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Destroy All Podcasts DX Episode 71 - Time Masters a.k.a. Les Maîtres du Temps


11 comments posted
WTF France?

I though Fantastic Planet was great, but I had no idea that there were other crazy french animations out there.

I will definately track this down.

TimF's picture
Posted by TimF on 2 October, 2008 - 15:28

I really have to recommend Gandahar a.k.a. Light Years over this film. Also directed by Laloux and much more interesting, though the animation is rougher.


Destroy All Podcasts DX's picture
Posted by Destroy All Pod... on 2 October, 2008 - 23:25
Good Frence Movie

Have you guys seen Immortal by Charlotte Rampling. Well worth the watch if you want to see another French production, that's actually very watchable, plus it has Horus raping some blue chick, how can you not watch it now?!? Stylistically it blends live action & CGI, quiet successfully in some places as you don't even notice... ok while other places you're laugh at how bad it is.

Great Podcasts, so good I've even gone back to the 1st one. Only podcast I've ever done that for!

"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist fears this to be true." - James Branch Cabell 1926.

Wizartar's picture
Posted by Wizartar on 3 October, 2008 - 02:44
Sounds like you have the

Sounds like you have the same copy of the film in English like I once did. The dub was apparently done by the BBC and was aired on that channel a couple times, leading to many fuzzy memories from many British children who were subjected to it!

This is one of those films were you want it to be interesting and satisfying, but it never happens, and the ending alone would put you off for the remainder of the day. Apparently, the film was based on a novel (L'Orphelin de Perdide) written by one French sci-fi author Stefan Wul, whose previous novel, "Oms en série" had been adapted by Laloux into "Fantastic Planet". Kinda wonder if the Perdide book was as bad as this movie.

Something about Communist state-owned animation studios seems to be a recurring theme in the Laloux Trilogy. Fantastic Planet of course was partially made in the former Czechoslovakia (heard they were kicked out of the country after the state found out what the film was about) and Gandahar was probably made at North Korea's "SEK Studio", famous for their reliance by many foreign companies that farmed out their work to them, including Disney. Much of this is rather a moot point and hardly ever brought up in the industry, but even as far back as the 60's, such dealings of this nature had been the norm, usually because these Communist-dominated nations were strapped for cash, and any foreign currency that might be had in such co-productions was not frowned upon very easily. American animator Gene Deitch, known for those Tom & Jerry cartoons people can't stop talking about, would like to stress how proud he has been for having worked nearly 50 years in Prague alone on projects for American clients.

In the case of "Time Masters", the studio responsible for much of the grunt work was Hungary's PannoniaFilm in Budapest, often regarded for their own talented artists and films produced during the height of the Cold War. The animation alone isn't the strength of the film, storywise a dull trek through boredom, if anything, Moebius' designs are what saves it, if only for that.

And thanks for that ending too, it's one of those where you began to realize this film has robbed 80 minutes of your life and you can only beg to get 'em back! Apart from the green canines posing as the Masters of Time, they came off like total pricks the way they decide to screw with people's lives just for real estate. I guess the point of the film was to make you think about time and existence, but it's best not to be in deep thought at all.

Oh yeah, here's the French trailer to this film which seems completely misleading if you assume it's gonna be action-packed...

Chris@StudioToledo's picture
Posted by Chris@StudioToledo on 3 October, 2008 - 18:10
Tom & Jerry

Thanks for the added detailed info to an already great podcast. I just recently read about those Prague produced Tom and Jerry Cartoons. Very interesting as they were supposed to be very surealistic and detached.

I barely remember those cartoons back when I was a kid as they just stood out and being so different, but it would be great to watch them all in one sitting.


Leonardo Flores
CollectionDX Staff Writer-West Coast Bureau

Showapop's picture
Posted by Showapop on 4 October, 2008 - 12:52
Thanks for the added

Thanks for the added detailed info to an already great podcast. I just recently read about those Prague produced Tom and Jerry Cartoons. Very interesting as they were supposed to be very surealistic and detached.

They were. You just could never explain how or why they ever existed other than the excuse of a Hollywood studio to ask for more but feeling too cheap to find someone in town for the job during that time. Deitch himself would often state this was due to the inexperience of the people he had to work with who have never seen a Tom & Jerry cartoon in their lives, or have ever animated in a manner similar to how was used to before. MGM was no help in only sending over about 6 or so cartoons for the guys to study from, it's all been discussed time and time again, and I've kinda gone passed that now.

I barely remember those cartoons back when I was a kid as they just stood out and being so different, but it would be great to watch them all in one sitting.


