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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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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Lacks the visual imagination of Laloux's other films

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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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

European sci-fi with decent animation

Author: siderite from Romania
12 August 2014

I accidentally found this film, on YouTube to top it all, and was amazed how nice it was. The animation is in the French style of animation from the early 80's, so not fantastic, but the imagination and weirdness of it all more than compensate.

I think what I loved most about the film was the European feel of the plot. Characters are weird, each with their own quirks, not just bad or good, while the events are really imaginative. The planets, the creatures, the kind of interactions, all wonderful.

Bottom line: a gem that I had no idea existed, it will probably make me watch other Laloux movies, even if originally I just wanted to see the drawings of Moebius. At just 80 minutes, it would be a shame to not have seen it once.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:


Author: phovusle from Switzerland
27 November 2013

I have seen this movie 2 or 3 years ago. I don't really remember the characters or the story. But I vividly remember the mood, the landscapes and the overall feel. And even if the character design was not as artistic as somebody would wished for a movie like this ... the whole thing was just fascinating. A hypnotic mix of sadness, new layers of existence and a mind-blowing conclusion at the end. It reminded me a lot of the french comic "La Survivante" from Paul Gillon, which I also don't recall in detail, but know that some aspects of it, will never leave my memory. Ever. If you like the works of Jodorowsky and the movie Phantastic Planet,make sure to check this one out!

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A Skippable Curioristy

Author: Donald F from United States
29 August 2014

What can I say? I am a fan of sci-fi, as well as animation. Any film that tries to do both seriously perks my interest. Sadly, Time Masters is very average. I'm surprised anyone can take anything away from the movie.

The characters are the weakest link. They're not terrible, but they're very forgettable. They lack depth, emotion, and development. Time Masters is just a space adventure, with little sense of fun or grandeur. There's a plot twist, but I didn't really care about it.

There are some interesting concepts. Its not Fantastic Planet or Gandahar bizarre, but I never felt bored. For that, Time Masters does succeed as a spectacle of sorts. Sci-fi/animation fans should be satisfied if they come in with calmed expectations. Its a movie you watch to pass the time between better movies.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Delicate and Artistic, But Also Quite Heady and Staggeringly Nonsensical

Author: Sean Lamberger from Bradenton, FL
5 January 2015

Surrealist French animated sci-fi from the hand of Moebius, one of underground comics' most revered figures. Plodding but beautiful, it's generally best appreciated as an idea showcase and not necessarily a coherent story. Like a lot of his works, it's often inaccessible and tangential, more concerned with spotlighting the intrinsic weirdness of alien life than with shuffling the plot along. That slow, nonplussed tempo can be confusing, especially as a rescue party takes their time to splash about in a swimming pool and enjoy drinks while their quarry, a stranded young boy, fights nature alone on an uncharted planet. None of the cast, universally blasé and dull, seems overly concerned or motivated to chase their fates, and that irreparably wounds the big picture. Even the artwork, upon which many earlier Moebius works have hung their hats, seems rushed and incomplete. It does capture the general tone of the old master's trademarked style, but none of his precision or smooth, elegant linework. An interesting experiment either way, but not one I'm in a rush to revisit.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Great real mature outstanding movie, otherwise Soviet Union simply wouldn't import it, as SU never did import any of the cartoon rubbish jewing-gum.

Author: levelclearer from Russia
24 December 2010

Wouldn't be repeating what have previous reviewers already have said about this cartoon, as I agree with them. Soviet Union has imported this movie in 1982 and it was displayed widely in all cinemas. I was 14-15. We watched it 3 times. These days, that is 20 years ago, I bumped across it, and decided to verify whether it was that good. Yes it is. First about minuses. Too schematic animation of Jafar, Belle, Matton, while other characters are much better animated. Why ? Their faces look scary, even to me, an adult. Interesting that I had not that problem as a child.

The twist of the story when a 60 year old Silbad is trying to save a 5 year old boy Piel from the dangers loaded planet who in fact is himself but 60 years before, looks to me a most fascinating use of sci-fi to make the spectator think of eternal. BTW I got this twist that Silbad is Piel only re-watching this movie now, 20 years ago. But this did not prevent me from enjoying the movie as a child.

The line with Gamma Ten planet inhabited with some angel-like beings forming a terrible sect is a serious and mature challenge to a young spectator - religious sects nowadays use same methods as these "angels", first they bombard you with love, promise you happiness, and finally they destroy your personality, making you one of the personality-less slaves. After all Buddhism also pursues the goal to dilute the personality. Similar "religion" was developed also by Leo Tolstoy, who was estranged from the Russian Orthodox Church for that. So you know what "angel" inspires all of them.

