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Mark Kermode | 12:10 UK time, Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Gorillaz man Jamie Hewlett recalls animation classic, 'Fantastic Planet'.

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  • Comment number 1.

    Interesting stuff. The freakiest part was seeing you in embossed black and white at the beginning just staring at the camera. Weird!

    Any thoughts on Bananaz?

  • Comment number 2.

    This Movie is beautiful and at the same time very scary and un-settling I have to admit i have 2 different dvds of it I love it so much

    Should also mention that the jazzy soundtrack is brilliant and highly sought after as well.... fortunately it was re-released a few years back.... It really adds to the spookiness of the film....highly recommended

  • Comment number 3.

    I remembered instinctively that i'd seen this film years ago! The animation does'nt feel quite as dated as the soundtrack, amazingly 70's. So many art references, especially Yves Tanguy and Max Earnst, the remake would have to be completely different, could be interesting!

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    When you watch out 'Fantastic Planet' make sure you check out the shorts. 'Les Escargots 'is particularly good fun. I discovered this film through the Masters of Cinema series and was sold on the plot and stills on the website. Having never heard of Laloux before I found the film to be a great surprise and it fully lived up to the comparisons with Planet of the Apes and Swift's Gulliver's Travels.

  • Comment number 6.

    This is what I appear to have written on Empire's website after I had watched it. I'm still the only 'user' to have commented on the film, which does suggest it certainly is 'little seen'.

    "Not making a great deal of sense, but full of wonderful surreal images joined together with not not so great animation, this is a must see for those who think they've seen it all."

    Not sure how others would get on with it, as I do have an unusual liking for 'weird' films, hence my favourite Halloween sequel being 3: Season of the Witch, as at least it had the integrity to be really odd.

  • Comment number 7.

    I definitely saw 'Fantastic Planet' in the early 70s. My uncle took me to see it at the Odeon Dudley (I was about 7!). I think I remember it doubling with a film that basically showed the sea with a Pink Floyd soundtrack. I haven't been the same since! Is this a false memory?

  • Comment number 8.

    I am pretty sure that my mother took me to see Fantastic Planet by accident in the 70s. We were on a holiday in Mexico and she must have thought it was a Monty Python style children’s’ animation. I remember being really freaked out and us all having to leave.
    I asked her about it and she cannot remember at all, but the images have stayed with me all my life.

  • Comment number 9.

    I'm not sure why apostrophes (') become question marks(?)

  • Comment number 10.

    I just watched the trailer and it already looks freaky. Although I love Jamie Hewlett and general world wide animation I'm little scarred to even start watching it. It does have a very Monty Pythonesq feel to it. But probably without the comedy.

  • Comment number 11.

    The whole Fantastic Planet can be watched on youtube (dont shoot the messanger if you don't agree with it). I've watched part of it and it does seem rather unsettling especially if you think of it in the context of the Soviet Union. A musicvideo by the band TOOL has a similar visual style, also to be seen on youtube. It's an unofficial vid (I think) and is known as "The Pot".

  • Comment number 12.

    I've just watched the trailer for the film on youtube, and I may have to track down a copy of the DVD, since I'm so intrigued.

    Initially, the tone reminds me of some of the short animations in the Kellogg's Magic Mirror Competition from the 80s, particularly the Little Drummer Boy piece. It feels like you're watching something from a reality just to the side of this one, whilst still recognising what you see. Very disturbing and wonderful.

  • Comment number 13.

    Apparently it is a public domain film and so you can watch it on You Tube with honour. Strangely upbeat. I feel if it were made today it would have a very different vibe. Reminded me a little of the clangers.

  • Comment number 14.

    Back in the 1970s and 1980s, Friday night post 10pm TV was a time for watching such films as Fantastic Planet. It's the last time i remember seeing this haunting offering, though i've been keen to see it in the years since. Thanks for a great reminder of this cult gem.

  • Comment number 15.

    By the way, Fantastic Planet is on tonight at the Curzon Soho!

  • Comment number 16.

    Actually, it's on next month.

  • Comment number 17.

    I remember seeing this and although I think it has a happy ending it was disturbing mainly due to the surreal style and lack of narrative clues. Brings back memories of being in the first year at grammar school where there was a copy of the Last Judgement by Hieronymus Bosch hanging on the wall of our form room (draw your own conclusions) as well as the nightmare inducing children’s German fairy tale The Singing Ringing Tree. Shudder.

  • Comment number 18.

    I have never seen Fantastic Planet in its entirety- however I do recall seing some clips as a kid- it terrified me and the images have stayed with me- i remember well one where an alien has a captive human in the palm of his hand with some kind of lead around his neck- chilling indeed.

  • Comment number 19.

    I watched Fantastic Planet a few years ago and it left a big impression on me. For fans of the film I can't recommend Jirí Trnka's stop-motion movie called Ruka (aka the Hand)enough. It is a short and powerful indictment of a totalitarian state.

    The director of Fantastic Planet (René Laloux) also made a number of other brilliant films. Time Masters being my personal favourite. It is co-written by the great Jean Giraud (Moebius) and has a stunning soundtack and ending. It is a bit of a rough diamond but well worth checking out on DVD as it is now finally readily available in the UK.

  • Comment number 20.

    Watched this film over and over in the 1970s... a haunting and beautiful work. Kermode is right on: it deserves to be better-known.


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