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Animation: Fantastic Planet

Fantastic Planet is a 1973 Czech/French film about... various things, and it's far too trippy and eccentric to do justice here. Basically, set on the homeworld of the Traags (or Draags), where humans - known as Oms - exist on their planet both as a troublesome vermin population but also as domesticated pets. The film follows one of those pets from his captivity to later living among the humans, and then later still things get even stranger, if that's even possible. Let's just say that it involves a ritualised engagement in intergalactic out of body experiences which is symbolically and probably literally both drugs and sex is threatened by an act of terrorism and that still doesn't make it sound half as surreal as it really is.

Along the way, other stuff happens that you never really understand. It's almost indescribable, but just think Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind meets 2001: A Space Odyssey on mescaline, and you pretty much have it.

Provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Alien Sky: Typically brownish coloured.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Well, French in the original, and they still use French words as the basis of naming a human in the English.note 
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: The film starts with trippy music and a tribal hunting/chase sequence containing some cool transition effects.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Some of the nudity in the film, though we do get some genitalia.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Poisonous, moving blobs, bat-winged Om-eaters with long tongues for sucking up humans in their dens, sadistic laughing plants with human faces that beat winged beasties to death... and then you have the Draags with their meditation ritual where their bodies melt into the walls.
  • Deranged Animation: And how! (To some, the style is reminiscent of Terry Gilliam's surreal animated work for Monty Python.)
  • Disney Acid Sequence: The film.
  • Duel to the Death: Disputes are settled among the wild Oms by using large jawed alien worms as weapons.
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Although strangely. The Om have a lit-up orgy (tastefully obscured), and the less said about the Draag sex, the better.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Literally.
  • G-Rated Drug: When the Oms eat the fruit in the desert and start to glow, and also the Draag 'meditation'. Or that thing they do where their bodies transform while sitting around. Some have suggested the name 'Draag' itself may come from drugs. Look, half the movie, okay?
  • Humanoid Aliens: They're much bigger than humans, and blue skinned, but they still fit.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Played with. Humans are responsible for the destruction of their own planet and how the Draags treat the humans is in itself a rather ironic comment on how we treat other animals.
  • Humans Are Interesting: As pets.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: How the Draags percieve us and our degree of intelligence is pretty important to the plot, such as it is.
  • Kill All Humans: Reluctantly.
  • Mind Screw: The whole movie. The imagery can be suggestive in ways you may not even be consciously aware of.
  • Personal Rain Cloud: Terr was subjected to one controlled by Tiva.
  • Planetary Romance: Gone insane, but definitely fitting the expectations of this trope, oddly enough.
  • Scenery Porn: The animators take great pride in their bizarre, Krazy Kat-esque desertscapes.
  • Sex as Rite-of-Passage: The Draag coming of age ceremony, wherein a child pictures themselves floating off in a bubble to sit ontop a naked statuette that dances with statues from other galaxies... well, it's getting stoned and having sex all at once. Only weirdly!
  • Spell My Name with an S: The natives of the planet are called "Traags" in the original French version. The English dub calls them "Draags."

Jan ŠvankmajerEastern European AnimationThe Little Mole
Eyes Without a FaceFrench FilmsFantômas
Escape From Planet EarthScience Fiction Animated FilmsFinal Fantasy: The Spirits Within
The ExorcistFilms of the 1970sEmperor of the North
38 ParrotsThe SeventiesFiring Range

alternative title(s): Fantastic Planet
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