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The 50 Best Sci-Fi Movies

32. Fantastic Planet (1973)

Director: Rene Laloux
Stars: Jennifer Blake, Eric Baugin, Jean Topart, Jean Valmont

For animated sci-fi that's fun for the whole family, stick with WALL-E. But if you're the type who rocks out to Heavy Metal and other non-traditional animation in decidedly adult fare, the psychedelic French mind-screw Fantastic Planet is a no-brainer.

Instead of taking the traditional Disney-like approach (drawing on acetate), directors Rene Laloux and Roland Topor opted for sketches on cut-out paper, giving the film's characters herky-jerky movements, and, in the process, the film as a whole an off-kilter vibe. Story-wise, it's a tale of oppression, finding pint-sized humans enslaved by giant Martians with fish fins for ears; once the rebellion commences, Fantastic Planet's visuals kick into surrealistic overdrive.

The imagery in Fantastic Planet passes by with acid-trip-like oddness, from the sight of two women duking it out with their hair tied together to a tree snatching animals out of the air with a huge mouth. If all of this has you scratching your head, don't feel bad-we've seen the movie and still can't totally decipher it. Having our brains fucked has rarely been as mesmerizing, though.

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