is what kills the movie.Nevertheless, this is one of those animation movies that everybody should see, full of imagination, talent, and landmarks in Animation. A cult movie that deserves the cult. Unique.
Having just completed watching this film, I can say it was worth the wait. It will please fans of hard-core science fiction (not fantasy), and will seduce fans of animation (not just 3D animation, animation in general terms) with its mix of Czech style animation and illustration.It is a good movie, but not a masterpiece. The narrative treads the science fiction tropes too strictly and ends up painting characters and events predictably when the setup seems to suggest something more interesting. In fact, I was very disappointed that the most developed and interesting relationship in the whole film is traded off for a kind of boring resistance story that does its best to not let the audience make connections with the characters. It is not picked up or revisited later... and none of the subsequent character interplay is as interesting or meaningful.Where this film excels is in its weirdness and imagination. Strange and horrible creations are brought to life and move/eat/gestate/exist in ways that will make you go 'ew' and 'wow' at the same time. This is helped by the strong European styling of the animation (mostly limited in movement) and illustration, which reminded me of studio Zagreb..There is something so mysterious about the atmosphere of this film - it may just grab you. Definitely watch it for the disturbing and somehow touching relationship between Tiva and Terr - you'll only wish there was more of it.
La Planète sauvage is a fantastic sci-fi movie. The story is great. Its about a planet called Ygam, where human-like creatures called Oms live as pets for a race of blue giants known as the Traags. An Om steals a Traag knowledge device and helps the other Oms revolt. This is just the beginning of this fantastic tale. Even tough the animation is only okay, the fantastic drawings are perfectly suited to this exceptional movie. They are beautiful are alone worth the price(and time) that will give you the chance to see this extraordinary film, but the story is also exceptional. Its hard to find but its worth it.10 out of 10. An animation masterpiece.
This is the masterpiece of René Laloux. Was an almost big success in France, was shown only 2 or 3 times in the past 20 years and is now a kind of "Cult" movie for sci fi addicts. This sci-fi movie is far much better than the two other from the same director: "Gandahar" and "Les maitres du temps" (Time Masters). René Laloux always works with great and original comics artists. He worked with "Moebius" Aka Jean Giraud on "Les maitres du temps". This artist is also credited on "Alien" , he created the space suits. He worked with "Caza" an other great comics artist for "Gandahar"He worked wit "Topor" on "La planète sauvage". Roland Topor is a french artist with a great sense of fantasy. He designed most of all you can see on the screen. The animation was produced in Czechoslovakia because there always have been excellent animation studios in this country, and also because producing in France was far too expensive. This story takes place in the past. It is a metaphor of the man's history. The small characters are called "Oms". This word is pronounced like the french word "Hommes" that means "man". It tell us when man had to leave the original heaven. Man had to fight against his old masters to be independent and free, then he had to find his place in the universe. This is the universal story ... and that's why this movie is timeless (despite the 70s Wha Wha guitars ... ;o)
This film is an absolute marvel. I saw this film as a child, and was instantly mesmerized with the entire concept. Fans of dark animation will hopefully love it as did I. Eerie settings, strange creatures, and an equally hypnotic score all lend themselves to the masterpiece that is La Planete Sauvage.
I saw this movie a few years ago on the Sci-Fi channel during a movie marathon they were having. Loved it so much I bought the DVD.Based on a brilliant piece of science fiction ("Oms En Serie" by Stefan Wul). The artwork is stunning, and the story line an original masterpiece.The plotline of this story is simple.You enslave a race of beings and take them for granted, one of them eventually learns your language, and unites all his fellow slaves in an organized attack.Suddenly you've been conquered.This story line was later ripped off by L. Ron Hubbard and his group of wackos. You might have read the book, or seen the atrocity of a film "Battlefield Earth".
