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Very little magic in this sequel, I am afraid to say
The original FernGully is one of my all time favourites, it is funny, beautifully animated, moving and even scary in places. Not to mention underrated. In fact, its only problem was that it was too short. However, the sequel, while I didn't think was as awful as the cheap and unnecessary Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy To The Rescue, was very disappointing. It had a nice idea but just didn't work.
There are a couple of redeeming qualities. One was that the music, while nowhere near as good as the original's music(that score is beautiful), was not so bad. Whether it is memorable though that's the thing. Second was that it does have a nice message. Third, the baby animals and Budgie are very sweet and cute.
Sadly, that's where the redeeming qualities end. I will warn you I will be comparing a bit here. This sequel did have some very cheesy moments, and lacked the magic of the first film. One of my first problems was the animation. The original FernGully's animation was colourful, fluid and solid. Here it was rather dull and tacky, plus the colours looked much flatter than they should have done. Also in the original, FernGully itself had a sense of wonder, and it was like a Fairytopia, but I didn't get that here. FernGully seemed rather... how do I put it simply, ordinary I suppose. The writing was also nothing to write home about, and even with the presence of Batty, the whole adventure suffered from a lack of laughs.
The villains were rather lame, compared to the terrifying Hexxus. Hexxus gave me nightmares when I first saw the original at 9 years old, and it was not only how he was animated, but also Tim Curry's (a very talented and underrated actor) imperiously chilling vocal performance. Sadly, the villains, poachers here, weren't at all threatening, and even worse, they were poorly drawn, and most of their dialogue is unbelievably bad. The story admittedly was a nice idea, if only it didn't take such a long time to get going. There are a number of long, drawn out and even pointless scenes, giving the film an uneven sense of pulse.
The characters weren't as likable as they were in the first movie, and I did think overall the voice acting was poor. Crysta has lost her spunk, determination and even vivacity here. And in the sequel, most of it was about Pips, seeing that Crytsta is such a great character, there should have been more of her and she should've gone on the rescue mission too. I am wondering, whether the filmmakers were the same as the original, I would be surprised if so, seeing how much it deviates from the original. And although Zak isn't in this sequel, seeing as his and Crysta's relationship was one of the original's main focuses, I was saddened that Crysta appears to have completely forgotten about him. The character I had the biggest problem with though was Batty. First of all, I hated how he was animated. Secondly, Robin Williams actually made the first movie, he was absolutely hilarious and his humour effortless. However, I didn't like the new voice actor at all, he lacked the hilarity and vibrancy of Williams, and I found him rather loud and abrasive too. It certainly didn't help with the dialogue he was given, how lame was it? Very!
All in all, a hugely disappointing sequel, with very little of the magic of the beautiful original. I almost forgot to mention the ending, it wasn't as powerful or even poignant as the one in the first one. Kids may like it, but fans of the original and adults are guaranteed to be disappointed. 3/10 Bethany Cox
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