Posted by: Mad Ness Monster | 12/03/2009

“Ferngully: The Last Rainforest” review

We’re continuing our journey through the magical realm of Movies the “Avatar” Trailer Reminded People Of. Today, we’re tackling that other movie set in a jaw-droppingly awesome looking animated rainforest.  Some guy goes to this beautiful place and doesn’t really appreciate it. Then he sort of becomes one of the natives and explores the magical land. And once he learns more about it (and, more importantly, falls in love with a cute girl native), he’ll do anything he can to right the wrongs of his former people and save his new home.
It’s never clear what the public opinion of “Ferngully” is. Sometimes it looks like it’s cool to hate on it, other times it looks like it’s actually safe to admit you kinda like it. Even the movie itself is (for want of a better word) a little bipolar. The forest itself looks amazing and the animation is pretty lively. On the other hand, this is a big-budget Bronze-Age Disney style animated epic that includes a Raffi song and one character calling another a “bodacious babe” in the same scene. I hadn’t watched this movie in a long time, and while I remembered loving the hell out of it as a kid, it underwhelmed me this time. I think I know why: the last time I watched “Ferngully”, I had no idea what Studio Ghibli was…
In the end, we’ve got a pretty, pretty movie with the rather odd message, “save the wild places in the world – because that’s where the magical Fairy creatures live!”

The Best Parts:
15 seconds in – “A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…”
1 minute in – SPARKLIES!!! GLOWY PEOPLE!!!
2 minutes in – “Weee!”
7 minutes in – I understand jungles are rich, but wouldn’t dirt and water help?
8 minutes in – “Boy, I wish you wouldn’t jinx us like that.”
10 minutes in – But wait, why could the hawk see her?
18 minutes in – “Stupid bug! You go squish now!”
22 minutes in – Oh, when will people learn the heartbreak of Fairy Dust addiction?
27 minutes in – Oh, when will Fairies learn not to seal evil in trees?
29 minutes in – You should really just shut up, Zack.
30 minutes in – “Woah – did we just make out?”
32 minutes in – No way that thing had bones.
37 minutes in – “What a beautiful night! You know what music would really help the mood?
(And 42 seconds later…)
40 minutes in – Yeah, my first reaction upon meeting an unfamiliar creature or person is also to lick their tummy. Psy-yi-yi... duck?
42 minutes in – “You can’t IMAGINE what it felt like having that thing digging into my tits!”
43 minutes in – THE INFAMOUS “LAND OF 1,000 DANCES” SCENE!
47 minutes in – Aww, it’s just like So Long and Thanks for all the Fish!
49 minutes in – “Wait – did we just *do* it?”
51 minutes in – Oh. <:(
56 minutes in – Hell, the glowing people even turn blue!
57 minutes in – “Heck yeah, more Fairy Dust! I need my fix!”
59 minutes in – “My fence made of woven vines and branches will put a stop to their chainsaws and bulldozers! (There is an uncomfortable pause.) Ohhh, right… Crap!”
1 hour, 5 minutes in – I have to admit, I respected seeds a lot more after I saw this movie as a kid.
1 hour, 6 minutes in – “OK. So this time, let’s build a big impenetrable fence around this tree, post 24 hour guards, and have a bunch of big signs that say ‘for the love of God, do not cut down this tree or even go near it or even look at it’.”
1 hour, 8 minutes in – Eh, a few more SPARKLIES for the road.
1 hour, 10 minutes in – Let’s watch “Pom-Poko” again. <:p

Classic Quotes:
“Don’t you think a little old to believe in human tales?” – Crysta’s Dad

Things I Learned from this Movie:
* – Fairies only show up in the Ultraviolet spectrum. Which is why the hawk could see Crysta but Batty and Zack needed a spell.
* – Fruitbats are habitually used as lab animals.
* – Northeastern Australia looks just like Bermuda underground.
* – Fairies: stop trapping evil spirits in trees. You are practically asking for some stupid human to come along and cut it down.

Things That Can Save Any Movie:
Cool Creatures?
Good Soundtrack? Um… Half and half, let’s say. The opening song, the love theme, and the end credits song are all nice but we do not need Raffi.
Hot Guys? OK, here’s the thing. Personally speaking I’m going to say no, even though we’ve got Christian Slater as a literal Foreshadowing Fairy and it’s pretty obvious that Zack is meant to bring a young Jason Priestly or Brad Pitt to mind. But a little research on the ‘net revealed that the most lusted-after male character in the movie is… Hexxus. Yes, Hexxus.  The cloud of toxic waste who wants to kill everything.  THAT Hexxus. What the hell is wrong with people?
Pretty Scenery? Oh yeah.
Nifty Animation/Effects/Art Direction? Saves the movie, it does.

Drinking Game Potential? Drink when you see sparklies and/or glowing people.
Head Movie Potential? It’s a VERY colorful animated film with magical beings! Who dance to “Land of 1,000 Dances” for some damn reason!

Rating: Donnie rating (4)
Donnie in a beautiful forest where Fairies dance to “Land of 1,000 Dances”.
A FAI Film released in 1992 by Twentieth Century Fox. Written by Jim Cox and directed by Bill Kroyer.
Samantha Mathis, Robin Williams, Jonathan Ward, Tim Curry, Christian Slater (?!?), Tone Loc, Cheech and Chong (!?!), and Grace Zabrieskie
Related Links
IMDB page
TV Tropes page
Nostalgia Critic review – And we all know what this spawned…



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