Criterion re-issues Fantastic PlanetJune 21, 2016
Rene Laloux’s 1973 French animated La Planete Sauvage (Fantastic Planet) is now available from the Criterion Collection. (It was reissued years ago by Facets Video; ought to be easier to get now.) It’s a surreal, trippy cartoon retelling of the Exodus story set on a planet where 40-foot-tall beings regard humans as pets to be pampered or pests to be exterminated. (A French-Czech production, it can also be seen as an allegorical response to the 1968 Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia.)
While the plot is sufficiently compelling — if a little hippie-dippie and humorless — the real reason to see the movie is the art of illustrator Roland Topor, who rendered the strange world in pastel and used cutouts in a very different way than South Park.