FernGully, the last rainforest and home of the fairies, is under threat. Hexxus, the god of destruction, has been let free from his tree prison thanks to the machinery of humans. It's up to Crysta, a young fairy, and Zak, a human from the city, to find common ground together and stop him.
FernGully is a world somewhere deep in the rainforest where fairies still live. This community of magical beings live as the guardians of the animals and trees, and to them humans are nothing more than old fae's tales.
One of the fairies living in FernGully is Crysta. Her father is the leader of the fairies and she's the apprentice of Magi Lune, the oldest, wisest and most powerful fairy in forest. When news of humans reaches FernGully via the nervous Batty Koda, Crysta is the first to go off and confirm it. There she meets the leveller, a machine designed to destroy the forest, and Zak, a city boy working alongside the leveller (unknown to her).
Cultures clash when the two meet, but Zak eventually learns to see and appreciate the beauty of FernGully beyond the limitation of his city eyes. But just as he's come to love the forest, the leveller is quickly making its way to FernGully thanks to the manipulations of Hexxus, the god of destruction who's bent on seeing FernGully wiped clear off the face of the earth.
Way back when I was first setting up my animation site, I'd intended to make FernGully one of my major shrines. It's one of those movies that really sunk its hooks into me, ever since I'd rented it at the recommendation of a friend. (A few years later it was inevitable that I'd get the DVD for myself, too. *g*)
FernGully is a movie with an agenda, that much is obvious. There are two villains in this movie: Hexxus who represents the naturally-occurring cycle of destruction, and the humans, who bring on a whole new brand of destruction that nature is just not equipped to deal with. So really... Look at the trees, breathe in the air, take your time to appreciate and protect the beauty that has been given to us free of charge. If we don't take care of it, who will? I know some people who think it's a little too preachy, but I for one appreciate the subtlety woven into this supposed kid's movie as we're taught to care for the characters, fairies and human and trees alike.
It's a little difficult for me now to try and remember the wonder I felt the first time I watched this movie, because that was practically a whole decade ago. Mythical creatures have always been my soft spot, and these fairies were slightly different from the ones sene in other movies. They're almost aboriginal fairies, without the twinkly wands or fancy dresses, and that caught my attention from the very beginning.
Though I think the core reason I love FernGully as much as I do is because of the characters. Everyone has their flaws flaunted boldly in our faces, and I love that. Crysta is a little irresponsible and flaky, Zak's initially selfish and doesn't care at all about the forest, Batty Koda's pretty much insane, and Pip is, well, Pip. Believable character evolution within the span of 90 minutes is something that makes the journey so much more enjoyable. Besides, I knew I was doomed to love this movie as soon as I saw the ending that first time. *loves*
FernGully is a beautiful movie, with a beautiful soundtrack and some pretty amazing animation. Yet it dared to deviate a little from the typical cartoon movie formula, since the main characters never sing, the ending is bittersweet, and hey have you ever heard a rap song about animal testing? Hah! I've also got to give props to the filmmaker crew for deciding to go with an Australian forest laden with kangaroos and wallabies instead of the typical European forest with squirrels and deer.