4.0 étoiles sur 5
Almost a classic, May 5 2003
A few years ago, I visibly cringed when I saw that a direct-to-video sequel (called "The Magical Rescue" to boot...creative, no? ::shudder::) to this wonderful movie was made. You just don't make thoughtless little sequels to movies like this (although Disney's done it probably over half a dozen times)! Ferngully was one of my absolute favorite childhood movies ever, right up there with "Lion King," "Little Mermaid," and "Land Before Time."
It has a straightforward chief plot: save our home from certain destruction. The main characters are both obvious and complicated at the same time, as in, their personalities are simple but the ways they interact with each other are complex and well thought out on the writers' parts. As a character, Crysta the tree fairy is almost too perfect to be interesting, but her curiosity keeps you interested in her (she's absolutely adorable). I actually found her relationship with the explosively jealous Pips very entertaining. Zak is a bit of an early 90's American surfer-dude stereotype, but he has his good points! If you wouldn't watch this movie for anything else, watch it for Batty Koda, the resident victim of human experimentation (and, nobody else but Robin Williams could ever voice him). He has the best lines, and, I believe, is the most "human" of them all. Magi Lune, the movie's Gandalf, Rafiki, Whistler, etc, gives a more stable feeling to the plot (almost as much as Batty does), and probably one of the most lovable characters. Hexxus, the mythical evil beast unleashed by a chainsaw (also the personification of industry and pollution), reminds me a lot of "The Ancient Enemy" in Dean Koontz's "Phantoms," except with a dash of humor and a subtraction of obscenity. Zak's coworkers are, of course, the henchman stereotype: dirty, dull, and dumb.
The thing Ferngully has going for it is that all these characters are very personable and are somehow very, very human and real. It's not a one-dimensional film like so many of today's animated films are; it's sensitive to its characters and to the subject matter, all while keeping everything simple enough for an eight-year-old (how old I was in 1992) to understand. It's also witty and intelligent. HOWEVER, the big flaw in the film is why it's almost a classic, yet not quite one. Ferngully is very much a product of the early 90's pop culture. As there is fluffy pop music, this is a POP movie. Not even Disney gets this pop. From the soundtrack (which is catchy despite how dated all the songs are) to the characterizations, this IS pop environmentalism in the early 90's.
All in all, a great American movie for children (and for adults who just want to remember the good old days, before cartoons got so *stupid*). My 4th grade class loved it (the teachers used the opportunity and got several classes together so they could see Ferngully's important message), and my little cousins loved it too. Now, since I can't find the tape (AHHGH!), I am now off to buy the tape off Amazon ^_^