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Fantastic Planet (Bilingual) [Import]

Rene Laloux    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
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Product Description


Based on French science fiction novelist Stefan Wul's Oms en Serie ("Oms by the Dozen"), René Laloux's La Planète Sauvage (its title changed to Fantastic Planet for the U.S. release) paints an animated tale of humans kept as domesticated pets by an alien race of blue humanoid giants called Traags. The story takes place on the Traags' planet Ygam, where we follow our narrator, an Om called Terr, from infancy to adulthood, when he escapes his subjugation with a Traag learning device with which to educate the savage Oms and incite them to revolt. As a French-Czech coproduction, this story had much resonance for its makers as an allegory of Czechoslovakia's invasion by Russian troops in the late '60s, and had to be completed in Paris due to political pressure. While the story does not distinguish itself in the annals of science fiction, the imagination invested in the surreal backdrops, with its eerie creatures and landscapes, does. The animation technique--moving paper cutouts across backgrounds--contributes to the overall feeling of other-worldliness. Fantastic Planet won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973. --Jim Gay

From the Studio

René Laloux's mesmerising psychedelic sci-fi animated feature won the Grand Prix at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival and is a landmark of European animation. Based on Stefan Wul's novel Oms en série [Oms by the dozen], Laloux's breathtaking vision was released in France as La Planète sauvage [The Savage Planet]; in the USA as Fantastic Planet; and immediately drew comparisons to Swift's Gulliver's Travels and Planet of the Apes (both the 1968 film and Boule's 1963 novel). Today, the film can be seen to prefigure much of the work of Hayao Miyazaki at Studio Ghibli (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away) due to its palpable political and social concerns, cultivated imagination, and memorable animation techniques. Fantastic Planet tells the story of "Oms", a human-like species, kept as domesticated pets by an alien race of blue giants called "Draags". The story takes place on the Draags' planet Ygam, where we follow our narrator, an Om called Terr, from infancy to adulthood. He manages to escape enslavement from a Draag learning device used to educate the savage Oms — and begins to organise an Om revolt. The imagination invested in the surreal creatures, music and sound design, and eerie landscapes, is immense and unforgettable. This print includes the early LaLoux short “The Snails”.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please read MY review FIRST... May 1 2004
By A Customer
I've noticed that TOO MANY people have ruined many products on Amazon before they're even sold with their uptight fierce complaints disguised as 'reviews'!
That unfortunately has happened also with THIS DVD! All I can say is BUY IT! IT'S GREAT! No complaints!....
Now, the reason I am so "FOR" this release is I've had a VHS copy of this film for years [on the 'Embassy Home Video' label] and it was fine. It had the english dubbed-in voices & NO 'subtitles'. I got THAT copy after FIRST seeing it on the SCI-FI channel in 1995, [although I've heard of this movie ever since I can remember!] and later bought a "Video YesterYear" release that had faded colour & a whole scene cut out! Like most of us movie & TV on home video fans, I've been looking for a 'DVD' release....and THIS is IT!!
Sure everyone whines about the infamous 'subtitles', but criminey! HOW many other 'foreign' [YES! 'FOREIGN'] films out there have them?? The soundtrack of this DVD version has the beautiful original French dialogue & music - OR -the option of the English dubbed version, which sounds like it's coming over the telephone for some strange reason[?] So, I recommend watching it with the original 'French' and THEN the non-removable subtitles work PERFECTLY! You'll be GLAD they ARE there!
The BEST part of this DVD version is the inclusion of the earlier 3 Rene Laloux films 'Monkeys Teeth' 'Dead Times' & 'The Snails'! That's the MAIN reason I BOUGHT this! Then again, I'm into obscure foreign animation from the past and don't go berserk if there are 'subtitles'... Yes, they COULD have issued the DVD with 'Closed Captioning', THEN you could remove the subtitles if you want, but they didn't, so there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
First of all, I love the movie and have long wanted to have it on DVD. The quality of the DVD seems fine to me, but it is clear someone did not take the time to consider the subtitle treatment. You can view the movie either with a French or English audio track, but in both cases you have to look at subtitles in English: you have no option to turn the subtitles off. Yes, you're reading this right: the English audio track option includes subtitles for the French translation of the English! A large portion of the reason I enjoy animated features is, not surprisingly, for the animation, and the white wording at the bottom of the screen is annoying and distracting; moreover, it wrecks the lower portion of the movie visually. I have the English version on VHS, without subtitles. Until this DVD is redone, that's the version I'll be watching. Because I speak French, I also want to be able to watch this movie in French without subtitles! I've never encountered a film moved to DVD with a treatment this inept.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars almost interesting story; naive, clumsy animation Jan. 24 2003
