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This one does.
Crysta, a simple, innocent, and at times flippant fairy, is an imperfect but funny heroine, and as genuine as they come. Batty gives Robin Williams another character perfectly suited to his talent -- I watched this movie at a party with highschoolers and he went down great (everyone liked the movie overall, but Batty stole my friends' hearts). He has the genie sassy-but-kind vibe going, and it's hard not to think of him as just as much a main character as Crysta (or more). Zach... well, okay, Zach was unforgivably dumb for awhile, but it was gratifying to see him finally get it. Magi Lune's character was fascinating, a powerful sorceress with just a hint of weakness and sadness (as when she admits of the coming darkness that she "cannot heal it" and "cannot stop it"). She delivers sappy lines and instead of losing the audience emotionally, they resonate deeply. I think this is because the usual sentimentality and condescension you see in kids' movie whenever there's a "message" is totally absent -- Magi speaks her lines with total respect and love for Crysta. It is a deeply spiritual moment.
The animation is beautiful, visual joy; the script is full of entertaining flourishes, and Crysta's father is the most humorous roly-poly befuddled dad since the Sultan in Aladdin. I'm a huge Tim Curry fan, and he doesn't disappoint. But what makes this film stand out for me is how it handles its message.
The entire film is built around it, but it doesn't seem heavy-handed at all. As a kid, I was inspired by Crysta's comeback, and the idea of there being "magic" in all of us. As a teenager, it reached me even more: Crysta learns that, despite her youthful curiosity, real understanding and real power can come when she applies herself, and takes responsibility. In the beginning of the film, Crysta takes Magi for granted (and not too seriously), and there is a hint of rowdy teenager in the way she sneaks off to hang with a boy she likes. But she comes to understand that Magi is not infallible, and will not always be there to take care of her. She realizes that she loves Magi even though the woman can't always make everything alright, and eventually, Crysta learns that she, too, can take care of others. In short, Crysta matures, and it is insightfully handled and beautiful and affecting for me to watch. this, even more than the idea of conservation, is its message: the inspiration to learn that others cannot always help you, and that sometimes other people even *need* you -- the rainforest is really just another charge, desperately in need of help.
So, the plot goes something like this. Deep in the heart of the last rainforest in the world, Fern Gully, live a society of fairies. Peaceful little creatures that spend all day helping things grow and protecting nature. Long ago, an evil force known as Hexxus tried to destroy Fern Gully. But the fairies sealed him in a tree for eternity. At least they thought it was for eternity.
Humans have come back to Fern Gully, and they brought a huge machine with them known as the leveler. The leveler has one purpose. Chop down and process trees. Go figure, this doesn't bode well with the fairies who are trying to protect nature.
Zak is a kid likely in his late teens working for this tree felling company as a summer job. And what a hard job. He walks around spray painting trees so the guys running the leveler know which ones to chop down. Really mentally pressing. Then he goes for a little stroll, and comes across a really eerie looking tree. The tree that, unknown to him, contains Hexxus. An insect starts buzzing around Zak, and he has the brilliant idea that he'll kill it with spray paint. Only in the process, he also paints a nice big red X across the Hexxus tree. In a little while, the leveler gets to the tree, chops it down, and Hexxus oozes out from the wood.
Around this time, while Zak is walking around, he sees some little blue spark flying around. It's Crysta, his soon to be fairy friend. He catches her in his hands, and as a tree starts falling towards him, Crysta yells look out. He doesn't hear, so she says, "Bless your heart with magic might I give the gift of fairy size! Er, sight!" Apparently the first word spoken for a spell is the one that takes, and Zak is three inches tall, just like the fairies.
Zak befriends Crysta, along with her bat friend, Batty (voiced by Robin Williams). The main focus of the movie is the relationship between Zak and Crysta, but also on the potential destruction of Fern Gully as per the wishes of Hexxus.
It's a cartoon, so obviously the fairies are going to stop Hexxus. But it's still a fun little movie filled with some very funny lines, brightly colored animation, and great voice acting.
