Les Escargots

René Laloux (1966)

A gardener tries his best to make his food plants grow, but when his tears water the plants, they grow luxuriously.

René Laloux was a French animator and film director.

He was born in Paris in 1929 and went to art school to study painting. After some time working in advertising, he got a job in a psychiatric institution where he began experimenting in animation with the interns. It is at the psychiatric institution that he made 1960’s Monkey’s Teeth (Les Dents du Singe), in collaboration with Paul Grimault’s studio, and using a script written by the Cour Cheverny’s interns.

Another important collaborator of his was Roland Topor with whom Laloux made Dead Time (Les Temps Morts, 1964), The Snails (Les Escargots, 1965) and his most famous work, the feature length Fantastic Planet (La Planète Sauvage, 1973).

Laloux also worked with Jean Giraud (Mœbius) to create the lesser known film Les Maîtres du temps (Time Masters), released in 1982. Laloux’s 1987 film, Gandahar, was released in the US as Light Years, and made in cooperation with the artist Caza. The US version was redubbed by Harvey Weinstein, from a screenplay adapted by Isaac Asimov. The US version was not as successful as the French version, grossing less than $400,000 on its release.

Laloux died of a heart attack on March 14, 2004 in Angoulême, Charente, Poitou-Charentes, France.


  1. If you do, get ready. It’s kinda bittersweet and heartbreaking……
    But a realistic comment on life in general, I guess.

  2. Oh my god, that poor farmer just can’t win! 🙂
    Interesting that the artist was working in a psychiatric place and experimenting with animation……
    The French, though……!
    Have you ever seen The Red Turtle? Well, the director wasn’t French, but he worked with Pascale Ferran.
    Not as light as this short, but the animation here reminded me of the movie…….

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