FernGully - The Last Rainforest Reviews
This was a movie that was made by the side characters. Batty is the best by far (thank you Robin Williams RIP), he's the one with most personality, the most inflection in his mannerisms, and the deepest backstory. Pips, despite his lack of significant backstory is at least interesting to watch. He's more level headed than the rest and had some hilarious facial expressions. And then you have the two leads Crystal and Zack. These two are where the movie falls flat. They don't have much personality other than the latter being naive and a bit inept, while the former's main personality traits are human and an excessive representation of 90s youth culture.The villain is another stand out, despite not getting a huge amount of screen time; and while he has the evil trait, he's not a fleshed out as I would have liked, what makes the character is Tim Curry's voice acting.
Which brings us to our next topic. Batty and Hexxus were incredibly well voiced and largely make the up the appeal of the movie for me. Pips voice actor (which I believe is Christian Slater), did a pretty good job, given his limited lines. Zack was more unremarkable. Although,there was notable difficulties around this one scene where Zack was teaching Crystal slang, but I would chalk that up to more of a poorly written scene than the actor's abilities. And Finally Crystal, she seemed to just have roughly the same inflection in her voice the entire movie. It was really hard to get any real emotional read from the character, barring one or two scenes, because her tone didn't really change throughout. Maybe the voice actress was skilled, but up against Tim Curry and Robin Williams, she was a poor choice.
The animation was pretty good overall. The shift between the idyllic Ferngully and the destroyed forest was well done and definitely had a sense of doom. It did suffer from a 90s style animation. I don't really know how to describe that other than it was basically what you expected to see on Saturday morning cartoons in the 90s. I found it charming, but the movie didn't age quite as well because of it.
The meat of the story is a big environmentalist narrative (which I like). Hexxus was trapped, humans (while destroying the rain forest) set him free, through shenanigans a human ends up tiny and in Ferngully, human learns the beauty of nature and the severity of what humans have done, fairies defeat Hexxus through the power of nature. Now, I didn't mind this narrative, most of the movie is handled well and conveys this message without detracting from the storytelling aspect of the film. However, the whole romance between Crystal and Zack is so ham-handed that the middle third of the movie is just bad. The romance has a touch of a love triangle to it, which is never fully explored. Also, there is no real chemistry between the characters, at least to me. Disney has the love at first sight thing perfected, so maybe I'm spoiled and just can't appreciate what was done. The whole middle third just didn't work for me.
The music was mostly average. Not good, but not spectacular. The two stand-outs were, of course, Batty's Rap and Toxic Love (the villain song). Both well done, catchy, and in the case of Toxic Love, with a weirdly sensual edge to it. Regardless of whether you watch the movie, I would highly recommend giving those songs a listen.
I like the environmentalist message and the story was nice enough. However, I don't see myself watching this movie again. I'd rather watch compilations of Batty and Hexxus. If you've never seen the movie, I think it's worth a try, but if you watched it when you were younger, a Batty compilation will probably highlight the best moments for you.
Hands-down, the best aspect of it is the antagonist - some sort of sentient pollution entity appearing to be constituted of crude oil and exhaust smoke. It's just a pity the rest of the film wasn't as inspired, relying far too much on the usual structure of storytelling for animation, making it pretty dull in latter parts (especially in the overly magical deus ex machina aspects).
A group of fairies live in a portion of the rainforest known as Fern Gully. A group of humans are cutting their way through the forest threatening Fern Gully. A curious fairy encounters a human and accidentally shrinks him to her level. The two learn more and more about each other and quickly discovering some educating needs to happen on both sides quick or Fern Gully may be done for.
"Humans can't feel anything; they're numb from the brain down."
Bill Kroyer, director of three short films, delivers Fern Gully in his lone directorial feature film. The storyline for this picture is interesting and well done. I thought the plot was interesting. The animation style is nothing special and two dimensional. The voices fit the characters well and include Christain Slater, Robin Williams, Tim Curry, Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Tone Loc, and Samantha Mathis.
"Am I dead?"
"We could fix that for you."
Fern Gully is a film I came across on Netflix and added to my wish list to watch with my daughter. We both loved it and were glued to it from beginning to end. I thought the fairies were well done and the plot unfolds well. This is a worthwhile addition to the genre.
"There's a little man on the windshield here."