Bottom Line: 4 out of 4 (own this movie)
All the characters were cute and likable, and the story is really different and fresh. I also thought that it was very hilarious at times, and just all around completely entertaining. It was so interesting and fun to watch, and in the end is that not what a film is supposed to do? In my opinion, it is a classic, that needs to be viewed by a lot more people, for how great it really is. Please see it really soon if you are any bit interested in it, because I swear you will not be let down by FernGully at all.
The animation is good, with rich colors and gorgeous visuals of the forest. The characters are well designed and funny, the bat Batty being the most hilarious. The music is nice, too, with modern rhythms that mix well with the fast pace of the movie. The best song is the one performed by the bad guy, Hexxus, a literaly slimy demon, that perfectly represents the greed of modern society.
This is a little gem in the Disney-dominated world of animation. Don't miss it.
It's an interesting movie in a large rainforest inhabited by fairies. They think humans are dead, unti a bat named Batty (Robin Williams)shows up. It's two main characters, Zak the human surfer boy guy, and a fairy named Krysta, who shrinks him to her size. The movie has a pretty cliche, but well said point I think, and good plot. The music is great too, and the villan is great,Hexxus, and old demon, but perhapes a bit frightening at times. (Villains are always the coolest)
Basicly, the musics good, the characters are good, the voices are good, the bad guy is good (but frightening and the animation is good. I see nothing wrong with this film, and I recommend it to those who like classics.
Ferngully has it's problems, some of the songs were written with the days music heavily in the forefront so they haven't really stood the test of time. The overall message of taking care of the environment will seem heavy handed to an adult, although I remember feeling inspired by it as a child.
That aside I cannot vault the voice acting, Tim Curry, Robin Williams, Christian Slater, Samantha Mathis, they all deliver great performances. The animation is terrific and looks very much like Disney movies of the time. The stories hero's are compelling to watch, you really do care about what happens to them as it progresses to the climax, all this is woven together with touching little moments in the animation and a clever and funny set of supporting characters.
Will children today enjoy it? I'd say let them watch it, everyone has their own tastes and preferences and it's no different with children. They'll either like it or they won't.
I'm not sure if an adult who missed it as a child will enjoy it, again I think it depends on the person, but if this was a part of your childhood, it might be worth seeing it again I think it still definitely has a place in my heart.
The ups are good humour from the one and only Robin Williams (who is a bat and sings a brilliant rap song), good thoughts about the environment (as in the way it is in this film), the setting (an Australian jungle - you would think if it was about fairies it would be set in Britain - wouldn't you?), good background animation (mainly jungle and trees), good songs (a mixture, including the beautiful and the not-so-beautiful) and a good message (to be good to the environment).
The downs/flaws is the fact the main character is annoying (yet for some reason everybody likes her) and the film also drags on slightly. Another flaw is the fact that for one half of the film, everything is pretty cool, chilled and like a fun, normal kid's film, then in the second half of the film the tension becomes very heavy and suddenly everything is so precious and beautiful. Both phases of the film are good of course, but the change is too quick and too noticeable. It is like having balanced meals for a week and then suddenly the next week you are scoffing cakes like there is no tomorrow.
The plot is: Most of the characters are fairies and they live in the Australian rainforest. They are very kind to the environment and help things grow. Most of the fairies believe that humans do not exist, but when a bat who has been experimented in a lab tells the fairies of humans, there is one called Crysta (a girl fairy) who wants to see the humans for herself...
Good for children, mainly, who do not care much about the environment, but also for people who like Robin Williams and animation in general. Enjoy "Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest"! :-)
In just under the first seven minutes, this movie presented its theology about a supernatural (not God) power inside you, all life being connected with "the web of life," the "spirit" of the trees or leaves or whatever is speaking to you, etc. etc. Unbelievable!
I didn't get to the environmental barrage here yet. Hey, there's nothing wrong a decent message about helping then environment but this is absurd. I'm sorry but not everyone in the lumber business is a total moronic, homicidal slob! They are in this animated film! In this movie - I am NOT exaggerated, trees feel pain when they are cut! As I said....unbelievable!
This is the most blatant and ludicrous propaganda piece for little kids I've ever seen and sadly, there was a lot of this crap for over a decade until things calmed down...until "Happy Feet" came along recently with an another example of liberalism gone loony. However, generally-- speaking, you don't see this kind of preaching much anymore which is why animated films are so much more popular today than this "message" garbage.
