FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)
Valley of the Fairies
Deep in a tropical rainforest live a bunch of fairies who when they are not busy healing plants with their magic power are enjoying themselves. That is until their idyllic home comes under threat from humans who plan to chop down the trees. When Crysta saves one of the humans from being crushed by a falling tree she shrinks him down to fairy size where he gets to see things from another perspective and realises that the destruction is a bad thing. Meanwhile an evil spirit called Hexxus has been released from his imprisonment in a tree and has taken to command of the tree crusher and causing even more danger for the fairies of FernGully.
To give you an idea of where I was when I first tried to watch "FernGully: The Last Rainforest", I was 20 and whilst I still enjoyed the classic Disney animations I had pretty much given up on modern animations. Now that does really mean that I wasn't in the target audience for "FernGully: The Last Rainforest" first time around and even less so when I tried to watch it again recently. I keep saying tried because sadly this is a movie which doesn't do it for me at all and at times I find its environmental message as subtle as a brick.
And in truth that is my first issue with "FernGully: The Last Rainforest" because whilst I am not saying that making an environmentally aware movie is wrong the lack of subtlety in this is painful. Now maybe it needed to be less than subtle for its intended young audience but it forces across so many points that at times it feels like a movie sponsored by the Green Party rather than something which wants to entertain and educate at the same time.
But my issues don't end there because it is also one of those animations which in trying to be hip end up excruciating. By that I am on about the frequent hip hop influenced scenes where we end up with cheesy animated raps from various characters. Perhaps for young audiences it ended up fun back in 1992 but now it just adds to what in truth feels corny.
About the only thing which I kind of like about "FernGully: The Last Rainforest" is the choice of actors to voice the characters with Samantha Mathis well chosen for Crysta whilst Tim Curry is always good playing nasty characters. Ironically the decision to have Robin Williams voice a bat ended up annoying and I think that is more to do with the fact that Williams has lent his voice to a few animations over the years and so it now lacks something.
What this all boils down to is that "FernGully: The Last Rainforest" has never done it for me and whilst it might entertain younger audiences the lack of subtlety makes it hard work for grown ups.
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