From the Archive — FernGully: The Last Rainforest


The brevity of this review reflects its placement as part of general round-up of new releases I wrote for The Pointer, the student newspaper of the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. It’s highly questionable as to whether or not college students in the early nineteen-nineties were looking to the media created by their peers to determine whether or not to carve out some of their beer budget to buy tickets for animated features, but I had column inches to fill. 

Vivid and good-natured, this animated feature employs pixies in an Australian rainforest to make valid points about the way man is destroying the environment. The magical residents of FernGully get help from a shrunken human named Zak and a crazed bat who’s an escapee from a testing laboratory (voiced with admirable energy by Robin Williams) in their battle against the impending doom of a wildlife-menacing machine controlled by a toxic villain.

Though the issues addressed are important, the film is surprisingly lacking in vigor and focuses on dull, lifeless characters. No amount of pristine animated can make up for faults like those.

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