The line of prince Matton,shows that even a bad and greedy person may hide something good in the depth of the soul. Although Matton first tries to kill Piel, on Gamma Ten he commits and act of sacrifice and saves Jafar. Great message for the children. Jafar - Matton dialog on Gamma Ten is one the best in the movie.

What else ? Noticed only now that the space captain who saves Piel from giant hornets bears Russian name Igor. It is written on his chair. Although they call him Hardy, it is plainly in black and white stands "Igor". It's an old Russian name. BTW that was the name of Prince Igor the husband of St.Equal to Apostles Princess Olga. So I have the full right to consider that Silbad became that Silbad because he has grown up living in the Russian space crew. That is also why Silbad's song is about "Lowry's guzzlers". Thank you Rene !!! Most important. No happy ending. That means tears in the end. That's another plus. BTW most Russian movies have no happy ending.

Princess and Jafar. Good. Especially Princess. All characters in the movie are real personalities.

Dislikes. Masters of time race still looks to me something of Deux ex Machine. Still I couldn't perceive authors idea with those masters of time. May be I need to do some more thinking.

Great real mature outstanding movie, otherwise Soviet Union simply wouldn't import it, as SU never did import any of the cartoon rubbish jewing-gum.

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3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful, original but pretentious and badly dubbed in French

Author: Imdbidia from Australia
14 February 2011

A Franco-Hungarian sci-fi animation film by director Rene Laloux, based in the Stefan Wul's book The Orphan of Perdide.

Time Masters is the story of a space voyage to rescue child Piel, stranded in Planet Perdide after the death of his parents, led by Jaffar -a friend of Piel's father-, Jaffar's friend Silbad, deposed mean Prince Matton and his sensitive daughter Bella.

The visuals of the movie are great and they have aged well. They mix the oniric-like colorful landscapes typical of Laloux with the visual style of comic master Moebius. In fact, the atmosphere and the desert landscapes, with orange-ish colors, and the design of the spaceships and space landscapes are very Moebius, but the paradise-lost-like colorful creative planets, its vegetation, fauna and creatures, are very Laloux.

The general storyline was good and with many good ideas and elements, but they are not harmonically or coherently put together. The script is too simplistic sometimes, confusing and twisted some others. The story of the stranded kid is simple but beautiful and allows us to explore planet Perdide with him, and also to see the planets that Jaffar pass/stop by during his voyage to Perdide. This part is more ethnographic, so to speak, and beautiful to watch, but the story told is very simple. Some philosophical digressions -a Laloux's film signature- are superimposed to that simple story. Firstly, we have the charming and playful conversations between the two human-like plant-derived "gnomes" Jad and Yula, which focus on the corruption of human thoughts, which, literally, stink to them most of the time, and the prevalence of economical value over beauty, which they don't understand and consider ridiculous - very New Age. Secondly, we have the pompous ceremonious robot-like winged faceless beings of planet Gamma 10, a bunch of mentally abducted people turned into a uniform mass of sameness that hates individuality and destroys any individual landing in the planet by turning him/her into one of them.

None of these elements seem to glue together, as they have different narrative and visual styles, messages and stories, without internal logic to make them believable.

I found the original French dubbing completely dull for most characters, except for the voices of Silbad, and the adorable Yula and Jad. Most importantly, despite the movie being a sci-fi one, and being filmed in the 1980s, when special effects were well developed, the ambient sound and editing are dreadful, so much so that, if we close our eyes, we don't feel that we are watching a sci-fi movie at all. It doesn't help either that some silly childish songs are put in the middle of the movie for no reason.

The end is fantastic, and one wonders why the tempo wasn't built to display it better.

It is an interesting movie to watch, for its individual elements (drawing of the planets, vegetation, fauna and creatures associated to them, and the philosophical bits), but pretentious sometimes, and poorly edited.

By the way, the design of the patrol cruiser of the Interplanetary Reform Federation characters and some of the "pirate" characters reminded me of Star Wars.

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3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

What an ending...

Author: Jonathan Jones from South Wales, UK
15 July 2001

A fairly average affair, with some slightly poor dubbing on the English version. The conclusion however is quite a jaw-dropper, beats anything M. Night Whatshisname will ever come up with, and is worth watching just for that...

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4 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

It Ended in the Middle of the Movie

Author: Christopher E. Meadows ( from Springfield, Missouri
1 April 2000

Time Masters, which I saw in an English dub, was a truly wonderful and exciting movie for the first fifty-five minutes. Excitement built and quite a few fascinating concepts were played with. But just as it looked like we were starting to get to the really good part...the mother of all Deus Ex Machinae occurred, everything changed, and the movie was over almost before you even had time to blink. I felt cheated out of the time I'd put into watching the movie.

If it had simply been a bad movie, that would have been one thing. But to have been a good and exciting movie until the very last five minutes, with no indication whatsoever that it was about to end until it _did_...that really hurt.

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