“Human tails? Humans don’t have tails. They have big, big bottoms that they wear with bad shorts. They walk around going, ‘Hi, Helen!'”
–Batty Koda, FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)
On the evening of 15 April 2010, I had the pleasure (?) of seeing FernGully for the first time since I was ten. This was also the first time I’d ever seen it in a theater, let alone a theater full of college-aged former fans of this film. I am convinced that this only improved the viewing experience.
I admit at first I was worried that I’d wasted the dollar I’d paid for my admission. The projectionist had initially forgotten to remove the anamorphic lens from the projector, causing the image to be stretched horizontally on the screen. I was on my way to the box office to complain when this error was rectified, much to my relief.
The film is as bad as I remember it to be: it is a badly-written, barely-decently-animated, preachy, environmentalist diatribe against logging and pollution, based entirely upon emotional appeals. I could go on about why it’s so bad, but that’s what the Nostalgia Critic is for. What really makes this movie so bad is the amount of talented people who contributed to it: Robin Williams and Tim Curry both provided their voices for this film, and they each performed one song. Curry managed to somehow bridge the gap between his role as Dr. Frank N. Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) and James Wood’s Hades in Hercules (1997). Elton John and Raffi each performed a song as well, adding to the wasted talent. Various other voices are provided by Grace Zabriskie, Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, and Christian Slater.
As I previously indicated, what really made the movie worth the price of admission was the audience I saw it with. Bad movies are made bearable by watching them in groups, and you can’t get much better than a crowd of students shouting “That’s what she said!” and “Big-lipped alligator moment!” every so often. One particular couple of girls in the row behind me was very vocal, exclaiming the name of every animal that appeared on the screen — except for that random lizard no one can identify. (Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s a goanna.)
It was pretty fun to see FernGully again, mostly due to the nostalgia it induces, and also because I can now see it the tripe it is. I probably do not want to see this movie ever again — but then again, that’s what I thought before I heard it was playing at the university theater.