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  Directed by
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  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Dutch: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    French, Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch
  Extras
  • Teaser trailer

Ferngully: The Last Rainforest

20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox . R4 . COLOR . 73 mins . G . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Imagine a pro-conservation film that is so full of painfully trite tree-hugging propaganda that it makes you want to tear down the eucalyptus tree in the backyard using just your teeth and fingernails. Imagine an animated film with Robin Williams cast as the obligatory comedic sidekick, but sounding like a German actor doing a terribly unfunny Robin Williams impersonation. Imagine a feature-length cartoon made by people who really, really want to make a big budget Disney animation, only with a fifth of the budget and a tenth of the imagination and creativity. Imagine all of that, and you'll be thinking of Ferngully - The Last Rainforest.

Made in 1992, when the Disney Renaissance was in full swing, Ferngully is the tale of a magical rainforest populated by cute little fairy-people and talking animals. Unfortunately, an evil forest spirit (or something) named Hexxus (voiced by Tim Curry, so you know he must be the bad guy) takes over a nearby mobile deforester and heads towards our idyllic paradise.

Mobile deforester? Yup, this is a supermarket-sized tank so insidious that it not only chops down trees with its huge robotic arms, but it cuts, chips, refines and polishes the wood too. Yet it’s piloted by two deadbeats who are so dumb that when an unfamiliar disembodied voice (that'd be Hexxus) comes over the loudspeaker telling them to change course to Ferngully and work double shifts until the forest is pulverised, they nod dumbly and gloat about all the overtime they’re about to earn...

One of the woodsmen – the cute, young, good-hearted one, of course – is accidentally shrunken and kidnapped by the fairies. After a few minutes of asinine musical numbers, trite philosophising and unfunny sight gags featuring some of the lamest animal characters this side of Scrappy Doo, the woodsman realises the error of his tree-chopping ways and joins the fight against Hexxus and his dim-witted cronies.

Ferngully has its heart in the right place, but only the very young and the very easily satisfied will have the patience to see it through to its banality-redefining conclusion.

  Video
Contract

The widescreen 16:9 enhanced image is pretty much flawless with regards to its transfer, but the actual imagery is far less impressive. The character designs, especially the humans and fairies, are dull and lifeless, and a few nicely composed shots can't compensate for a very "Made-for-TV" feel.

  Audio
Contract

The 5.1 mix is crisp and clear, but again it's better than the content deserves. The horrible Disney-esque musical interludes are a blight to the ears, although the orchestral score by Alan Silvestri is decent.

  Extras
Contract

There's a short and worthless trailer. Woo hoo.

  Overall  
Contract

Ferngully might entertain the tots for an hour, but even your average six year-old might find the whole affair a tad bland and insulting. If the kids really want to see it, rent first. If you really want to see it, get help.


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      And I quote...
    "Ferngully has its heart in the right place, but only the very young and the very easily satisfied will have the patience to see it through to its banality-redefining conclusion."
    - Terry Oberg
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Palsonic DVD3000
    • Receiver:
          Diamond
    • Speakers:
          Diamond
    • Centre Speaker:
          Diamond
    • Surrounds:
          Diamond
    • Subwoofer:
          Diamond
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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