sunday-matineeComing from Criterion in two weeks on June 21 on Blu-ray is the 1973 French/Czech science fiction animated movie Fantastic Planet.

Weird, tripping and surreal the movie is set on an alien planet that is ruled by giant blue aliens named Traags who have brought humans (Oms) to their planet as pets and animals. A human named Terr who is raised by a Traag and ends up learning their knowledge, language, etc. Terr escapes and runs into wild oms and then tries to fight back against the Traags.

Fantastic PlanetThe movie won the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973 and while not a big hit in the U.S. it has gained a cult following over the years. Director René Lalou would make two more animated feature length films. The next would be in 1982, Time Masters with the legendary comic artist Moebius designing the look of the film.

His last was in 1988, Gandahar, retitled Light Years by Harvey Weinstein who bought the North American distribution rights, redubbed the movie and reedited as he loves to do with all foreign movies that he buys. Sadly neither movie has been available in North America for a long time now. Hopefully with Criterion releasing Fantastic Planet, the rest of RenĂ© Lalou’s films will get a new releases.