on 26 June 2008
This 70s animated film has a very special feel and sound. I saw it as a child on TV, and still remember it decades later. Now Masters of Cinema has released the film on DVD with a good transfer, it was interesting to watch it again! If You like animated film and SF, this is well worth buying. But it deviates a lot from animations and anime made today, this is more 70s style and feels more experimental and less mass-produced...or something. My criticism of the film itself is that the ending seems a little rushed ans simplistic. Highly recommended!
on 8 August 2010
Case - Slim U.S style plastic blu-ray case.
Disc - 25GB, MPEG-4 AVC encoded, Region B locked.
Video - 1.66:1 Aspect Ratio in a 16:9 frame (small black bars appear at the sides of the picture), Colour, 1080p/24fps.
Audio - Original French DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and dubbed English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0.
Subtitles - Optional English.
Soundtrack (selectable from the Blu-ray menu, not an additional CD)
Laloux Suavage (25 minute documentary about the films director Rene Laloux)
Short films (all in French with optional English subs):
Les dents du singe (1960) - Monkey's Teeth
Les temps morts (1964) - Dead Times
Les escargots (1965) - The Snails
Comment Wang-Fo fut sauve (1987) - How Wang-Fo Was Saved
La prisonniere (1988) - The Captive
Censorship? - No censorship or cuts made to the film on this disc. BBFC - PG certificate (animated violence and nudity)
'La Planete Suavage' is a highly imaginative, and beautiful film. Its basically a science-fiction retelling of David and Goliath, and the story is simplistic and easy to follow. I enjoyed this film as its very bizarre and unconventional. The picture quality is not going to blow you away as this is not Disney Pixar animation remember and its 37 years old. It looks good though, with a small slightly noticable amount of grain present, and the colours are strong (essential for animation on Blu-ray!). I rented the dvd release a while back, and can honestly say the Blu-ray is a big improvement. The audio is excellent, with the 70's style music (with wah-wah guitars) sounding very effective and the dialogue is very clear.
The supplements are pretty good, with a superb booklet, soundtrack, documentary and a selection of short films from the same director (The Snails is probably the best and is also in 1080p).
If you are a fan of world cinema and animation then you'll love this, and i highly recommend this Blu-ray. If you own the dvd then it is worth an upgrade as the picture is an improvement, you get lossless audio and better extras too.
on 1 September 2006
Fantastic Planet is a creature very much of its time ie 1973. It is an animated film for adults which, like its contemporary 2001: A Space Oddysey, is a 'trip' as much as a movie. It was surely created with the help of hallucinogens and many would argue that it is best viewed under such circumstances, as it undoubtedly would have been by much of the original audience.
The movie also speaks to a radicalised generation. Despite its quite literally 'fantastic' setting it is very much about revolution. Don't forget that Paris had been in flames in 1968 during the student uprising and Hippy culture still prevailed per se.
The designs for the movie are amazing and the dubbing surprisingly good for a change if that is how you wish to view it. Whilst the animation itself may seem tiresomely primitive to those brought up on CGI, for me it is a reminder of a more intelligent age - Miyazake excepted -when the animated movie could also have soul.
on 10 February 2013
Love it, love it, love it. My new favourite sci fi film of all time.great plot, entertaining,great music, imaginative and it has a brilliant DVD release too. It comes on DVD and blu ray,with lalouxs short films, the soundtrack , a documentary on the director and a booklet. Definitely worth the money, best Christmas present this year, I would like to see some of rene lalouxs other animated films, a must watch 10/10.
Fantastic Planet is an interesting biography of a man who becomes a pet to a Draag child. The Draags are an alien race who are physical giants compared to we humans, or "Om" as they call us. The man finds himself the amusing possession of the giant blue being after his mother is killed when Draag children 'play' with her like a human child might treat insects, they have no regard to her own life or dignity. Both she and her baby are seen as simple animals.
This isn't just the story of one man though and the film is also a clever way to explore an alien way of life as we get explanations of their behaviour from the viewpoint of a captive human. It's clear that the Draag are aware that we Oms have capabilities beyond that of feral animals. They refer to our native ancient planet as once productive and with organised society. The film touches on many themes, but the most prevalent seems to be the power of education. The Draag consider themselves a higher life form as they have great intellect compared to the tiny Om creatures who are considered to be vermin and subjected to pest control. The balance of power starts to tilt though when the Om who narrates the story gains knowledge himself and starts to share it, he kickstarts a social evolution.