If when you view this film, you are expecting a simple cartoon, you are in for a surprise and an educational treat as well. The film is called " Fantastic Planet " and is perhaps one of the finest examples of creative journalism ever. It tells the story of Terr (Eric Baugin and Jean Valmont) who's life literally begins on the run. His mother, Indeed, the entire race of fleeing Humans are not the dominate species on the planet. Hardly, the Humans are tiny when compared with the giant size Draags who rule the world. On this Alien sphere, the Draags consider the little humans, whom they call Oms, both charming play toys and at the same time, a pesky, intrusive and troubling nuisance. After losing his mother, Terr is adopted and accepted as a household pet by a female Draag. Despite being little more than a toy, Terr is nevertheless able to learn enough to escape and eventually mature into an adult Om. Later he meets other Oms, one of which is called Tiwa (Jennifer Drake). As time passes, the Oms become so dangerous to the Draags, that they decide to eradicate the entire race of humans. However, the Oms, having become aware of the plan, hurry to find and exploit the Draags' one main weakness. Failure means extinction, success promises to change the world of both. The film is certainly unique and its moral offering is not lost on the thinking and compassionate viewer. Subtitles make for a hindrance, but it's importance message allows it to stand on its own laurels as an all time Classic. ****
I'm not much of a fan of fantasy. A friend, however, brought this film to my attention because he said he couldn't get the story out of his head, and made further comments that piqued my curiosity.Well, it didn't kill me to see the film and I'm happy to say that it was worth my time – for a number of reasons. First, the mise-en-scene is quite imaginative with absolutely surreal environments that I think owe a lot to the imagery of Monty Python; nothing wrong in copying – everybody does it, anyway.Second, it's a fairly simple story about the oppression and exploitation of the masses in a fantastic society somewhere in the cosmos. To that extent, it's an allegory for any situation that results in a clash between opposing cultures, different societies and so on. It's given a new slant here, though, by portraying humanity – called the Oms – as the oppressed who are exploited by blue giants, known as the Traag. The plot follows the exploits of one male Om who, after learning all about the Traag, escapes from them to rouse the other Oms to mount a rebellion.Finally, however, the most intriguing aspect about this film is the clear connection between it and other sci-fi and fantasy films. For example, the discordant sounds in this film are, I think, a direct copy of those I heard in The Forbidden Planet (1957). As noted already, the whole scenario owes much to the Monty Python TV series. And for sure, I think, James Cameron copied the idea of a giant tree sanctuary from this film for inclusion in his epic Avatar (2009). Cameron, of course, reversed the oppressed-oppressor roles of humanity and the blue giants for his story.Moreover, here's a way-out thought: being a French production and seeing as how the French just love Hollywood westerns, I was amused to see the 'outlaw' Oms run for cover to a tiny hole in a wall – a long, blank, gigantic solid wall – much like how the real Butch Cassidy and his outlaws retreated to what was known as The Hole-in-the-Wall Gang hideout in the late nineteenth century. Too much of a stretch for you? Then think about why the writers here also included a Hollow Bush Gang of Oms who acted as enemies of the rebellious Oms in the Tree of Life sanctuary who wanted to escape from the Traag.Actually, I also think that The Hollow Bush Gang is a metaphor for the Gang with No Brains, as you will see – in contrast to the rebellious Oms who figured out how to escape from Traag domination. Knowledge, after all, is power and so forth...And, for something even more off the wall: long ago, Edgar Rice Burroughs (famous for Tarzan and others) wrote sci-fi stories about Mars. In one of those stories, there were headless humanoids that could function only when a head slithered into position between the shoulders. So watch for a brazen copy of that idea in this film.I guess kids today would find the graphics and imagery quite rudimentary when compared to the current technology of mind-blowing CGI action. Too bad – their loss.If you ever come across it on TV or on DVD, you could do lot worse with a couple of your hours, I guess. As a piece of cinema history, it is worth seeing; and I'm glad I did.Give it seven stars for the imagery and overall effort.January 26, 2012