In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_5pva4m8otgn1ml9iqxtmafrzqoe

How to Be Single

Think of "How to Be Single" as a cinematic Whitman’s Sampler: There are enough pieces that work to offset the pieces that don’t.

Thumb_large_it88e38ctyyhosflczultpw2org

Glassland

A young Dublin taxi driver deals with his alcoholic mother's decline. Bleak, tough, brilliantly acted trip down a familiar road.

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Chaz's Blog Archives
Other Articles
Blog Archives

Reviews

Ferngully: The Last Rainforest

  |  

"FernGully: The Last Rainforest" continues the fiction, so reassuring at times, that the most dangerous animal is Man. The story involves the destruction of the rain forest by the slashers and burners and loggers, and its defense by the sprites and fairies of the forest. I am in favor of saving the rain forests and I am appalled by their wanton destruction, but is it not true that Man is the only animal to which it has ever occurred that murder is wrong? Nature is the least sentimental of creations. It is depicted most accurately in that old cartoon that shows a row of fishes, each one smaller than the next, lined up with their mouths open, all ready to cheerfully eat one another. It is in the nature of all living things to feast off of other living things, in one way or another, in order to survive. A fern is as ruthless as my cat.

"FernGully," a new animated feature, was made by humans, not jungle plants and beasts, and is thus more sentimental about the flora and fauna than they would ever be about us. It takes place in the coastal rain forests of Australia, which are seen to be inhabited by little fairies like Crysta, who looks like a Barbie doll, and Pips, who looks like GI Joe. All is watched over by wise old Magi Lune, a fairy godmother type.

One day Crysta flutters up above the treetops and sees an ominous cloud of smoke on the horizon. It soon develops that men are cutting down the forest and carting away the wood, and Crysta uses a spell to reduce one of the younger men, Zak, to fairy size. He then falls in love with Crysta, and begins to understand why it is necessary to save the rain forest. The story is fleshed out with supporting characters, including a dizzy bat named Batty Koda (voice by Robin Williams), who has been so badly confused by human laboratories that he flies into trees all the time. There is also Hexxus, a creature formed from the smoke of the fires of destruction, who looks like an animated surgeon general's warning.

The animators did a lot of their sketches on location in the rain forest, and the visuals are very pleasing. The story tells a useful lesson, the jungle inhabitants are amusing, and although the movie is not a masterpiece it's pleasant to watch for its humor and sweetness. Kids may like it. Every time I see a movie that sentimentalizes the rain forest as a pastoral Eden, however, I remember those fish.

Popular Blog Posts

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

30 Minutes on: "The Swimmer"

A peculiar film, poised somewhere between satire and dream logic.

Wax Masks and Helicopter Acrobatics: An Extra's Experience on the Set of "Spectre"

FFC Gerardo Valero reports on his experience working as an extra on "Spectre."

From the nostalgia file: "Taxi Driver"

A brief consideration of "Taxi Driver," still Scorsese's masterpiece.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus