Oh, animated films from Eastern Europe, you never fail to amuse me.
This movie, sometimes known as “Fantasy Forest”, is yet another staple from cable. As usual, it’s fondly remembered by some, a rich well of nightmare fuel for others. I can understand the latter, because once the movie gets rolling, it’s got some really strange stuff in it.
Personally, I found the movie more weird and cheap than scary or hallucinogenic. The story takes place in a magical land where the animals are all (unintentionally) comprised of parts from about three species each and come in all colors visible to humans (and probably a few that aren’t). There’s a painter who comes to the woods and becomes friend to all animals after sleeping underneath a magical tree. Finally, there’s a mean old cactus guy who wants to kill everything in the forest because… he’s sexually frustrated. No, really. He’s a cactus and he’s never flowered. Ask a botanist if you don’t understand why this is funny.
The Best Parts:
.21 seconds in – AHHH!!!
1 minute in – Was that a toucan-raccoon?
3 minutes in – This is how you become an artist. All that stuff about four years of training in college was a lie; I just slept under a magical tree.
4 minutes in – Bieber Fever?
5 minutes in – BIRD CRUELTY!!!
8 minutes in – “Bonjour! I am Fifi, and I will be your Furry fandom bait for tonight!”
10 minutes in – Dude, YOU have spines. WTF?
11 minutes in – I have no idea what’s going on.
14 minutes in – Greg Bear?
17 minutes in – It’s like The Magicians (fantastic book by the way). But stupid.
20 minutes in – “Oh man, I can’t hold my liquor!”
24 minutes in – I just realized that every five characters or so share the same face.
26 minutes in – It’s like “Bambi”. But stupid.
33 minutes in – Obligatory Froggy Water Ballet!
38 minutes in – Magic keg, you say?
40 minutes in – That’s not a bag.
43 minutes in – Why do they always have to tell the hero things like this at the last minute?
49 minutes in – By the way, J. Edgar Beaver?!?
53 minutes in – MUSHROOMS!!!
54 minutes in – … … … w-h-a-a-a-a-a-t???
57 minutes in – “WILD BOYS!!! / Never close your EYES!!! / WIIIIIIIILD BOOOOOOYS AAAAAAALL WAAAAAAAYS… (BOOM boom boom boom ba-doom!) SHIYEEENE!!!”
59 minutes in – You know, ignoring the overall wrongness of this scene, this song is actually kind of awesome.
1 hour, 8 minutes in – And… they went there with Fifi.
1 hour, 14 minutes in – Well, what kind of ending did you expect?
1 hour, 16 minutes in – And… they went there with Fifi again.
1 hour, 18 minutes in – This scene taught me why the Put A Bow On Her Head trope exists.
1 hour, 20 minutes in – Oh heck, one last Acid Sequence for the road.
“It is the PAINTER!!! The one predicted to change the ENTIRE FOREST!!!” – Baron Burr
“Come with me and let your fur down with a friend!” – Forest Critters
Things I Learned from this Movie:
* – Reuse the same animation of the characters over and over again and I eventually have to point it out.
* – Blithely change the color palettes of the characters and I eventually have to point that out too.
* – Art is MAGIC!!!
Things That Can Save Any Movie:
Cool Creatures? Animals of implacable species!
Good Soundtrack? Eh…
Hot Guys? No.
Pretty Scenery? Er…
Nifty Animation/Effects/Art Direction? It’s pretty cheap and crappy.
Drinking Game Potential? Drink when they say Beaver.
Head Movie Potential? Let’s see, magical plants, a keg that can never empty, breakdancing mushrooms…
A Fantasy Forest Films production released in 1986. Written by Fred P. Sharkey and produced by Doro Vlado Hreljanovic.