Interstella 5555 is an idea expanded out from the videoclips for Daft Punks Discovery album, each of which, as it was released, told part of an ongoing story about an intergalactic band. With the film, Daft Punk collaborate with Japanese anime director Leiji Matsumoto, one of the principal creative forces on the various incarnations of Space Cruiser Yamato/Star Blazers and the original creator/screenwriter of the Captain Harlock anime and manga. The film is essentially a feature-length videoclip for Daft Punks album Discovery each song is even played in album sequence and there is no dialogue to the film, it is entirely relayed in animated images with the music pounding from the stereo soundtrack.
As a film, Interstella 5555 is a mixed bag. Leiji Matsumoto and director Kazuhisa Takenuchi give the film a retro 1970s anime look all the characters have elongated stylised features and oversized eyes. As anime, and especially as science fiction, Interstella 5555 is routine. The mix of anime and rock music film never gels. The film feels like it comes from a time in the 1970s when various artists and groups David Bowie, Yes, Jefferson Airplane, Pink Floyd, Neil Young, ELO created science-fiction concept albums and/or stage shows, upon some occasions even entire science-fiction acts (Gary Numan, Kraftwerk, Devo), not to mention Kiss who incarnated themselves as superheroes in a Marvel comic-book and a dire film Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park (1978). Most of these employed science-fiction themes with routine affect where aliens and UFOs were just another facet of 1970s altered states consciousness or thinly veiled political parables such as Jefferson Airplanes Blows Against the Empire (1970).
The film throws up various science-fiction tropes familiar to these 1970s sf/rock crossovers evil dark lords, brainwashing, superheroics, the clear wish fulfilment fantasy of the band achieving worldwide public acclaim and mass adulation. There are various crossovers from music into science-fiction that seem silly a spaceship shaped like an electric guitar, gold records as icons in the dark lords occult rituals. As a science-fiction story, Interstella 5555 never achieves more than a routine shuffling of ideas and as anime it never reaches for the mind-expanding scale that makes Japanese animation such cult material.
Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel De Homen-Christo went onto direct a live-action science-fiction film Electroma (2006), a wordless film about robots on a quest. In more recent years, Bangalter and De Homen-Christo have been known as soundtrack composers, including for films such as Irreversible (2002), Enter the Void (2009), Tron Legacy (2010).
Full film available online here:-