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Les maîtres du temps
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Reviews & Ratings for
Time Masters More at IMDbPro »Les maîtres du temps (original title)

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34 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

Best animated sci-fi film ever made (OK, don't count anime)

10/10
Author: laci-5 from Hungary
17 April 2001

I remember I was very young when I saw this movie first. It was famous in Hungary as it was a co-production of French and Hungarian filmmakers (e.g. the animation director was Hungarian). I did enjoy it then, although I could not understand everything. Sometimes I felt it was quite scary. But still, it deserved the best Children's Film award in 1982.

Now I have seen it with friends who remembered how cool we felt then. And it was cool again. Okay, maybe the two songs during the movie were not as incredibly cool as everything else in the movie (okay, so they should have forgotten making people sing in a sci-fi) but well...that's the only tiny problem. Everything else is really cool. Sorry, I don't wanna give away anything from the story but it's truly amazing. Did you go to see Titan A.E.? That was quite good, but very American and quite senseless. This movie is different. Much smarter. Classic sci-fi.

If you don't think only American-type happy ending can be the end of a movie, but something like the ending of 12 monkeys or other almost-perfect movies, go and watch this one. You'll enjoy.

9,5 stars of 10!!!!

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18 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Highly imaginative

8/10
Author: itamarscomix from Israel
13 August 2005

Designed by the great graphic novelist Jean Giraud - AKA Moebius – Time Masters is a fascinating piece of animated sci-fi from France, that is well recommended for lovers of the genre and of the artist. Though the animation looks somewhat primitive by today's standards – though not for 1982, it looks quite better than any American cartoon of the time save Disney's, and don't forget that it wasn't a corporate effort like G.I. Joe or Transformers but an independent film with limited budget – but quickly enough you can learn the look past the rather bulky movements and simplistic faces of the characters and find yourself amazed at Moebius' amazing, seemingly endless imagination and creativity. The film is directed mainly at younger viewers – so it's not as liberated and wild as his more independent comics work or his contributions to Heavy Metal magazine – but his incredibly original vision is all there, in the out-of-this-world designs for the landscapes, the structures and the alien characters. Every minute of the film is a complete innovation in terms of design.

Plot-wise, there's not that much to be said for it; it's an intelligent but simplistic sci-fi story with a nice twist ending, which will, I think, appeal mainly to younger viewers. The characters are mostly simplistic and cartoonish, and largely unconvincing. These are the only reasons why I couldn't give Time Masters full marks; but these flaws take very little away from the pleasure of this film. As long as it focuses on the child character Piel, who is largely unaware of what goes on in the larger picture and is therefore touching and interesting, and not on the flat characters of Jaffar (good and brave for the sake of goodness and bravery), Matton (bad and greedy for the sake of badness and greediness) and the other adults; then it manages to be beautiful and gripping. And when any of the alien races are on screen, be they cute and cuddly or bizarre and frightening, you won't be able to look away. Time Masters is essential viewing for any lover of Moebius' work, and is well recommended for fans of science-fiction and of classic animation, and will surely become a treasured favorite for any of these.

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17 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Creative, Literate Sci-Fi

7/10
Author: Sturgeon54 from United States
30 July 2005

I do not know the first thing about animation, and in fact the only animation I have experience with is a few Disney movies and Saturday morning cartoons. Watching this quirky piece of animated science-fiction, I came to the realization that animation opens up an entirely new universe of possibilities for the genre. I have read many science fiction short stories and novels, wondering how they could possibly be translated into film, but using animation, the portrayal of complicated conceptual ideas from sci-fi novels seems much more possible than in traditional live-action. In fact, I'm tempted to say that science fiction and animation naturally complement one another.

This movie is like a funhouse of outrageous otherworldly ideas, one after the next. For a mere 80 minute running time, the filmmakers have packed an amazing amount of material here. If anything, the movie is actually too short, and it seems to gloss over a great deal of important plot points. It is almost like watching a drawing board conceptualization of a longer, more ambitious film, rather than the film itself. As such, character development is at a minimum here, as in the work of George Lucas. But also like Lucas' films, much of that is made up by the wealth of creativity. What is here is fantastic - a story filled with warmth and humor that can resonate with both children and reasoning adults. The startling elliptical ending is intriguing but abrupt. I recommend this for more adventurous filmgoers who want to try something unique.

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17 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

A forgotten treasure

9/10
Author: Patrick Mezard from Paris
2 June 1999

"Les maîtres du temps" is as good as french animation movies are rare. Designed by Moebius (Fifth Element...), inspired from a novel of Stephan Wul (french science fiction writer) "L'orphelin de Perdide", it remains one of the most powerful animation movie I have ever seen.

Evidently, It is pretty old and the animation cannot be compared to today's movies, but the rest is very impressive. Characters are mature and have interesting personnalities, the design of ETs and plants is original and the scenario is full of surprises. This movie is different from all others and it is a real victory to be better than the book it has been taken of.

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14 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Imaginative sci-fi

9/10
Author: zetes from Saint Paul, MN
3 April 2005

Animation is the perfect medium for sci-fi. Unfortunately, few animated sci-fi films have lived up to their potential. French animation master René Laloux is definitely one who let his imagination run amok in his medium. He is best known for his 1973 film Fantastic Planet. He must have had a difficult time getting funded for other projects, because he only ever made two more features. He died just a year ago. Time Masters is his second feature (he made another in 1988, called Light Years). The animation is very primitive, and not in the inventive primitiveness of Fantastic Planet. But, what it lacks in animation, it more than makes up for with its imagination. It's simply wonderful to behold. I especially love those two little telepathic creatures, referred to as "gnomes". The story is good, if not great. The ending is quite clever. I was wishing that it had gone on for at least a half an hour longer, but I won't complain, given the limited amount of material Laloux was able to produce in his lifetime.

