Here's the link for the Internet Movie Database page for Fantastic Planet, there isn't a whole lot of information about it, but on the linked "trivia" page one item reads, "Said to be based on the Soviet Occupation of the Czech Republic." I find that interesting, but a bit of a stretch. No mention is made of this, apart from a vague comment about the Cold War, on the Wikipedia entry for Fantastic Planet.
The film, it's worth noting, is an adaptation of a 1957 science fiction novel written by Stefan Wul, entitled Oms en Série (translating as Oms by the Dozen, om being the word for the humans in the story, and a homophone for the French word for man, homme).
The storyline is not an unusual one in the science fiction genre, there's a bit of Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels in it, and Swift's fantasy is sometimes considered one of the first, or perhaps the first science fiction story. Fantastic Planet involves a role reversal where humans are treated in much the same way as we treat animals, and have to rise up against their oppressors. I just watched the remake of Planet of the Apes on HBO, I had seen it in the theaters and didn't find it as iconic as the original, but the remake did a good job in depicting human beings as domesticated animals. All of the Planet of the Apes movies, and the TV series based on the movies, were American productions, but the original novel was written by Pierre Boulle, a French novelist also known for having written The Bridge Over the River Kwai, which was also made into a movie. Planet of the Apes was originally published in French in 1963, under the title La Planète des Singes. But enough monkeying around.
So, as it turns out, not too long ago I was having an exchange over on my MySpace poetry blog, and it made me think about this film, and I checked on YouTube and discovered it could be found there, chopped up as usual, and in several versions. So I picked out one that I thought worked better than the others, and strung the pieces together, posted it over there as a response to a comment, and now I'm including it in a post over here, just for you, because that's the kinda blogist that I am, you see. So, without further ado, ladies and gentilebeings, I give you, Fantastic Planet:
And for more on the topic of French science fiction, see my previous entries, To the Moon, Alice, and The Jetty Stream. I'll have to do a post about Alphaville one of these days, we're discussing that movie in my Science Fiction Genre class at Fordham University this week, but I'll leave that for another time, and just end by saying, viva la science-fiction française!