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"Time Masters"(1982) Movie Review

As much as Sean loves his novels, movies have a large piece of his heart too. There's nothing but great plots out there and he'd like share.

'Time Masters' Poster

'Time Masters' Poster

Quick Info

Director: René Laloux

Producer: Jacques Dercourt, Roland Gritt

Writers: René Laloux, Jean-Patrick Manchette, Moebius

Distributor: Compagnie Commerciale Française Cinématographique

Released: 24 March 1982. France

Runtime:79 minutes

Availability: Streaming on HBO Max and My Family Cinema. On DVD print. Purchasable on Amazon, I Tunes and other stores.


The production ‘Time Masters’ is an unpredictable, nostalgic and sight-filled story of an orphaned child, by the name Piel left alone on a strange planet after his family is ravaged by dangerous aliens. He is unphased and unbothered by much as he is only a child. The last thing he heard from his Father, Claude, was to head to haven. A safe space named ‘The Dolongs’. To which he relents; till his father fading fast hands him a trusty new friend with many voices by the name of Mike. Whom Piel takes everywhere, and regards as an actual friend.

Will Jaffar, Belle and Silbad on the other end of Mike make it across the corrupt ocean of stars and deadly planets inhabited by bizarre extraterrestrials in time or will innocent Piel succumb to a similar fate as his parents at the hands of the dangerous brain slurping Hornets.

The Book vs The Movie

L'Orphelin de Perdide, another masterpiece by Stephan Wul was published in the year 1958.

The main characters name in the book differs and as we will see below.

In the book a Man by the name of Max receives a transmission from Claude an old friend of his, seeking aid for his son, on planet Perdide, who has the same name.

Whereas in the film by Renee Laloux a man by the name Jaffar receives the same transmission in this case the silver-haired boy, Claude’s son goes by the name Piel.

In the book Belle and her Husband Martin are being shuttled to by the ship’s captain to a far-off planet. Which is a slight spin of things in Laloux’s take where Princess Belle and the Shrewd Prince Matton are fugitives aboard Jaffar’s vessel

Silbad is the only constant, as we later find out the scruffy, eccentric loveable geezer will play an important role in the film’s and book's premise.

[Time Masters] Trailer English/Subs

I Liked it and i'm Confident you Will Feel the Same

Some stories have a hold over you. Others long after you’ve been immersed in them. This is one of them. Piel, Jaffar, Belle, Matton.

You’ll find yourself liking all of them. Be it on the space ship or on Gamma 10 as hostages even when Jaffar and Belle share a little swim on Silbad’s Planet. Imagination is a powerful gift and this is another film that didn’t hold back on tipping the creative scales.

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The Animation was Top tier

Laloux was in the industry for a long before there was actually a CGI game. He worked with what we had and generations that witnessed his creations loved it, and his iron resolve.

Prior to the perfection of animation, he worked with a 2D, 3D animation style which rubbed us as realistic and conveying.

In the 1982 film, the character design was spectacular. The scenes perfectly articulated by the chiseled and detailed features of our protagonists whether they were heading or taking a swim before metamorphosis on Silbad’s Home Planet.

Princess Belle to the right and Jaffar on the left.

Princess Belle to the right and Jaffar on the left.

The Cast’s voices were Magical

Both in French and english the voice cast did a spectacular job

‘Time Masters’ (1982) CharactersFrench Cast


Jean Valmont


Sady Rebbot


Frédéric Legros


Monique Thierry


Michel Elias




Patrick Baujin


Pierre Tourneur

However, in English it was more memorable. Translated by the BBC and released in 1987 and 1991, we never learn the names of the English cast. I guess like the events of ‘Time Masters’ their names were lost in time.

The English Version of Belle’s voice that lulls and comfort little Piel, will certainly do the same for you.

Belle speaking through Mike' to Piel

Belle speaking through Mike' to Piel

The Soundtrack

Throughout the film the music is stagnant, only when action ensues does it follow. The retro beats throughout the film complement the action and suspense quite well.

Jean Pierre Bourtayre - Les Maitres Du Temp - End Theme

You'll love the Iconic Duo

As expected of Laloux’s creations there are countless specimen of flora and fauna worlds away from our comprehension when it comes to imagination. The two most memorable are a marshmallow looking pair, Jad and Yula. We first get a glimpse of these two when Silbad lends them a helping hand during Metamorphosis a ‘once in a lifetime’ event on his Planet.

Jad and Yula stowaway on Jaffar’s ship and are integrated into the crew.

Since they are capable of reading thoughts, it dawn’s on them that someone on the ship has ill thoughts and this hints at conflict later on in the film.

''I'm beginning to think humans are crazy." : Yula to Jad

''I'm beginning to think humans are crazy." : Yula to Jad

Gamma 10 Still Gives me Night Terrors

When one of the crew members lands on Gamma 10 prior the passing of a blue comet which is supposed to aid them to Perdid. The crew is put at risk as the mission turns into a two-pronged rescue mission.

Where we encounter Pristine white, winged and faceless humanoid creatures even though their intentions are far from their countenance. We learn that these creatures are devoid of will and individuality and serve a hive mind hell-bent on incorporating visitors of Gamma 10 into it’s being.

A slight nod to the reality of the real world. Ultimately a sacrifice in made and in anyone’s eyes as you will see, a misunderstood character is redeemed.

The Gamma 10 Horde

The Gamma 10 Horde

You and your kids will Love Piel

The best part about (Les Maîtres du temps) is that you can watch it with absolutely anyone you hold dear, or if you’re like me your cat will do.

‘Time Masters’ explores the psyche of a strong child. In the sense that throughout the film even after losing his parents and being completely alone, he is content with the little that he has ,his chum Mike.


Grade? I’ll give it a B+

The plot twist at the end really had me. It was the cherry on top for this intergalactic adventure. I laughed and felt the all too real hurt, but like life the Good overlaps the gloom.

I liked the unique ecosystem. The team didn't hold back at all. There were craetures which left me in awe and some that i will picture at the corner of my room for a week or so.

But all in all we learn much from the Stephan Wul adaptation which we can add to our lives. I really loved this and i'm glad i watched it ; 'cause it will stick with me for a while.

It's Purchasable on Amazon, and you won't regret it

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Sean M Pertet

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