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Christopher Webster [Celluloid 03.17.16] post apocalyptic apocalyptic scifi animation avant-garde

French animator and director René Laloux's made a number of *fantastic*, weird and wonderful animated sci-fi features, but his masterpiece is easily 1973's Fantastic Planet (Planet Sauvage) . The film is about humans living on a strange planet dominated by giant humanoid aliens who consider them animals. It is based on the 1957 novel "Oms en série" by French writer Stefan Wul.

Criterion Collection just announced that the film will be submitted into their collectoin on June 21, 2016. You can pre-order Fantastic Planet on Blu-ray here and I know there have been cries for this to happen for many, many years so people must be thrilled.

Nothing else has ever looked or felt like director René Laloux’s animated marvel Fantastic Planet, a politically minded and visually inventive work of science fiction. The film is set on a distant planet called Ygam, where enslaved humans (Oms) are the playthings of giant blue natives (Draags).

After Terr, kept as a pet since infancy, escapes from his gigantic child captor, he is swept up by a band of radical fellow Oms who are resisting the Draags’ oppression and violence. With its eerie, coolly surreal cutout animation by Roland Topor; brilliant psychedelic jazz score by Alain Goraguer; and wondrous creatures and landscapes, this Cannes-awarded 1973 counterculture classic is a perennially compelling statement against conformity and violence.

René Laloux's other films include Time Masters and Gandahar

the New Release Features:
New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
Alternate English-language soundtrack
Les escargots (1966), an early short film by director René Laloux and illustrator Roland Topor
Laloux sauvage, a 2009 documentary on Laloux
Italiques: Roland Topor Special, a 1974 French television program on Topor’s work
Archival interviews
New English subtitle translation
PLUS: An essay by critic Michael Brooke

Recommended Release: Gandahar

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