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Animation / Fantastic Planet

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"They also claim that the Oms' ancestors on the ancient planet Terra were quite intelligent. However, as they may have destroyed their entire civilization, I doubt that's correct!"
Draag Leader

Fantastic Planet (French title: La Planète Sauvage) is a 1973 Czech/French animated, experimental film. The story is set on Ygam, the alien homeworld of the Draags (or Traags), where humans — known as Oms — exist as both a population of troublesome vermin and also as pets. The film follows a young Om as he is captured by a Draag family and kept as a pet by a young girl, who inadvertently teaches him about Draag culture and technology. After escaping from the Draag home, he joins a clan of wild Oms, bringing with him the knowledge to reshape their society and relationship with the Draags.

The film is famous for its imaginative visuals, frank sexuality and overall trippiness.

Fantastic Planet provides examples of:

  • Alien Blood: The Draags have dark blue blood.
  • Alien Sky: Typically brownish colored.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Well, French in the original, and they still use French words as the basis of naming a human in the English. "Homme", the French word for "man", is almost homonymous with "Om".
  • Alternative Calendar: A Draag week is a year for an Om. Because of this, Oms are perceived to have shorter lifespans and faster reproduction rates compared to the Draags.
  • Anti-Climax: The Oms discover the Draags' secret on the Fantastic Planet, rocking Draag society to its core and setting the stage for a possibly deadly confrontation between the two species. Then the narrator simply tells us that the two species worked out a peaceful coexistence. The end.
  • 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.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: The Draags aren't truly evil, but see Oms(humans) the same way we would small creatures like Hamsters and Mice. While some keep Oms as pets, Om reproduction forces the Draag government to cull the wild Om population every so often.
  • Body Horror: The Draag meditation ritual apparently involves the participants' bodies(sans head) morphing and melding into bizarre shapes, including disembodied nervous system. Tiwa's dad is a little embarrassed when Tiwa and Terr walk in on him and his peers in the midst of one such ritual.
  • Composite Character: Master Sinh is Tiwa's father in the film. In the book, her father's name is Praw and he is a separate character from Master Sinh.
  • Deadly Gas: Used by the Draags to exterminate the Oms.
  • Death World: Pretty much everything on Ygam is an active threat to Oms, be it flying monsters, bizarre weather, rival tribes and of course the Traags' systemic culling of their population.
  • Deranged Animation: The film uses animation to full effect, producing surreal images that could never have been realized in live action at the time.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The horrific scene of the Oms being systematically gassed and exterminated by the Traags. The novel that inspired the film was written in 1957 when The Holocaust was still very fresh in the public consciousness. Especially in Eastern Europe.
  • The Dog Bites Back: The whole film is about the Oms biting back against their former Draag masters.
  • Duel to the Death: Disputes are settled among the wild Oms by using large jawed alien worms as weapons.
  • Dull Surprise: The trailer features a woman narrating and reading reviews that give the film glowing praise... while speaking in a bland monotone voice that sounds like she literally could not care less about the film.
  • Ear Fins: the Traags have small fins instead of ears
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Although The Om have a lit-up orgy (tastefully obscured). It turns out that Draag meditation is just a way to have out-of-body orgies, which are apparently necessary to maintain their life force.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Just about every moving thing on Ygam is a predator or some sort. Even those things that aren't shown to attack Om seem to move around violently.
  • Fanservice: There's a lot of female nudity in the film. Om society seems to favor the women leaving one breast exposed.
  • G-Rated Drug: Just about everything seems to have a drug subtext. The Draags spend a lot of time "meditating," where their eyes go blank and their consciousnesses start to float around in bubbles. Tiwa's parents are seen standing in front of some sort of cloud of smoke of fluff, inhaling and then chewing on it, making it unclear if it's food or some sort of drug. When the Oms eat a certain type of fruit in the desert, they start to glow and then all split off to go have sex.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: The "wizard" of the Om clan is instantly jealous of Terr's knowledge of Draag society.
