Fantastic Planet (1973) – A Sublime Trip

Animations are unlimited mediums. It’s a kind of genre, or not, where imagination is free in the minds of viewers. There is no limitation in animation, included an allegory also with René Laloux’s “Fantastic Planet”. It’s not just for kids but also adults. However, what distinguishes animations like Disney and Studio Ghibli is its freedom. I can say this film also has no limits. It’s a parable universe about aliens treating the human as the weakest race. The difference is in how this film takes you to a world without any purpose. You have to find your destination and the reason why this movie exists.

We have notably known Laloux with his work, “Gandahar”. But, I first know the animator since watching “The Snail” on YouTube. It’s a short animation about a tale of greed, pride, and karma. The animation tells how greed in each individual can destroy humans themselves. Well, there is a ton of interpretation of how the animation tells the story. Especially when I watch it while listening to Tool’s “The Pot”. It’s so much better and adds a subtlety to its message. However, I start to know the director since this work.

Roland Topor, notably known as Alejandro Jodorowsky’s partner, overtake mostly the designs in “Fantastic Planet”. The movie is a tale of humanoid, guided by the Pink Floyd-like psychedelic music. Above all, it’s a clear allegory about the situation of this world. It’s about the past up to the current era. So mesmerizingly when so many other details and messages with this one. It opens with a woman running from the pursuit of a terror we cannot see. And when it reveals, it’s a group of kid aliens who play with the woman as a toy. When one of the kids accidentally kills the “toy”, they say that they can’t play with her anymore. The reason was that she can’t move it again. Simply put, she died.

In an ambiguous world without evidence and proof, these aliens are the most powerful race on the planet. No one knows whether the planet was on Earth or another planet. They are the most dominant race on Ygam and call the human race as their Oms. We know the blue alien with red-eyed as the Draags. Yet, they always assume Oms is the most dangerous and disgusting creature. The story focuses on a young woman who is still in school. She is Tiwa (Jennifer Drake). She discovers that the baby was the mother. Tiwa adopted him until he becomes an adult.

Unlike the Draags in general, Tiwa adopted the baby, named him Teer (Eric Baugin), with great affection. Even so, she never considered that love is pure from within her or not. In this universe, Draags dehumanize them or commonly called consecration calls by adult Draags. They want to destroy the human race as much as possible to disappear and never rebel again. The dynamic between the Draags and Oms is broad from many points of view. Some say that this film tells the story of racism, human trafficking, animal abuse, rights, revolution, and others. But, I always think that this is a film about the past. The current world situation isn’t much different from the past as well. Certainly, it’s another allegory with it.

“Fantastic Planet” is about everything in this world. It’s about religion, social class, and other commentaries. Also, this film is so colorful in so many ways. The way the absurd tone works somewhat similar to any of David Lynch’s works. In aesthetically, this movie is amazing. I can watch this movie once again not because of the story. It’s because I appreciate this film from other aspects. The story doesn’t matter if you don’t understand. Just feel the animation, feels what it’s like to fly like you were on high. Let this film weirdly hypnotize you. Let the cut-outs stop-motion take you to a world that never existed. And let yourself blurred out reality into the past and future.

“Fantastic Planet” is a movie more than a commentary about politics but more an absurd picture of ourselves about humans. Apart from no character development or any character study, this movie lets you think further. There are so many other weird things besides focusing on the Oms and the Draags. It’s weird but very relevant to the current era. Truly, this movie earns its way adjectively.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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