A French animated feature based on the Oms en Série, by Stefan Wul, Fantastic Planet is both visually mystifying and disturbing all at once. Set in a world where humans are treated as little more than pets at best and pests at worst, the story has a very emotional tale of slavery and co-existence that echoes from the time of its release to today.
The film opens with a mother desperately trying to escape an unseen threat, her baby cradled in her arms. Suddenly a barrier blocks her progress, then another prevents her escape. Aghast, she collapses. It is eventually revealed that her tormentors are giant aliens playing with her as humans would torment an ant on a hot day. The planet where the film is set is populated by beautiful yet savage Draags and the minuscule humans (called Oms).
It is only through the whims of a Draag child that the Om baby is allowed to live as a kind of plaything. The baby is named Terr and lives in a Draag house, enjoying all of the privileges of such an opportunity as well as the humility of playing the part of a live doll for the Draag child. After obtaining some level of intelligence by absorbing the electronic teachings that pass for Draag school, Terr proves far too clever for his own good and becomes involved in a violent strike against the Draags for independence.
A spellbinding picture, Fantastic Planet won the jury prize at Cannes in 1973. One of the most thought-provoking and breath-taking animated films I have ever seen, this movie comes highly recommended.