Ideas

Fantastic Planet, the Strangest Movie I’ve seen in Years

Last night I was fortunate enough to catch 1973’s Fantastic Planet. The film is in French, but you can watch it with English subtitles on the HBO app through their partnership with TCM. Below is the trailer.

The premise of the film is that humans, here called “Om,” are wild creatures often kept as pets by the gigantic Draaga. The Draaga view Om as a plaything; unintelligent, and often a nuisance. Om, for their part, are cowed by the gigantic Draaga who possess seemingly unlimited powers early in the film. This all changes when an Om, Terr, begins to learn the Draaga’s knowledge and escapes.

Watching the movie is a bit like getting a much needed injection of creativity. Seemingly every scene is filled with fantastic plants, fanciful monsters, and bizarre dialogue filled with meaningless, nonsensical words.

I devoured this film.

Apparently it’s based on a book, Oms en série by Stefan Wul, which has been published in English as Fantastic Planet. Unfortunately, the English version appears to be out of print and what copies are available are for unreasonable prices (seriously, who’s going to pay $189 for a paperback published in 2010).

I guess it’s time to start learning French.

2 thoughts on “Fantastic Planet, the Strangest Movie I’ve seen in Years”

  1. I remember seeing this long, long ago on cable, maybe on “Night Flight.”
    It’s also on DVD as part of the “Criterion Collection” which many libraries have, and the DVD has an English language soundtrack.

    Like

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