FERNGULLY: THE LAST RAINFOREST Add To My Top 10

Content -3
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Release Date: April 10, 1992

Starring: Robin Williams, Tim Curry, Samantha Mathis, Christian Slater, & Grace Zabriskie.

Genre: Animation

Audience: Children

Rating: G

Runtime: 75 minutes

Distributor: 20th Century Fox Films

Director: Bill Kroyer

Executive Producer:

Producer: Jim Cox

Writer: Wayne Young, Peter Fairman, Ted Field, & Robert Cort

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Content:

(VV, OOO, NA, H, M) Unconscious man heading for grinding leveler, man held upside down and flown away by biker fairies riding huge cockroaches, man hit on head by tree, man hit on head by giant berries, girl chased by hawk, encounter with hungry snake, & lizard wanting to eat fairy and miniature human; inanimate object such as trees depicted as having emotions, magical thinking, belief in "force" causes things to happen, occultic incantations and spells, spirit of Hexes, witchcraft, pantheism, monism, & belief in magical power of nature; negative characterizations of demolition crew, humanism (strength from within man equips man to overcome hardships), & environmentalism.

Summary:

FERNGULLY: THE LAST RAINFOREST depicts a microscopic utopia inhabited by fairies and talking animals, whose lives are threatened by evil, condo-building, land developers. In a confused plea for environmentalism, the movie implies that we create and restore life through magical thinking. In short, this mixed bag of new age, Eastern philosophy, and nominalism is anything but family entertainment.

Review:

FERNGULLY: THE LAST RAINFOREST depicts a microscopic utopia inhabited by fairies and talking animals, whose lives are threatened by evil land developers. The story begins with Crysta, a teenage fairy, telling us that "Only by using the magical power of nature was I able to save Ferngully." Her mentor, Magi, shows her how to make things happen--call upon magical powers and believe--noting that, "Everyone can call upon the magic powers of life. How you use it is up to you. " Targeted for condominiums, Ferngully is being cleared. Inside a bulldozer, two oafish workers gossip and munch on snacks. In defense of Ferngully, the community calls upon the power of nature. The movie ends on a somber note, "No Hexes...can ever harm Ferngully again. Except the humans."

Environmental issues are rarely black and white. In presenting its one-sided argument, FERNGULLY depicts all land developers as "bad guys." How to balance the competing land uses is the question which should have been posed. Also, if mismanaged development is a problem, it won't go away with occultic incantations, or releasing the force of nature. This mixed bag of New Age, occultism and nominalism is anything but family entertainment.

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