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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Fantastic Planet" or "Divoká planeta' or 'Planet of Incredible Creatures' or 'The Fantastic Planet' or 'The Savage Planet')

Directed by René Laloux
France 1973

 

René Laloux's mesmerising psychedelic sci-fi animated feature won the Grand Prix at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival and is a landmark of European animation. Based on Stefan Wul's novel Oms en série [Oms by the dozen], Laloux's breathtaking vision was released in France as La Plančte sauvage [The Savage Planet]; in the USA as Fantastic Planet; and immediately drew comparisons to Swift's Gulliver's Travels and Planet of the Apes (both the 1968 film and Boule's 1963 novel). Today, the film can be seen to prefigure much of the work of Hayao Miyazaki at Studio Ghibli (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away) due to its palpable political and social concerns, cultivated imagination, and memorable animation techniques.

Fantastic Planet tells the story of "Oms", human-like creatures, kept as domesticated pets by an alien race of blue giants called "Draags". The story takes place on the Draags' planet Ygam, where we follow our narrator, an Om called Terr, from infancy to adulthood. He manages to escape enslavement from a Draag learning device used to educate the savage Oms — and begins to organise an Om revolt. The imagination invested in the surreal creatures, music and sound design, and eerie landscapes, is immense and unforgettable.

Widely regarded as an allegorical statement on the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia, Fantastic Planet was five years in the making at Prague's Jiri Trnka Studios. The direction of René Laloux, the incredible art of Roland Topor, and Alain Goraguer's brilliantly complementary score (much sampled by the hip-hop community) all combine to make Fantastic Planet a mind-searing experience.

 

Posters

 

Theatrical Release: May 1973 (Cannes Film Festival) 

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Comparison:

Eureka - Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Accent Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) Eureka - Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Accent Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Cover

 

 

  

Distribution Eureka - Masters of Cinema - Spine # 34- Region 0 - NTSC Accent Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC Criterion Collection - Spine #820 - Region 'A' Blu-ray
Runtime 1:11:54  1:11:36  1:12:15.789  
Video 1.66:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.0 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
1.66:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.17 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 47,404,267,105 bytes

Feature Size: 21,275,117,568 bytes

Average Bitrate: 34.93 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 Eureka

Bitrate:

 Accent Cinema

Bitrate: Criterion

 Blu-ray

Audio French (Dolby Digital 2.0), US Track- English (Dolby Digital 2.0)   French (Dolby Digital 2.0), US Track- English (Dolby Digital 2.0)   LPCM Audio French 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles English, None English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Eureka - Masters of Cinema

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1

Edition Details:

• René Laloux's short film Les Escargots (10:47)
• René Laloux's short film Comment Wang-Fo Fut Sauvé
• 40-page booklet featuring essays about Laloux, Roland Topor, and Alain Goraguer.

DVD Release Date: August 21st, 2006

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio: Accent Cinema

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1

Edition Details:

• Fantastic Laloux featurette/interview with René Laloux (25:58) - 4:3 in French with English subtitles

• René Laloux's short film Les Escargots (10:52)
• Music Video by Sean Lennon Would I Be The One (inspired by Fantastic Planet) - (4:25)

• Trailer

• Photo Gallery

DVD Release Date: October 23rd, 2007

Keep Case
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio
: 1.66:1

Disc Size: 47,404,267,105 bytes

Feature Size: 21,275,117,568 bytes

Average Bitrate: 34.93 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

Edition Details:

• Alternate English-language soundtrack
• Les temps morts (1965 - 9:47) and Les escargots (1966 - 11:17), two early short films by director René Laloux and illustrator Roland Topor
• Laloux sauvage, a 2009 documentary on Laloux (26:17)
• Episode of the French television program Italiques from 1974 about Topor’s work (53:53)
• Interview with Topor from 1973 (3:22)
• Trailer (2:17)
• PLUS: An essay by critic Michael Brooke

Blu-ray Release Date: June 21st, 2016
Transparent Keep case

Chapter: 20

 

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray May 16': Yes, we never covered the Masters of Cinema Blu-ray of Fantastic Planet (La Planete Sauvage) HERE, from 2012. The Criterion is certainly more Blue than the SDs (which, I believe both DVDs came from the same source where this Blu-ray is from a 'New 2K digital restoration'). I have no idea of the color accuracy of the 1080P but I can say that it is housed on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate and in the 1.66:1 aspect ratio. It doesn't have the minor damage marks of the SDs and it looks very rich and full in-motion. It seems marginally cropped beside the DVDs but the image quality is significantly improved on the HD transfer. I think I prefer the deeper darker contrast appearance.