I remember watching FernGully as a kid, I really liked Batty (voiced by Robin Williams) and his song. Rewatching this now, Batty wasn't as hilarious as I remembered but he is one of the better characters of the movie. An insane bat with a radio wired into his head by human scientists, he is quite colourful. The other pretty good character is the villain Hexxus (Tim Curry), who also has a catchy song. He's a poisonous being who apparently thrives on destruction. A shape shifter, he too is well imagined.
Beyond this the fairy characters Crysta and Pips (Christian Slater) and the human Zak are kind of flat. One thing that surprised me is how skimpy Crysta's clothes are (they reveal her hips and midriff)- but I'm not going to pass judgement on whether that's appropriate. Besides flat characters, at times watching this I longed for something more adult. The story was clearly aimed at children. At times this story isn't fully developed- why exactly did Magi disappear? Moreover, the animation is lacking compared to Disney films. Still, 18 years after it came out, families will likely continue to find FernGully enjoyable and its environmental message remains important.
Like in all films of this genre, it starts off in a happy pristine village with happy playful little people who sing, play, dance and enjoy every second of their existence until the evil capitalists (aka You) invades and pillages their land and plunders their resources and leaves their once peaceful village into a smoldering pile of rubble and forces them to eat their children and drink their blood to survive. But one of the evil ones has a good heart and befriends the once happy little people and learns about their "enlightened" ways and tells off the other meanies.
This movie was an obvious pot shot at the logging industry (and capitalism) yet I'd love to go to the mansions of the producers, directors, and cast and see how many wood products I can find in their homes and determine how many trees were cut down to supply them with their comfortable lifestyles.
As usual, you're the bad guy who is polluting the earth and destroying the environment with your greedy capitalist ways but not them.
So... conserving rainforests is not to preserve the complex ecosystem and therefore the delicate balance of life on Earth itself. No - it's so FAIRIES will have a place to live.
The film is dedicated to: "Our Children and Our Children's' Children."
FERNGULLY: THE LAST RAINFOREST follows sexy, half-naked, winged, tramp sprite Chrysta (voiced by Samantha Mathis), as she discovers humans in the forest, doing something unthinkable - wearing clothes. And cutting down trees. We are led to believe the humans are killing trees for no reason, but - without advocating senseless destruction - logging is done for a number of reasons, none of which is specifically so that fairies go homeless.
That is the first un-brained message that our children and our children's' children can get confused over in this animated film. (Note that the industrial society that performs the logging is providing jobs and domestic product, which feed and clothe the very same children's' children this movie is preaching to.)
Chrysta's magic old witch friend (voice of Grace Zabriskie) once entrapped an evil spirit called Hexus (Tim Curry) in one of the trees. The logging people unwittingly free Hexus by cutting down his imprisoning tree. (I really shouldn't go into the nonsense behind a metaphysical prison being breached by physical means.)
Hexus then possesses the big logging machine, so it can be anthropomorphized into a snarling beast. And working for that beast, the representatives of humanity - two bucktoothed layabouts who drive the logger and a big blond American idiot, Zak (Jonathan Ward), with arms more muscle-bound than his brain even, whose menial job is to spraypaint the trees scheduled for the axe.
And the headlines read: BIG BLOND American IDIOT SHRUNK TO FAIRY SIZE. (Although film is made by Australian production companies, and although Zak's license says he lives in Byron Bay, Australia, Zak's accent, demeanor and provincial arrogance dub him unmistakably American.) Through a magic spell, Zak becomes as tiny as Chrysta and shares his ignorant human perspectives with the forest sprites, who teach him how to become more forest and less technology. Which is kinda futile, because Zak in no way represents humanity OR corporate interests - I shudder to think that this blond bell-end supposedly speaks for ME. Or anyone with more brain than brawn.
Zak infuriates Chrysta's fairy boyfriend (Christian Slater) by trying to get naked with her, then makes us question how he could harbor those desires when he starts singing nature songs like a fairy, as he is gradually propagandized into a tree hugger. Very noble an' all, but even though he helps grind the Bad Machine to a stop, having his eyes opened to the ways of the woods won't stop deforestation. He is a bottom-rung day-laborer. He has no say in the corporation sending another Bad Machine to replace the one he wrecked. He'll be fired and the logging will continue unabated.