Though I'm well aware of all the awards, notoriety, and cult status of this film, thirty 30 after it's making I would be forced to label FANTASTIC PLANET "clumsy and naive."
The plot is the most interesting aspect: In the distant future, a gigantic race of blue skinned humanoids rules the land, relegating the tiny-by-comparison, post-civilization humans to the role of mice. They're either charming pets or wild vermin. One such "house pet" figures out how to gain the blue creature's knowledge and ultimately uses it against them, liberating and evolving the tiny, enslaved humans.
Unfortunately, the story moves at a lethargic, almost disinterested pace; and the very-european soundtrack does little to keep the tempo moving. As a matter of fact, the end of the film is flaccidly delivered as an almost casual after-thought. Character design and art direction are terribly dated, if not poor, and the animation itself is very limited. Stylistically, I would almost liken the visuals to Terry Gilliam's Monty Ponty animation crossed with YELLOW SUBMARINE. Bear with me for a moment, I'm serious. Imagine Gilliam's muted tones, rolling hills, cut-out animation, and shift in scale crossed with YELLOW SUBMARINE'S surrealism and gadgetry. Unfortunately, FANTASTIC PLANET is neither funny nor visually (or musically) polished.
As others have pointed out, the subtitles are annoying to watch with the english dialog. Particularly when they say "FANTASTIC PLANET" and the subtitles read "STRANGE PLANET." The most amusing part of the voice over occurs during the council meetings of the "Traags," or blue skinned giants.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Jan. 30 2005
By Isfahan
Contrary to the bulk of the reviews, I didn't have a problem with the subtitles. I recommend setting your preferences to French with English subtitles. The film is incredibly imaginative, and held me spellbound by the power of its invention. Well worth the price of the DVD, and a welcome addition to my collection.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mind Blowing June 25 2004
By Ænima
I didn't expect much from the story. I bought it because I love this style of animation. Some of the scenes were very psychedelic, almost like an acid trip. It turns out that the story was actually the most entertaining part of the movie for me. It definitely gives you a different perspective of human life.
The DVD included four interesting shorts put out by the creator. Most of them included live action as well as animation. The only reason I can't give a full 5 stars is because the subtitles are HORRIBLE. Among the worst i've ever seen. There's little contrast between the background and the text, so about 75% of the words are legible. I really don't understand why the publishers thought this would be acceptable. I took French for several years, but I can imagine how frustrating it would be for someone trying to read that text.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars More Whining About Subtitles!
YOU CAN'T TURN THEM OFF, PEOPLE!!! AND they run right over the picture, not even in the black letterboxed space beneath! Read more
Published on May 29 2004 by Bryan Douglas
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Animation, DVD is FLAWED!!!
The Fantastic Planet is one of my all time favorite animations. I can watch this movie again and again and get lost in its trippy/dreamy animations and hypnotic music. Read more
Published on April 21 2004 by Josh
4.0 out of 5 stars A forgotten gem of the seventies....
I saw this movie more than 30 years ago when it was current... there was a rash of Franco-Czech animation collaborations going around at the time... Read more
Published on Oct. 22 2003 by Photoscribe
5.0 out of 5 stars makes you wonder about your own pet.....
I became obsessed with seeing this movie after i saw the movie The Cell, since this is the movie that jennifer lopez is watching while trying to sleep. Read more
Published on Sept. 18 2003 by M. Jackson
3.0 out of 5 stars Great movie... VERY annoying subtitles
I was fortunate enough to have seen this feature in the theater when it was shown here in the U.S. It haunted me for years... I had never seen anything like it before or since. Read more
Published on Aug. 4 2003 by Jay
4.0 out of 5 stars A good movie for Sci-Fi buffs
Despite the gripes about the subtitles and lack of features on the DVD, I think it's a good movie and worthy to be in my collection. Read more
Published on April 25 2003 by Scott Harris
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a good DVD, but a must own film!
The DVD itself is not the greatest quality. This DVD's biggest upset is that it has subtitles which cannot be turned off. Read more
Published on April 9 2003 by Winchester
1.0 out of 5 stars subtitles are the problem
i agree with what everyone else has said. you can't turn the subtitles off and it is really distracting to see subtitles that don't match the english. Read more
Published on Jan. 3 2003 by Joseph L. Kolb
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