La Planète sauvage
December 11, 2006 11:31 AM   Subscribe

La Planète sauvage - based on the novel Oms en Série by Stefan Wul, and known to the English speaking world as Fantastic Planet, is a wonderfully psychadelic animated Sci-Fi film from 1973. An international production between France and Czechoslovakia, the movie has a cult following, mostly from viewers who saw it on USA's Night Flight in the 1980's. Although it has languished in obscurity for some time, Hollywood has decided it's time for a live action remake. For those who haven't seen it, or for people who haven't seen it in twenty years, some kind soul has uploaded the entire film to Youtube. You'll never look at your pets the same way again.
posted by smoothvirus (36 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
What an awesome movie. The animation is superbly trippy, and the story surprisingly deep.

I still can't get over how classically humanistic the people and faces look.

Can't wait for the live action film.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:38 AM on December 11, 2006

Also, I remember reading somewhere that the story itself is a re-telling of a myth that pops up in many different cultures - that of people killing their gods and getting their own planet.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:41 AM on December 11, 2006

I'm embarrased to say this, but. . . I first was exposed to the film watching *shudders* The Cell. Jennifer Lopez's character is watching the movie at home while smoking up.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 11:42 AM on December 11, 2006

Hollywood will not treat this film well.
posted by lekvar at 11:46 AM on December 11, 2006

I first saw this as a kid on PBS in the US. I've seen it a number of times since then. Very strange and beautiful film.

I fully expect the hollywood version will be a travesty.
posted by Pastabagel at 11:49 AM on December 11, 2006

MeFites, please buy or rent the DVD. You'll (very indirectly) be doing me a favor.
posted by infinitewindow at 12:14 PM on December 11, 2006

I love, love, love, love, love this movie. The parts where library computer entries reference things no one knows anything about are the best. It is great!
posted by Ironmouth at 12:18 PM on December 11, 2006

In the right hands, say, Terry Gilliam or Peter Jackson, I think Hollywood could pull it off.

As for the remake, I think one of the most difficult parts will be getting the "alien-ess" right. The animated film succeeds in depicting Yom (the Traag homeworld) as being wholly and utterly alien to us. The lifeforms of Yom are so surreal that there's no way any of them evolved on Earth. Star Wars and Star Trek have never really depticted a world that is completely alien to humans. Be it Vulcan, Hoth, Tantooine, or Degobah, they're all just microcosms of environments found on Earth.
posted by smoothvirus at 12:19 PM on December 11, 2006 [1 favorite]

Check out this remix.
posted by pepcorn at 12:22 PM on December 11, 2006

This is one of the movies that passed for family entertainment in my house. I've must have watched this about 20 times between the ages of 6 and 10.

Another couple big ones were The Point, and A Mouse and His Child.

I really really wish they would re-release A Mouse and His Child. As of now, it seems like you can only get old VHS copies over e-bay.
posted by Alex404 at 12:29 PM on December 11, 2006

Wow. Thanks so much Smoothvirus. I saw this as a very impressionable child; it has affected my psyche and conceptions of human origin more than many acid trips. But I never knew what it was called, only recalling the stiff cold animation and intense -especially for a child- storyline in dreams and hazy flashbacks. There is a quiet pervading the film that disturbs and draws attention. I'll have to watch it again, but some scene of popping alien overlord pleasure bubbles sticks in my head and still informs my writing and overall rebellious ambitions against the current control system.
posted by sarcasman at 12:53 PM on December 11, 2006

Has anyone seen Les Maîtres du temps (Time Masters)? French/Hugarian animated sci-fi film also based on a Stefan Wul novel L'Orphelin de Perdide (1958). I have not but IMDB gives it high reviews.
posted by stbalbach at 12:59 PM on December 11, 2006

Another obscure old French sci-fi author is Élie Berthet (19th C) who wrote a pretty cool book called The Pre-Historic World (1876) -- it imagines what France and Paris was like during the Neolithic period, incorporating the latest evidence of Darwin, archeology, cave paintings etc.. in many ways the French were ahead of the English in this tradition of and still are - Planet of the Apes, Quest for Fire, Fantastic Planet, Verne, etc..
posted by stbalbach at 1:12 PM on December 11, 2006

Hollywood will destroy this fantastic movie, unfortunately.
posted by loquacious at 1:14 PM on December 11, 2006

Hollywood will destroy this fantastic movie, unfortunately.

That's the name of my band.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:19 PM on December 11, 2006

Great post. I was overwhelmed with empathy for metafilter when I read about Night Flight and this film, which is also the first place I ever encountered it, when I was 12 or so years old.

Secondly, hollywood will fuck up this film, no doubt. I'm rooting for some overt product placement.
posted by gcbv at 1:29 PM on December 11, 2006

this movie is quite popular as background visuals at night clubs.
posted by empath at 1:49 PM on December 11, 2006

I just watched this a few months ago--really enjoyed it--after reading the A.V. Clubs "15 Animated Films for Grownups" list. :)
posted by bullitt 5 at 1:54 PM on December 11, 2006

I loved this movie as a child and was recently thrilled to see that The Coolidge Theater in my hometown was going to have a showing with a live soundtrack. Very sadly, I wasn't able to attend.

