Return to the Planet of the Apes is an animated series, by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises in association with 20th Century Fox Television, based upon Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle. Boulle's novel had previously inspired five films and a TV series, beginning with the 1968 film Planet of the Apes starring Charlton Heston. Unlike the film, its sequels, and the 1974 live action TV series, which involved a primitive ape civilization, Return to the Planet of the Apes depicted a technologically advanced society, complete with automobiles, film, and television; as such it more closely resembled both Boulle's original novel and early concepts for the first Apes movie which were changed due to budgetary limitations in the late 1960s.
While on a mission, three astronauts in their spaceship get caught in a time vortex. They return to Earth in the year 3979 A.D. and discover that intelligent apes are now the highest form of life.