Friday, April 22, 2011

Fantastic Planet

So you may have noticed I didn't write anything yesterday. I just wasn't feeling it. When I write, I want it to feel like something I want to do, to have if flow from me. I believe it should be an enjoyable experience. And yesterday it just wasn't on, so I didn't post. In the mean time, I've been thinking of some future posts I might want to make. Getting an idea for future content has been pretty important for this blog so far, as you might tell from a lot of my posts, I tend to do my homework.

Anyways, today is Earth Day! Hurray for the Earth! If you haven't figured it out after spending your entire life here, the Earth is a pretty awesome place. It's got liquid water, oxygen, an atmosphere, complex carbons, and various forms of protection including the ozone layer and magnetosphere. All of these make Earth a pretty comfortable place for life! In fact it is the only place in the whole Universe where we know for a fact life exists! And it is some pretty amazing and complex life all on its own.


The Earth is a fantastic planet and we should all be so lucky to owe our existence to it's being in the right place with the right stuff. So please take care of your Earth, where ever human's may go in the Universe, it will always be home.

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This next part is dedicated to my friend Leroy. I've known him for years and he is a bit of a musician and a street performer. If you've ever been to D.C. you might have seen him too, he tends to dress in a folky style and plays his guitar just about everywhere. You can check out a couple of his tracks on SoundCloud.

I made a promise to Leroy to watch the movie Fantastic Planet and write about it, now this was a good month and half to two months ago. I've been putting it off a bit, but the version he wanted me to watch is on Google videos and re-scored in 2003 with industrial/experimental music like Aphex Twin. Anyways, with Google videos being shut down on April 29, he reminded me to watch it before it got taken off.


If you haven't heard of Fantastic Planet before, it is a French animated science fiction film from 1973, and is a bit trippy. The French name is La Plan├Ęte Sauvage, or The Savage Planet. It follows the story of a human named Terr on the planet of the Traags. The Traags are a hundred times larger then humans, and blue, and well, look like the thing in the picture above. Humans are also known as "Oms," a play on the French word for men, hommes. Now, I may spoil some of the story for you, but I don't expect many of you to actually go watch the movie.

The Traags apparently picked up the Oms from Terra (Earth) after some sort of apocalyptic event, images show destroyed structures and technology. Being that this movie was made during the Cold War, it is a good bet this was an influence on this imagery. Oms seemed to have originally been gathered for labor, but quickly grew into being domesticated pets for some, while wild ones were seen as pests. In fact, the treatment of Oms seemed to contrast with their high level of technology and spiritual development.

The planet of the Traags is pretty funky. The lifeforms there are all the kind of trippy things you would expect on an alien planet. A week on the planet roughly equates to a human year, and one of their 3 seasons is about 15 human years. The Traags also spend a large amount of meditating. In the end the meditating turns out to sort of 'astral project' themselves on to their moon, called the Amazing Planet, were the meet with other meditating travelers from across the galaxy and dance, which some how allows them to breed.

While the Oms seem like pests, its mostly because, well, most people I know can actually be pests, ha. But they end up living a rat like existence in abandoned parks, stealing food from Traag homes, and generally unintelligent. Until Terr comes along with a knowledge headphone that he stole from his former master. The Oms are seen to breed much faster then the Traags too, the Traags tend to 'de-om' every 3 cycles (?) which is more then enough for a whole Om generation to grow. After the Oms kill a Traag who tries to crush them with his feet, the Traags go over time, de-oming twice a cycle with new technology.

Terr and the other Oms hide out in an abandoned rocket dump, where they learn from Traag technology and build their own rockets, in the hope of escaping to the Amazing Planet. They escape in the nick of time and discover the Traag's secret of the moon and start blasting their vulnerable astral projections with lasers. This threatens to destroy Traag society, so the leader of the Traags offers to make peace and stop killing the Oms. An artificial satellite is made about the Fantastic Planet, named Terr.

Typically, this kind of trippy movie isn't my sort of thing. The animation was a bit humorous though, some of it reminded me of that Monty Python style. The soundtrack was pretty excellent though, I guess that has to do more with it being re-scored with more modern music. The story was a pretty good one too, a fairly solid science fiction story, and I am one who enjoys some science fiction.

That wraps up my little review of this movie. You can watch the film here for yourself before it gets taken down on April 29. And don't forget to keep voting for this Tuesday's Astro-Lesson in the sidebar! Happy Earth Day, and for those who celebrate it, have a good Good Friday and Hoppy Easter.


18 comments:

Lost.in.Idaho said...

I wasn't going to watch the movie until I read your synopsis. Now I'm off to google vids to watch it for myself.

Awesome post! Happy Earth Day!

Rob said...

I think you did a good job reviewing! I like reviewing movies, and I think you did a good job!


I think I'll give this a peek.

The Wired said...

great post and happy earth day! I never heard of the movie, I'll check it out

Aaron M. Gipson said...

I remember watching this in college with my roomates, it really is a thought provoking film with an intoxicating visual style. I think everyone should see it once. And I can empathize with the "not feeling it" sensation one gets when they are about to post something. I get that quite a bit...

Buckaroopopcorn said...

I'm the same way: If I can't feel it I can't write it. Don't feel bad though I've missed a month on my blog!

Jay said...

i've been putting off watching this movie too! i guess it's time. :D

Lemmiwinks said...

nice!

Zombie said...

I do love the little blue planet I live on. :D

MuteMath Fan (& news junkie too!) said...

Sounds like I need to meet Leroy! Sounds like an awesome dude!

Erika said...

I know exactly how you feel. I've found myself less than inspired recently. Hopefully we'll both get back on track soon, eh. Good luck! ^_^

Binder said...

hey i might watch this after reading thanks XD

Moobeat said...

great post

Kim Anders said...

thx! i might watch it!
and your inspiration will come back!

JayPower said...

Ah fantastic planet is awesome, kinda underated ;D

ScottD said...

Will have to watch sounds cool!

Necroticism said...

"If you haven't figured it out after spending your entire life here, the Earth is a pretty awesome place"

I've been living in other realms others than Earth :P

Venus said...

great review!
and Happy Earth Day to everyone!

The Game Store Guy said...

The one quote that kept coming to mind throughout this was, I believe, from Robert Oppenheimer stating how despite every war and amount of strife we've ever known, all of that is located on an infinitesimal spec of blue in the middle of the vastness of space.

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