Fantastic Planet (French: La Planète sauvage, lit. The Wild Planet) is a 1973 cutout stop motion science fiction film directed by René Laloux, production designed by Roland Topor, written by both of them and animated at Jiří Trnka Studio. The film was an international production between France and Czechoslovakia and was distributed in the United States by Roger Corman. It won the special jury prize at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival. The story is based on the novel Oms en série, by the French writer Stefan Wul. A working title for the film while it was in development was Sur la planète Ygam (On the Planet Ygam). The film had a total of 809,945 admissions in France.
The film depicts a future in which human beings, known as "Oms" (a homonym of the French-language word hommes, meaning men), are creatures on the Draags' home planet. The Draags are an alien species which is humanoid in shape but a hundred times larger than humans and they live much longer than human beings. Although some Oms are domesticated as pets, they are seen as pests and are periodically exterminated.
A group of Draag children accidentally kill an Om woman during play. Unfortunately her death leaves an orphaned infant, who is taken in by an adult Draag as a pet for his child, Tiva. Tiva’s father just happens to be master Sinh, the Draag great Aedile and after some time, when the child and pet are playing, they surprise him and and several of his compatriots during a ritual melding session. It is revealed that many Draag children have Oms like Terr.
The bond created between the Draag child, Tiva, and the Om, named Terr (word play on the French word Terre, meaning Earth) deepens as time passes by. Tiva's education is supplied by the use of a headset that transmits knowledge directly into the brain of the user. Because she enjoys having Terr in her hand when she is having her "infos," Terr begins to acquire the Draag knowledge. Terr begins to realize who and what he is, and escapes, taking the headset with him.
He eventually finds other Oms and after some tribulation, is accepted into a tribe. Over the next several scenes, it is shown how the Oms have adapted to life on the Draags' planet. Snail-like animals weave clothes onto the Oms, predators that would eat Oms are in turn hunted and efficiently stripped of useful materials, and the gene pool is kept well-mixed. One day, the now-literate Oms reads a new sign on one of the walls, and learns the park is about to be "de-Omised." The de-Omising is accomplished using disks that release a poison gas. A great many Oms perish from this gas, but a sizable number still manage to escape.
The Oms retaliate and manage to kill one of their Draag attackers. The death of the Draag puts the Council in an uproar. De-Omising is stepped up to a much higher priority, new technologies are developed, and extermination frequency greatly increases.
Fatalities resulting from Draag attempts to de-Omise are minimized by the creation and organized use of shelters, but the Draags' updated technologies become ever more aggressive, and when an automated scout detects the persistent Om settlement, it summons an array of lethal devices. The Oms launch manned rockets toward the Fantastic Planet, where they discover headless humanoid statues. As Draag meditation bubbles descend to alight atop the statues, the statues begin to dance. This is the secret that animates the statues and allows the Draag to reproduce. When the feet of the dancing statues threaten the rockets, the Oms use energy weapons to shatter the statues, effectively killing thousands of meditative Draag. Pandemonium reigns in the Council chamber, for it seems the two species will destroy one another if they cannot find a way to live together.
Apparently they do just that, for in the very next scene, an Om steps down off an outstretched Draag hand, removes his silly hat and assumes a posture of confidence and self-assertion.