Fantastic Planet

Movie review by Paul Trandahl, Common Sense Media
Fantastic Planet Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 13+

A jarring examination of racism and intolerance.

PG 1973 72 minutes

Parents say

age 11+

Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 13+

Based on 6 reviews

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A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Oddball French Psychedelia with interesting things to say about drugs.

I guess I'm not surprised that the CSM people totally missed it, but a lot of the subtext of this story addresses what happens when folks become too dependent upon drugs (here it's "meditation"). The giant Draags seem to be preoccupied with their bizarre meditation practices which often result in trance-like states and hallucinations. In instances when this meditation is interrupted they grow angry or even seem to be in physical distress. It is this preoccupation with the meditation that allows the wild Ohms to not only escape and flourish in the wild, but eventually develop culture and technology that they use to rebel against the Draags. I think it also offers an interesting opportunity to discuss different cultural views on nudity and sexuality. There is nudity galore, and for the most part it's innocent "tribal" nudity, but there are also a couple of scenes that display ritualistic nuptial practices. Not exactly sex, but not exactly not. Fantastic Planet is also very much a product of "the psychedelic scene". Apart from being a French sci-fi cartoon, it is *very* 70s. The surreal creatures, the Roger Dean-ish landscapes and structures, and especially the soundtrack.

This title has:

Great messages
age 10+

It may be animated, but it's very real

I saw this movie when I was 10 years old. It came on late night TV. I used to stay up all night on the weekends. When this movie came on, I was mesmerized from start to finish. Back then, my interpretation of the movie was that a baby human was rescued from terrible circumstances, introduced to advanced alien knowledge, and used it to teach his own people and empower them to rise above their sub-optimal position. It was a story about a man who was saved from difficult circumstances who was exposed to great education as a child and used it to help others. I didn't remember the "sex" from when I was a kid. I only remembered it when I saw the DVD after many years had passed and I saw the movie again as an adult. It is implied, with the most graphic implication being a woman standing on a platform and dropping her robe to the ground, exposing her naked body (which looks no different than a nude on a painting at a museum). From there, it switches to a distant shot of a group of glowing stick figures pairing up and running off into the forest where the lights pulsate. There is "sexy" saxophone music playing during the scene, giving it a cheesy feel. I think this was intentional. From a violence perspective, I think this movie is far less violent than the cartoons I used to watch as a kid (Coyote and Road Runner, Foghorn Leghorn, Yosemite Sam, Tom and Jerry, Popeye, etc). However, comparing it to what is acceptable today, it may be a bit on the violent side. Overall, I think the movie is a great lesson and a good way to start a conversation with your kids about the nature of oppression, the value of education, and the need to work together to achieve a common goal. It's also a good movie to watch before or after lessons on the holocaust or any other study of genocide in the world. Also, I would change the rating of this movie as having the highest number of dots in "positive messages" due to its focus on education and the main protagonist's never ending search for knowledge and the effort he took to make sure that he shared that knowledge with others. As for the sex, there are differing opinions in the world about it. To me, it is a necessary act which results in more humans being born (a good thing). Unfortunately, it's also a source of pleasure, which makes it susceptible to being considered pornographic (a bad thing). This movie is far from pornographic, but it does demonstrate the mating rituals of the humans on the alien planet. Honestly, that's the impact it had on me and my life. It was a very influential movie and taught me that knowledge is best when shared. It also taught me that there are people in this world that believe that people that are different from them should not be "allowed" to live and will do anything they can to get rid of them.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Movie Details

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