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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > France > Science Fiction > Political > Counterculture > Fantastic Planet (1973/aka La Planete Sauvage/Animated/France/Umbrella Entertainment Region 4 PAL DVD)

Fantastic Planet (1973/aka La Planete Sauvage/Animated/France/Umbrella Entertainment Region 4 PAL DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: B-     Film: B-



PLEASE NOTE: This DVD can only be operated on machines capable of playing back DVDs that can handle Region 4 PAL format software and can be ordered from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment at the website address provided at the end of the review.



The spirit of alternate, adult animation during the worldwide counterculture would have to stretch to France, the home of the French New Wave and though we do not get jump cuts and a free style in Rene Laloux’s enduring, stand-alone animated Science Fiction fable Fantastic Planet (1973), we do get a surreal world in the Johnathan Swift tradition where human beings are tiny (or is that a tiny version of humans) called Oms are kept as pets (even more so than a certain Twilight Zone classic) by alien creatures known as the Draggs.


When an Om is actually able to obtain a Dragg knowledge device, he starts working on plans for an uprising against the gigantic captors.  The 68 minutes are engaging, surreal, creative, influential and political, inspired in part by the events in Czechoslovakia in the late 1960s and what the now-defunct U.S.S.R. did about them, the nudity and uses of surreal images are to unlike Heavy Metal magazine (and the features so far inspired by it) and Ralph Bakshi’s work.  Not in print long enough to get the new following it deserves, if you can play this PAL Region 4 DVD, you should get this as soon as possible and it is a must for serious animation fans.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image looks good, but has a little more softness and minor flaws here and there to rate it higher than I would like to otherwise, but the used of color and the art design are a plus.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono shows its age and has some compression, but sounds good for what it is and is in French, though subtitles are available.  Extras include trailers and two more short animated films from Laloux: Les Escargots (1965) and Comment Wang – Fo Fut Sauve (1987) which are recommended after you see the feature.



As noted above, you can order this PAL DVD import exclusively from Umbrella at:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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