Criterion use a linear PCM 1.0 channel mono track at 1152 kbps (24-bit) in the original French language, and they give the option of a lossy Dolby Digital English DUB (also in mono). The score by Alain Goraguer sounds quite impacting via the uncompressed - more than I have noticed from the film in previous viewings. It's a substantial part of this presentation. The Criterion offers optional English subtitles and the Blu-ray is region 'A'-locked.

Criterion include two early short films by director René Laloux and illustrator Roland Topor; Les temps morts (1965 - 9:47) and Les escargots (1966 - 11:17) - the latter also found on both the DVDs. Laloux sauvage is a, 26-minute, 2009 documentary on Laloux and it features and extensive interview with René Laloux. Also included is a 53-minute episode of the French television program Italiques from August 8th, 1974 about Topor’s work directed by Roger Boussinot which features an overview of the art and career of illustrator Roland Topor. We also get a short interview with Topor from 1973 and a trailer. The Blu-ray package contains a liner notes booklet with an essay by critic Michael Brooke.

I enjoyed seeing the film in this 2K restoration - it really came to life with the richer colors and lossless sound. Plus I appreciated the extras especially the Italiques piece. Wonderful, inventive and thought-provoking science-fiction film and one that encourages repeat viewings - our highest recommendation!

***

ADDITION: Accent - November 07': Although taken from the same source (same damage marks) - it appears as though the Accent (distributed by Facets Video) has had some boosting as colors are, perhaps falsely, enriched. Hence it also exhibits a tinge of edge-enhancement. Both are Region 0 in the NTSC format - and both are interlaced transfers. Plus both offer an English language version plus the original French edition with optional English subtitles. Other than that the subtitle font is different (see sample below) as well as the supplements.

Accent also offers the René Laloux's 10 minute short film; Les Escargots, but adds a 30 minute interview with the director (with optional English subtitles) - and that is a nice touch. The Accent includes a music video by Sean Lennon - Would I Be The One (supposedly inspired by Fantastic Planet), a trailer and a photo gallery. MoC differs in the addition of Comment Wang-Fo Fut Sauvé (15 minutes - Laloux considered it his best work!) and a 40-page liner notes booklet with some essays about Laloux, Roland Topor, and Alain Goraguer. Hmmm... I lean toward the Masters of Cinema which is currently slightly more expensive at the writing of this comparison. I suspect many will go for the one most accessible to them but the MoC, to my eyes, has the more accurate and preferable image.

On the Eureka MoC: The only master that Eureka Masters of Cinema were able to obtain was from an interlaced transfer. The good side to that is that it is not interlaced due to a weak DVD rendition. Hence, the 'combing' properties are virtually unnoticeable (even on most high end systems). I would say the print looks a shade dirty but I have no experience with this film which is animation from over 30 years ago (not comparable to today's standards). There appears to be no untoward damage and matches MoC's previous high quality with then anamorphic 1.66 original ratio. I suspect that the screen captures can tell you a better story of how this Fantastic Planet! DVD looks - it has good detail in warm pastel colors.

It should be noted that there are at least two other DVD representation of this film available - (US Anchor Bay - now OOP - and Australian Force Entertainment). Unlike this Masters of Cinema edition both used a non-anamorphic 1.66 image, with *ingrained subs*. The fact that this is 1.66:1 OAR anamorphic and has optional subs leans it to be the definitive digital version available.

Supplements include two René Laloux's animation short films; Les Escargots (10 minutes) and Comment Wang-Fo Fut Sauvé (15 minutes - Laloux considered it his best work!). There is also a 40-page liner notes booklet with some essays about Laloux, Roland Topor, and Alain Goraguer.

Post Disney's classic era there was quite a lot of cult animation features made in the late 60's 1970's including Yellow Submarine, Ralph Bakshi's work and others. In the vein of artistic expression Rene Laloux's masterpiece "Fantastic Planet" stands out for its strong message (the evils of propaganda). A highly important film that we recommend!

Gary W. Tooze



DVD Menus

 

(Eureka - Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. Accent Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC RIGHT)


 

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample

 

NOTE: Not same frame!

 

1) Eureka - Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Accent Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

Screen Captures

 

1) Eureka - Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Accent Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

Both DVDs interlaced...

 


1) Eureka - Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Accent Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Eureka - Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Accent Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Eureka - Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Accent Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

Same damage marks...

 


1) Eureka - Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Accent Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) Eureka - Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Accent Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


Box Cover

 

 

  

Distribution Eureka - Masters of Cinema - Spine # 34- Region 0 - NTSC Accent Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC Criterion Collection - Spine #820 - Region 'A' Blu-ray




 

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