A live action hollywood remake sounds awful, awful, awful. Sure, Terry Gilliam could do it. Peter Jackson might be OK. But I'm not getting my hopes up.
posted by alms at 2:02 PM on December 11, 2006

To be technically bothersome. Hollywood has as much chance of fucking this film up as it has of intruding on my nightly full color wild sound sexually subversive labyrinthine dreams. It will merely make another movie that will follow the same formula and yes, suck so much bruckheimer ass. But maybe enough drug-addled teens will want to see what all the old ranting men are making a fuss about and see the original... and have their mindsets altered as well. here's hoping.
posted by sarcasman at 2:04 PM on December 11, 2006

A great, great completely original animated classic. Extremely imaginative / surreal / sci-fi. Chesley Bonestell trips with Aldous Huxley. The kind of organic archetypal experience that changes kids lives.
posted by Twang at 2:13 PM on December 11, 2006

I sometimes confuse this with the film that was released in the US under the title Light Years, which (it turns out) has the same director, along with an English-language adaptation by Isaac Asimov. Light Years is worth a look as well.
posted by Prospero at 2:16 PM on December 11, 2006

Night Flight was amazing! Nothing like it on tv anymore.
posted by vronsky at 2:32 PM on December 11, 2006

It's going to be very, very easy for Hollywood to screw this up. Alas, Hollywood can even manage to totally massacre a sci-fi classic even if the project is taken on by an otherwise great director.

I have to be cautious though. Had you asked me in 2000, if Hollywood was going to screw up one of my favorite literary trilogies, I would have said yes, because they'd already been screwing it up for almost thirty years.
posted by smoothvirus at 2:33 PM on December 11, 2006

Loved this film. It will be impossible for Hollywood to fuck it up, as it is already stored firmly in my memory banks.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:37 PM on December 11, 2006 action remake...

Well that will suck then. I can't imagine anything that made the original interesting it making it through to the new version.

On the plus side it will probably have lot's of shiny CGI chase scenes with lots of hard to follow jump cuts.
posted by Artw at 4:10 PM on December 11, 2006

< haldouglas>

"In a WORLD where humans are kept as pets... ONE MAN will emerge to lead them to freedom... or their DOOM. This fall, the Traags will learn that the bigger they are... the harder they fall. "

< /haldouglas>

Yeah this project is doomed.
posted by Scoo at 4:10 PM on December 11, 2006

Ah, Night Flight..the once a week video fix for those of us without MTV-including cable. I loved this movie and also the Atomic series, where they showed old Red Scare films and bomb-dodging how-tos from the 50s.

It was also the first time I ever saw animated nekkidness, and that *really* made me say "whoa!" But mostly it just creeped me the hell out.
posted by emjaybee at 5:08 PM on December 11, 2006

God no! Not a live action film. Keanu Reeves will play the Human pet, and Will Smith will be thrown in for some fantastic urban cred. Very likely to suck.
I love Fantastic Planet. IFrom Night Flight to the remastered (?) version in the theater several years ago. That movie has THE VIBE.
The soundtrack is also amazing on it's own.
posted by Liquidwolf at 5:09 PM on December 11, 2006

I really really wish they would re-release A Mouse and His Child. As of now, it seems like you can only get old VHS copies over e-bay.

I think I remember it! Is it about two wind-up mice who are torn apart by rats?
posted by Iridic at 6:29 PM on December 11, 2006

stbalbach : Has anyone seen Les Maîtres du temps (Time Masters)?
Yes I saw it when it was released. I was quite disappointed, mostly because the animation didn't do justice to Moebius' art. It was so basic, so flat... The Planète Sauvage used animation techniques well suited to Topor's style so it was successful, but noone, including the great Moeb himself, has managed to translate Moebius' art into animation, for some reason. His own CGI efforts in the 90s weren't very fruitful and all we have now is a short (and not very remarkable) series of Flash animations.
posted by elgilito at 6:33 PM on December 11, 2006

The Heavy Metal movie has better Moebius style animation than that cgi junk that came out recently , is that what Les Maîtres du temps is?

Yeah A Mouse and his Child, I saw that when it was out, so long ago , I only have vague memories of it, but it seemed like one of those kind that they really don't make any more. It had that dark 70s thing happening. I'd like to see it again.
posted by Liquidwolf at 7:37 PM on December 11, 2006

I think I remember it! Is it about two wind-up mice who are torn apart by rats?

That's the one. Totally amazing. It was about infinity and stuff. Based on a book.
posted by Alex404 at 8:41 PM on December 11, 2006

..... A live action remake?

It's a funny old world sometimes.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 11:41 PM on December 11, 2006

As long as Boards of Canada can do the soundtrack...
posted by iamck at 11:33 AM on December 12, 2006

stbalbach - I saw 'Les Maîtres du temps' when I was about 13 and thought it was beautiful. However I recently purchased it on and was a little disappointed on second watching - it looked a little dated, I thought. I did see similarities between Moebius' art in this and that of Hayao Miyazaki, particularly in the latter's 'Nausicaa' - I believe there was an exhibition a year or two ago in Paris that displayed work by both of them.
posted by kumonoi at 3:15 PM on December 12, 2006

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