Friday, 30 March 2012

Time Masters by Rene Laloux & Moebius

Les Maîtres du temps is a wonderful film by the French animator Rene Laloux. Before I say any more about it I should state up-font that I have a rather special relationship with this movie. I saw it when I was a child once and could not get some of the images out of my head. I promptly forgot the title and director and could never find it again. Every so often I would remember scenes or images and be frustrated that I could not track the film down. It was re-released on DVD in the UK a couple of years ago and there was much excitement on my part. I am also glad to say that, after so many rosy-tinted years, it remains an awesome piece of work.

The film is a must-see for several reasons: first, it's a great story. I won't spoil it for you but it's the kind of classic sci-fi which we rarely see these days involving fantastic planets, lost children, amazing vehicles and, of course, time travel. Second, it was designed by the late Moebius. The renderings are wonderful and suitably French. Finally, although the animation is not amazing, it is restrained and, when coupled with Laloux's sensitive direction, is quite magical in a way that is hard to describe.

The must-bookmark Monster Brains has compiled the whole movie in YouTube clips for your edification. I suggest you watch the first one online then go out and buy the DVD (as that's kinda the right thing to do). Also, check out Laloux's other animated sci-fi masterpieces including Gandahar and (the insanely trippy) Fantastic Planet.


  1. This looks awesome, thanks for the link. I love stories like this. The experience totally builds a personal mythology around the movie. I had a similar experience with Nausicaa Valley of the Wind. Seeing it partially when I was a child and then hunting it for 10 years until I found a vhs tape of it in a bargain rack. Now Disney owns it and you can get the remastered and redubbed dvd.

  2. Gandahar is a pretty good movie actually.

  3. Cool movie , the version i watched was in French so , a little bit weird .. if it could get any weirder.

    have you seen plague dogs ..?

  4. Wow, thank you for this. Like you, I watched this when I was a kid and some of the images stuck in my mind. I've been searching for it for some years now and your blog has finally connected me to it again, by chance from a random Google image search on 'animated space orphan' which led me to Fantastic planet, which led me to this. I agree about it being magical in a way that's hard to describe, and for a kid watching it, very surreal to get your head around. It was also very long, given that most animations I watched at that time were around 10 mins long.

  5. Great stuff Anonymous - glad to have helped others rediscover this classic!