Animation is a great way to portray alien worlds and this French animated film creates a landscape which often appears like a Terry Gilliam animation from Monty Python - but it certainly looks alien. The world is littered with strange animal and plant life with a standardised colour palette ensuring that everything feels natural and part of the same eco-system. Those more familiar with modern day CGI may find the animation a bit crude, segments are reused and repeated and the hand drawn images don't have fluid movement. Instead the film makes use of mostly still images with small sections animated, this can make things look a bit stiff but is also part of the charm. This is handcrafted and a prominent part of artwork is the hand drawn pencil marks and pastel strokes.
The audio has dated somewhat, and this is most noticeable when the film opens. However, the very `70s music and the strange audio effects make this sound more alien than ever before and enhances the science fiction feel of it. The alien sounds are used to build some emotive imagery, for instance; the sound of pest control pellets being fired to kill the wild Oms sound like gunfire. As we see the Oms walking though a wilderness scattered with corpses it is reminiscent of contemporary news footage depicting victims of political wars where militia provide a backdrop of bangs and whistles.
This Blu-Ray release contains a good widescreen transfer of the film (it's obviously not going to blow you away picture quality-wise, but it looks good and clean.) The English subtitles are clear and I'd recommend the original French soundtrack, but the English dub is actually pretty good. The best bonus features are the additional short films which are great individual pieces of work.
In a nutshell: Fantastic Planet intricately tackles a story which is massive in scope. This is the tale of two species whose cultures experience an epic shift in attitude to each other. Humans can rise up and develop from the humblest of situations, but we shouldn't consider ourselves above all other living things. The Draag in the film reflect much of the truth of our society and how we perhaps look down on those considered different. My first impressions of the film were not that great, but after just a few minutes this becomes an incredibly compelling watch. Without tolerance and knowledge we are nothing but savage animals, a little education can inspire great things.
on 26 October 2012
This film is an impressive reminder of how captivating and beautifully natural sketch animations are. I was impressed from start to finish. Having an eye for art i could really appreciate the sheer effort and planning of the entire art form.
The plot development is lacking somewhat, the main character's childhood is over extensive, and alot of 'mini' scenes in which humans (or 'Oms') are repeatedly portrayed as pets by the aliens could have been reduced or removed entirely. The time consumption of these scenes seem to cut short the plot and critical scenes, leaving a rushed second half and leaving alot of the grey areas to the imagination.
The ending, of which i wont divulge for fear of spoiling this great film for anyone, is regrettably short and wraps up too quickly, and left me puzzled and somewhat dissapointed. The finale is a scene of massive impact, but is not explained thoroughly.
Imaginative, humerous, dark and yet lighthearted in many respects, the film provides alot of diversity for viewers. The alien landscape is especially interesting and the ideas for the creatures, plants and way of life are nothing short of amazing.
The soundtrack really adds the required effect to eccentuate and add depth to alot of the film. The music has a strong 70's vibe to it, though this doesnt hinder viewing or ruin the atmos.
I havent watched all the extras but they include some short films, i watched one and it was amusing, and retains the art style.
Overall id say this is an amazing product of high creativity and imagination, method and skill. It is unique in most aspects.
I wouldnt recommend it for kids below the age of eight as there moderately disturbing culling scenes and a fairly complicated infrastructure.
on 2 July 2013
Yes, the Gulliver's Travels plot is feeble and predictable. Yes the 70's trippy music is... trippy. But some of the scenes... This purchase comes with a warning. If you like animations of the Brothers Quay and Svankmejer then you'll dig this. Otherwise avoid. Ideal for putting on a big screen at a house party. 60 seconds of this and you're guaranteed to start a debate. Or get kicked out.
on 5 June 2012
This is one of my favorite movies. It has haunted me since the first time I saw it, and I was a high school student, so this really isn't necessarily only for kids. In fact, it's pretty strange, pretty raw. I would recommend this for a child to watch with their parents. But it's an extremely unique film with wonderful drawings, an incredible, fusion-inspired soundtrack (reminds me so much of Big Fun era Miles Davis!) and a very moving story. It's also trippy as hell! Hooray!
I can't comment on the blu ray, although I wish I could!, because I couldn't play it; it's region 2 locked. Why this is not specified on the page is a question I would like answered. Upon further inspection, somebody had published a review on the amazon page which clears up that issue, but I didn't think to look there. Pretty disappointing. :(
on 30 August 2013
I had this on VHS so this Blu-ray/DVD with all of its extras was a real surprise. This is such an excellent film that I sent another DVD version over to a friend and let someone else borrow my copy. I'm pleased with the quality of the Masters of Cinema.
on 6 March 2011
I didnt know what to expect but i went on instinct and bought this film.I am so glad i did as i cant believe how it portrays how society works with such precision.An outstanding piece of adult animation-to deep for the little ones just yet but let them watch it from the age of 10,they would miss out on the message.A very clever,very styilised animation with real 70s aura.A must for the reasonably educated and well worth a position in your animated film section!