We do have the internet for that. For me, I had prior experience in this sort of exotic, foreign toonage going back to the early days of Nickelodeon when all they could afford to show was outside material over original programming. One show in particular, Pinwheel, seemed like an excuse to tie in a faux Sesame Street premise with tons of kiddie fodder from all over, including a lot of Eastern European stuff you can't find locally anymore. It's hard to explain what it was like, you sorta had to be there at the right place and time when it was happening. Cable TV in those days was terribly relaxed and more experimental in it's choice of content over what it is today. The things i missed for being too young kills me what they used to show, such as the scant number of anime on Pat Robertson's CBN channel, Soviet TV on Discovery and so on. You'll never see that sort of hokey pokey going on anymore.

Being reminded that same Hungarian studio I mentioned that did Time Masters also worked on one rather bizarre American cartoon from the mid 70's, "Hugo the Hippo". It might be worth tracking down for it's Peter Max/Yellow Submarine approach to design, though it's story and music is typical G-rated romp.

Chris@StudioToledo's picture
Posted by Chris@StudioToledo on 7 October, 2008 - 18:27
Howdy Jeremy your review of

Howdy Jeremy
your review of Les Maîtres du Temps is total bullshit!
How can you make a proper review without watching the real version of this film???

You pick up the garbage cut to hell horrid english dub version and tell everyone this film sucks,its like if I watched Macross: Attack of the Bionoids
and claimed Macross : do you remember love was not only the same movie but that is sucked as hard.

Your biased and slack ass review of this film does it zero justice and I hope people who listen to this realize you didnt review the real Les Maîtres du Temps.

The English dub,the quality of the picture and the overall story is cut and shit on in the horrid English version.

You may notice reacuring themes in all 3 of René Laloux full lenght animations,I really feel you need to see the proper version before you stomp all over this movie.

Love your show but I had to defend this great film from the wrath that is Jeremy!!

Regards from your loyal fan
Regan Strongblood

ReganStrongblood's picture
Posted by ReganStrongblood on 24 October, 2008 - 00:35
Yeah I doubt it.

We said in the review we watched the American cut version. But watching the original version is not going to change the fact that nothing the characters do at any point in the movie has any effect on this ending. This movie has the worst deus ex machina ending ever, not to mention the fact that so much of the movie is totally boring and rambling with nothing going on. You want me to watch it with even more pointless rambling inserted back into it?


Destroy All Podcasts DX's picture
Posted by Destroy All Pod... on 26 October, 2008 - 20:10
Yep, apart from any

Yep, apart from any translation snafus (which I blame the BBC for anyway), the movie's conclusion is still one that comes back to mock me for ever having spent those previous minutes on it in the first place!

Chris@StudioToledo's picture
Posted by Chris@StudioToledo on 13 November, 2008 - 01:44

I just procured the European DVD release of Gandahar!


Destroy All Podcasts DX's picture
Posted by Destroy All Pod... on 14 November, 2008 - 18:18
Dear Jeremy and Zuey, this

Dear Jeremy and Zuey, this film isn't necessarily bad, just that it's aesthetics do not necessarily jibe with your jive.

It is apt that one "Wizatar" would recommend "Immortal" but it should be noted that I would say read the COMIC rather than watching the film adaptation.

Les Maitres du Temps comes out of the legacy of Metal Hurlant comics that would come to America as Heavy Metal. The comic definitely has its action but it is meant, at its core, to be a VERY cerebral affair, likely meant for drug empowered Art and English majors.*

I can say that having read the first two years of Heavy Metal comics, which were published about three or four years before this, that upon immediately watching the film, in its original French- I'll note, that I was immediately engrossed in the film and never lost my grip.

The key to most of Les Humanoïdes Associés', the publishers of Heavy Metal, Incal - a work by Moebius and acclaimed film maker, and god, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and earlier mentioned Immortal, work is the pursuit of a mystical world that mystifies the audience in a setting where the entire universe acts in a matter that can not necessarily be predicated by the actions of man. They work in an intense style of Shakespeare's school of thought wherein one should entertain and then educate. Les Humanoïdes Associés create stories that both extremely exciting and infused with existential thought.

That said, it is not for everyone.

Also, it seems to me that you should quit watching the dub of ANYTHING since, and I believe Zuey may have said this, it is important to watch a film in its original creator intended manner. If I could find torrents of the original works for everything you've reviewed, and I've listened to thus far, in its original form, then I would imagine you could too.

*I'm the latter.

lordchaos's picture
Posted by lordchaos on 22 January, 2009 - 00:43
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