Fantastic Planet

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For the album by Failure, see Fantastic Planet (album).
Fantastic Planet
French film poster.
Directed by René Laloux
Produced by Simon Damiani
Andre Valio-Cavaglione
Written by René Laloux
Roland Topor
Based on Oms en série 
by Stefan Wul
Music by Alain Goraguer
Cinematography Boris Baromykin
Lubomir Rejthar
Edited by Dick Elliott
Rich Harrison
Distributed by Argos Films
Release dates
6 December 1973
Running time
72 minutes
  • France
  • Czechoslovakia
Language French

Fantastic Planet (French: La Planète sauvage, lit. The Savage Planet) is a 1973 cutout stop motion science fiction allegorical film directed by René Laloux, production designed by Roland Topor, written by both of them and animated at Jiří Trnka Studio.[1] The film was an international production between France and Czechoslovakia and was distributed in the United States by Roger Corman. It won the special jury prize at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival.[2] The story is based on the novel Oms en série, by the French writer Stefan Wul. A working title for the film while it was in development was Sur la planète Ygam (On the Planet Ygam).[3] The film had a total of 809,945 admissions in France.[4]


In the future, human beings – called "Oms" (a homonym of the French-language word Hommes, meaning humans) – live on the Draags' home planet. The Draags are humanoid in shape but a hundred times larger than humans and have longer life spans. While Draags keep some Oms as pets, they see other Oms as pests to be exterminated. A group of Draag children accidentally kill an Om woman during play. Her orphaned infant is taken in by an adult Draag as a pet for his child, Tiva. Tiva’s father is Master Sinh, the Draag great Aedile.

Many Draag children have Om pets, but the bond created Tiva and the Om child named Terr (word play on the French word Terre, meaning Earth) deepens over time. Tiva receives her education from a headset that transmits knowledge directly into her brain. Because she enjoys having Terr in her hand when she is having her "infos," Terr begins to acquire both Draag knowledge and realization of who and what he is. Stealing the headset, Terr escapes.

Terr eventually discovers a tribe of wild Oms and, after some tribulation, is accepted into it. Over the next several scenes, it is shown how the Oms have adapted to life on the Draags' planet. Using Tiva's headset and acquired knowledge, the Om tribe achieves literacy. After staging an impromptu resistance, the Oms discover they are going to be de-Omized. A great many Oms perish, but a sizable number escapes.

The humans survive Draag attempts to de-Omize them by using organized shelters, but the Draags' updated technologies become ever more aggressive. The Oms reverse engineer Draag rockets and launch a manned mission toward the Savage Planet. They discover the greatest weakness of the Draag species: the secret to their method of reproduction. This critical point in the war between Draags and Oms presents a hard decision for the Draags, to choose peace or war.



The film is chiefly noted for its surreal imagery, the work of French writer and artist Roland Topor. The landscape of the Draag planet is full of strange creatures, including a cackling predator which traps small fluttering animals in its cage-like nose, shakes them to death and hurls them to the ground. The Draag practice of meditation, whereby they commune psychically with each other and with different species, is shown in transformations of their shape and colour.

It is considered one of the first examples of film which introduce the theme of speciesism.

The interaction of science and superstition is most apparent in the Wizard, who resists the knowledge that Terr brings, fearing it will erode the power he maintains. Knowledge trumps ignorance, but in this case only after surviving an attempted assassination.

Terr's drive to share knowledge overpowers the fear of an unknown people. Only his courage to save others not of his adopted tribe allows that tribe to overcome the loss of their leader.

The Draags and Oms finally learn to live in peace and mutual benefit; presumably any groups can if they and their leaders really want to. This may have been a theme favoured by the filmmakers as it was made and released during the Cold War (the source novel was first published in 1957).


The music was composed by Alain Goraguer.[5]

Track listing[edit]

  1. Deshominisation (II)
  2. Deshominisation (I)
  3. Generique
  4. Le Bracelet
  5. Ten et Tiwa
  6. Maquillage de Tiwa
  7. Course de Ten
  8. Ten et Medor
  9. Ten et Tiwa Dormet
  10. Ten est Assome
  11. Abite
  12. Conseil des Draags
  13. Les Hommes – La Grande Co-existence
  14. La Femme
  15. Mira et Ten
  16. Morte de Draag
  17. L'Oiseau
  18. La Cite des Hommes Libres
  19. Attaque des Robots
  20. La Longue Marche – Valse Des Statues
  21. Les Fusees
  22. Generique
  23. Strip Tease
  24. Meditation des Enfants
  25. La Vielle Meurt

Video releases[edit]

  • Burnt-in English subtitles on Anchor Bay's USA DVD release spell the name of the blue-skinned species as "Draag"; the original novel the film is based on spells it as "Traag".
  • In 2006, Eureka Entertainment released the film on DVD in the UK as #34 in their Masters of Cinema range. Unlike the Anchor Bay release, this uses an anamorphic widescreen transfer and newly translated subtitles which retain the "Draag" spelling. This version was released in Region 1 on October 23, 2007. In August 2010, Eureka released a restored high-definition transfer of the film on Blu-ray Disc, with special features including a collection of Laloux's short films, and a 27-minute documentary called Laloux sauvage. Eureka, a London-based company, has only produced the edition as a region B release.
  • On October 23, 2007 Facets Video and Accent Cinema released a newly restored version of the film on DVD, including many bonus features never available before. It is different from the version released by Eureka.

Televised airings[edit]

RTV (Retro Television Network) ran "Fantastic Planet" on January 2, 2011, as part of its Off Beat Cinema presentation originally aired in Buffalo, NY by WKBW-TV, channel 7. "Fantastic Planet" appeared at least once in the 1980s on USA Network's Night Flight weekend program. In the United Kingdom and Ireland it has been shown on the Sky Arts channel and has been available on demand via the Sky Anytime service.

References in other works[edit]

Madlib cites the film as an influence, using visuals from the film on his album covers and samples of the soundtrack on his songs. The song "Come On Feet", on his album The Unseen, contains many samples from the movie, including the recurring melody of the main theme.[6]

The band Failure named its third full-length album after the film.

In the movie The Cell, Jennifer Lopez's character Catherine Deane watches the movie on her bedroom television.

Music from Fantastic Planet is sampled in "Insomniak" by Mac Miller, "Chrysalis" by The Underachievers and "Don't do drugs kids" by Flatbush Zombies.

Flying Lotus explains that he drew inspiration from the film when producing the track “Your Potential/The Beyond” from the album You're Dead!, .[7]


  1. ^ "La Planète Sauvage (Fantasic Planet) @ BCDB". BCDB. 2012-11-16. 
  2. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Fantastic Planet". Retrieved 2009-04-19. 
  3. ^ Stephenson, Ralph (1967). "15. Filmographies". In Peter Cowie. Animation in the Cinema. International Film Guide. London: A. Zwemmer. p. 173. 
  4. ^ La Planète sauvage
  5. ^ La Planete Sauvage Soundtrack ]
  6. ^ Stones Throw Records
  7. ^ Flying Lotus Provides A Track-By-Track Breakdown Of You're Dead!

External links[edit]