  • Head Hat: The chief of Terr's tribe wears what appears to be an octopus creature on his head like a headdress.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The leader of the Hollow Bush Bandits attacks and steals Terr's clans resources, but after the de-Omization, the two clans join forces, and the bandit leader becomes a sympathetic character.
  • Humanoid Aliens: Draags are blue skinned and red-eyed, have fins for ears, and lack eyelids. They're also about twenty stories tall.
  • 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: Draag children seem particularly interested in Om as pets. Most adults regard them as simple vermin.
  • Humans Are Not the Dominant Species: Humans live in a Mouse World under giant humanoid aliens that treat them like pets and pests.
  • Humans Are White: The Oms we see do not get any darker than a deep tan. Humans are Czech?
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: How the Draags perceive us and our degree of intelligence is pretty important to the plot, such as it is.
  • Imperiled in Pregnancy: Tiwa's friends have their Oms fight each other in one scene—one of the Oms in question is a visibly pregnant woman.
  • Kids Are Cruel: It turns out that the woman in the opening scene is being tormented by Draag children. Tiwa's friends like to pit their Oms against each other in gladiatorial combat. Even Tiwa, who is said to "love" Terr in the narration, is just as often seen playing mean pranks on him as treating him well. While adults are shown killing Oms, they only do it because they regard Oms as pests, not because they get sadistic pleasure in tormenting them.
  • Kill All Humans: The Draags will occasionally "de-Om" their parks where wild Om reproduce, When Om start fighting back, they plan on stepping up their de-omization efforts and even banning domesticated Om, but they end up making peace with Oms instead.
  • Meaningful Name: Terr for "terra," as in Earth.
  • Mind Screw: The whole movie. The imagery can be suggestive in ways you may not even be consciously aware of.
  • No Name Given: None of the other Oms are given names, even Terr's love interest.
  • Oh, Crap!: Two Draags are stomping on Oms. Then one of them gets pulled down by a coordinated effort and the Oms swarm him. His friend doesn't stick around.
  • Personal Rain Cloud: Terr was subjected to one controlled by Tiwa.
  • Planetary Romance: Gone insane, but definitely fitting the expectations of this trope, oddly enough.
  • Rescue Introduction: Terr meets his future girlfriend when she happens upon him being dragged back to Tiwa by his collar. She cuts it off of him.
  • Scenery Porn: A large portion of the film is dedicated to simply observing characters walking through and interacting with bizarre alien landscapes filled with strange creatures and inexplicable objects that may or may not be alive.
  • Sexophone: Alain Gorageur's eerie jazz fusion score mostly consists of synthesizers, guitars and flutes. When the Oms engage in semi-ritualized sex, the music is a deep saxophone.
  • Shout-Out: The whole film can basically be considered one big shout-out to the work of medieval painter Hieronymous Bosch, but Recycled In Space. The washed-out colour palette, charcoal shading, uncanny humans and gigantic starfish aliens heavily ressemble his notoriously bizarre works, which were seeing a revival amongst drug users of the time.
  • 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."
    • You'd be forgiven for thinking that Tiwa's name is spelled "Tiva" since they pronounce the 'w' like the English 'v'. Justified in that the movie was animated and partly produced in Czechoslovakia, and both languages (Czech and Slovak) in that country pronounce the letter that way.
  • Technobabble: The learning headpieces deliver lessons in almost impenetrable technical jargon using a barrage of invented nouns for fictional concepts.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: Thanks to the Draag Upgrade Artifact.
  • The Unblinking: As part of their Bizarre Alien Biology, the Draags have no eyelids, and therefore don't blink. When they sleep, their eyes go blank.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "They're de-Omisating the park again." Then again, that's exactly what's going on.
  • Upgrade Artifact: The Draag telepathic instruction device.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Tiwa completely disappears from the movie after Terr runs away.
  • Win-Win Ending: Amazingly, it has one of these, though it's also something of a Gainax Ending. The Oms escape to the "Wild Planet" (Ygam's moon) and try to destroy the statues that the Draag use to reproduce with. The Draag, desperate to stop them, stop killing Oms and sue for peace, which the Oms accept on the condition of getting a new home in the form of an artificial satellite. From then on, the two species begin to coexist peacefully.