Robin Williams voices Batty, a bat who escaped an experimental lab (forever burdened with an antenna stuck in his ear), who helps the fairies with his usual flap-yapping Williams shtick.
And then the worst crime of all - magic. Final scenes of FERNGULLY show a denuded forest being regrown in minutes through the fairy witch's magic - which undermines the movie's entire message. If our children's' children see a rainforest grown from nothing in minutes, how are they ever going to appreciate it as something precious and rare and hard to regenerate? If a rainforest can be grown instantaneously through Magic, well, why the hell NOT tear it down for homes for the homeless and creating jobs for the economy and then re-grow another one like in the movie?
And the headlines read: FAIRIES MAGICALLY REGROW FOREST IN MINUTES. LOGGING CORP REJOICES - MORE TREES INSTANTANEOUSLY! MORE JOBS! MORE LOGGING!
Moral: As long as magic fairies are so militant about keeping their homes, we'll always have rainforests.
Beginning the movie, the "fairies" are unaware of the existence of humans - believing them to be only a myth. As they learn that humans do indeed exist, they determine that humans are an entirely destructive force, and decide that any and all wrong is caused by humans. The middle of the movie holds a constant theme of "The HUMANS DID IT! The humans did it!" (in reference to anything negative).
The movie also entirely excludes humans from nature, as anything done by humans is directly stated to be "a power outside of nature". The movie also puts a significant focus on a bat who's song number details his experience as a biology lab test subject for a cosmetics company.
Long story short, the sole lesson to be taken away from this movie is - "Humans are evil and the source of any and all bad things."
Ferngully tells the story of a rain forest full of sprite like creatures. Their habitat is being destroyed by man, who don't know how much harm they're causing. The villain in the film is Hexxus, a glob of goo who grows larger and larger and thrives off of waste. Tim Curry's performance as this very strange character is what makes the movie. Robin Williams has a real throwaway role as the comic relief bat, aptly named Batty. Though he is a comic relief character he's also there to be preachy, and was previously tested on by humans. Everything in this movie gives a message, and as a child I did not care or understand what the point of this was. Now, I realize how preachy this really is, so it doesn't work on any level.
In the end, this was a short, preachy movie, with some inspired moments....but mostly it was too heavy on it's environmental message.
My rating: ** out of ****. 71 mins. Rated G.
The film starts somewhere in the Australian rainforest, lays a fairy world known as Ferngully. One day, a fairy named Crysta while flying up on the canopy, spies a smoke cloud by "Mount Warning." And hearing from a brain-fried bat named Batty, that there are humans over there, the curious Crysta flew over see the humans. Well Batty was right, there are humans at Mount Warning, and they are logging in the forest! And we get to see the film's protagonist Zak, an ordinary teen working as a lumberjack's apprentice for a summer job. While trying to spray a fly that was buzzing around him with the spray paint to paint an 'X' on the trees, Zak had accidentally painted an X mark on an enchanted baobab tree that trapped Hexxus, the spirit of destruction and the film's main villain.
Upon being discovered, Crysta flees from Zak, who spotted her blue glow. And seeing the monstrous lumber machine cutting a tree shocked Crysta that she forgot about fleeing from Zak, who caught her. Unaware that a tree is about to fall on Zak, Crysta accidentally shrinks him down to her size; because instead of saying "fairy sight" in her spell she said "fairy size!" Then after being thrown from the massive blow from the tree's impact to the ground, Zak gets stuck on a spiderweb on the tree that's just about to go through the machine's tree shredder. Crysta tries to get him off but she can't, until Batty swoops in, grabs them both off of the spiderweb.
And now the adventure really for those two (Crysta & Zak), because once Zak sees the beauty and magic of Ferngully, he vows to save it. But it may be too late, because the logging machine had cut the enchanted tree and Hexxus is free! That's all I could tell you folks, you will have to see the film for yourself how it ends.
So anyway I really love this film, and I love the film's musical soundtrack; truly one of the best animated movies ever made with plenty of fantasy, adventure and humor.