This remarkable animated French/Czech science-fiction fantasy – conceived by Roland Topor and René Laloux – is set in a bleak future, in which the human race has destroyed civilisation.
The 39-foot tall blue cerebral inhabitants of the planet Yagam (called Traags) keep a few tiny humans (called Oms) as pets, with the wild human population destroyed by regular culls.
One day, a few young Traags are playing with an Om and her infant child. Things get a little rough and the Om is killed, leaving her orphan son.
A young Traag named Tiwa is passing by with her father and asks to take the baby Om home as a pet, to which her father agrees. Tiwa raises her pet Om, naming him Terr, and begins to form a strong bond with him.
As Tiwa receives her daily lessons through a portable headset, Terr listens and discovers the history behind Oms and Traags.
He escapes with the headset, joins a group of Oms, and educates them, leading to an Om uprising.
Numerous allegorical references are imaginatively drawn as war breaks out between the two factions within a desert landscape brimming with monstrous exotic animals.
Surely a contender for the strangest feature-length animation in history, Fantastic Planet is an LSD-induced phantasmagoria utilising impressive organic design, surreal composition and stunning visuals, this Cannes award-winner is highly intriguing and compulsive viewing.
The film is made all the more poignant as it hails from Czechoslovakia, a country which had been in the thrall first of Nazism and then Stalinism.