Thursday, August 12, 2010

Moofies - Fantastic Planet (1973)

EXPECTATIONS: I've been looking for this film for a long time, so my expectations are pretty high. I don't know why I didn't just order a DVD off the internet. It's just one of those movies that I've read so much about since I was in high school and for some forgetful reason I've missed seeing for over 15 years.

With all that in mind, I expect a psychedelic animation feast.

REALITY: This is visually incredible. The animation feels like a mix between Terry Gilliam's work on Monty Python's Flying Circus and the animated segments of Pink Floyd's The Wall.

On the world of Ygam human-like creatures are called 'Om'. They are lower class citizens when compared to the enormous bodies and minds of the blue Draags. Children Draags keep Oms as pets while adult Draags spend a lot of time meditating and reaching astral planes of existence. One Om, Terr, becomes educated in Draag culture and knowledge and escapes captivity. Terr finds a hidden civilisation of Om and teaches them the ways of the Draag world. The Draag's become suspicious of the Om and a bloodthirsty war begins.

The themes of racism and war are very obvious and simple, but the visuals are just too amazing and surrealistic that the simplicity of the plot can be overlooked. Also the culture of Ygam has been well thought out and executed, lending a very distinct feel to the film. The animation process must have been painstakingly long, but there is nothing quite like old school animation by hand. It just looks incredible.

The pacing is nice and slow, the proggy psychedelic soundtrack is perfectly matched to the visuals, and I'm sure many a cinema was filled with teenagers on acid experiencing the world of Ygam on the big screen. I enjoyed this a lot and it deserves all the culty praise that it gets.


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