Welcome to the Fantastic Planet


Cyan Clements’ artistic rendition of the Fantastic Planet movie poster.

SAWYER TOWNE, Contributor

The giant, blue, alien-like Draags have created a beautiful, advanced, and innovative society. Their strange meditations and way of life separates them from the natural world they live in, with the exception of a few selected Oms. The Oms are what we would call humans, who have been taken from their previous planet of Terra. They have been forced to re-adapt to this new planet, while also facing struggles posed by the Draags. A conflict is born. 

This bizarre film titled “Fantastic Planet” from 1973 by Rene LaLoux, in reality, hides a meaning under its insanity. Powerful beings of an advanced society, the Draags, controlling and neglecting those of a smaller, weaker, and reliant species, the Oms, symbolizes the nature of humans towards many animal species. By showing humans as the lesser beings, the viewer is subconsciously forced to grow sympathy for them. But, in reality, we humans as a whole are more like the Draags, which we are made to despise. 

After his mother was killed, Terr was taken in, and raised in captivity by a Draag. With stolen knowledge from the Draags, he runs off to the wild. There, he is welcomed into a tribe of Oms, and helps them to defend themselves from the ruthless Draags. After destroying the foundation of Draag society, peace is forcefully made, and equality is created.  

While it does tell this vibrant story, the film doesn’t focus on words to do so. “Fantastic Planet” emphasizes a visual and musical atmosphere to get its story and message across in a readable way. Filled with otherworldly sights, the viewer easily dissociates from the movie, being guided to listen to the story, and not to connect with characters. This movie requires such a big picture point of view. The music helps to emphasize the current mood being presented in the scene, and, like the visuals, separates the film from reality.

The way the Draags seek to discard the wild Oms is parallel to humans and our mechanics of deforestation, and other practices that cause the endangerment of species. The Draags view the Oms as lesser, and are therefore treated terribly. Like humans, the Draags destroy and remove all they see as unnecessary and useless. Included in these things that are animals, or in the context of the movie, the Oms. 

The motive of the Draags is to exterminate the pests. Whatever isn’t necessary, must be destroyed, for it has no use. Both the animals and Oms strengths are then extinguished. Humans have developed far greater intelligence than all other living species on Earth, and therefore generally hold a sense of superiority over them all. Humanity becomes the tyrannical empire of our planet. And, like the Draags, we destroy all nature and animal life we come into contact with that doesn’t benefit us. 

This movie tells its viewer to consider our actions and behavior towards animals and the natural world we have to coexist with. They are living, just as we are, and should be treated in a more respectful way. 

With its obscure audio and visuals, viewers are made to think more deeply.  If you enjoy such contemplation and reevaluation of yourself and the world, this film is ideal.

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