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14 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

a very young child is stranded on a dangerous and sinister planet after his parents are killed.

9/10
Author: sarah deaton from United Kingdom
22 December 2004

I saw this film when I was about 15 when it was shown on British television. I was already a big fan of Alien and Bladerunner but didn't realise then that Jean Giraud (moebius), the concept artist behind some of the costumes on those films was the artist behind this film. The film made a big impression on me and I spent years trying to find out what it was. Finally I described it to an anime-fan friend of mine and he knew it. Although animation has moved on I still think the look of the film is really good, and the story is quite unsettling especially when you're on the planet with the boy, there is a real sense of menace. There's a body count! okay so it's a little bit dated, there are two pretty cheesy songs in it and a cute moppet kid but that's part of it's charm. Don't forget it was made in the early eighties (in fact it looks more seventies). I'll give it an 9/10, i'm afraid it loses one because of the songs.

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Spectacular

9/10
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
27 March 2011

As much as I did love Fantastic Planet, I think Time Masters is the better film. It is a spectacular sci-fi film and as an animated film too. While the incidental music is great and fits with each scene very well, the songs for me are nothing special and one or two don't do much to enhance the story.

That said, the story is wonderfully creative, imaginative and clever with a promising intense atmosphere and a convincing twist, and the characters are all likable with great personalities. The dialogue is simple without being too simplistic and mature without being too convoluted. The best asset about Time Masters asides from the story is the animation. The character designs are good enough, but considering when it was made the backgrounds and colours are quite stunning.

Overall, a spectacular film. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A Nutshell Review: (DVD) Time Masters (1982)

8/10
Author: DICK STEEL from Singapore
27 December 2007

Despite having the English title as Time Masters, there isn't any time component in its core story, though it gets shoved quite haphazardly into the revelation, which seemed to have come from the blind side, and took me by surprise for a bit. Didn't see it coming, but on hindsight, it came woefully too late though, leaving things wrapped up fairly quickly in the last act, that made it a little unsatisfactory, and treading very close to a cop out of sorts.

A 1980s animated movie, it does present a time travel of sorts for the viewer. After having being so used to 3D or computer graphics being the tool of choice to churn out feature length animated movies, this did seem like a blast from the past, but still standing the test of time after 25 years. I guess with the science fiction genre, it does provide it an additional age in terms of longevity (like Tron). Here, the movie opens with a chase sequence over an eclectic synthesized soundtrack, where the boy Piel and his father is on a flight from some hornet creatures. Before his dad met his demise, he gives Piel an egg like communicator, and had radioed his good friend Jaffar for assistance to rescue his son.

Here on the movie takes on two parts. First, PIel and his surviving amongst various encounters and creatures from within a strange forested area within the desert planet of Perdide, while waiting for Jaffar to arrive. And on the other track, Jaffar and his crew of token love interest Belle, technical wizard Silbad, two psychic stowaway gnomes in Jad and Yula, and fugitive Prince Matton. engage in a series of adventures, dealing with internal bickering, as well as external threats such as on the Gamma 10 planet with its faceless winged creatures.

While the animation is rudimentary simple in today's terms, the story does take on an interesting, mature dimension, especially with characterization. I particularly liked the gnomes as they provide clue-ins of sorts as they prepare you for what's possibly coming up, as well as to add some comedic elements into the storyline like a Laurel and Hardy. Piel too as the child shines through with real child-like qualities, which I thought was something different as he doesn't suddenly becomes a hero, which is so common in a typical story in today's setting, and what I thought was quite refreshing - let the kid stay a kid! And the designs by Moebius is just plain wicked, making the movie truly a sight to behold. Is there any more that you can ask for in a science fiction space adventure?

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

nice sci-fi cartoon.

10/10
Author: clong_clong from The outskirts of Paris
24 December 2004

Because of budget and time reasons, this cartoon, is not as good as he could have been. Yet this cartoon amazed me when I was a kid. it is very atmospheric, it's a good short sci-fi cartoon...

René Laloux is well-known as well for "la planète Sauvage" and "Gandahar" aka "lightyears" in the US ; Moebius (alias Jean Giraud) is a well-known comic strip drawer, he made for instance "l'incal" (check it out if you like Sci-Fi comic strips) and he collaborated on several well-known sci-fi movie (recently the 5th element).

you should check it out, despite its flaws it is nice sci-fi moment.

Be prepared for a quite surprising ending ...

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Lacks the visual imagination of Laloux's other films

5/10
Author: Charles Herold (cherold) from United States
1 February 2014

Looking through the reviews of this movie I see rave after rave, and the descriptions they have of this, as "mature" and "intelligent," had me wondering if I was watching the same film they'd seen. My best guess is that most of these reviewers first saw this movie as children, because I just find it hard to imagine adults could be so impressed if they didn't have fond early memories of it.

This appears to be Laloux's attempt to make something closer to a kid's movie. It features a child, and it lacks the nudity of his other two features. The episodic story follows some space travelers as they work their way through a series of adventures in an attempt to rescue a young boy.

Laloux's character design was always weak - his humanoids generally look like those of a cheap Saturday Morning cartoon from the 1970s, but he was good at creating stunning alien landscapes full of strange creatures. This movie has some pretty landscapes, but little of the strangeness of his other films (outside of the winged people featured in the film's poster).

There are some interesting ideas here and there, such as the weird telepathic creatures who experience unpleasant thoughts as bad smells, but overall this is disappointingly mediocre.

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