A Spoonie Movie Review of FernGully
Hey guys, today we’re doing a little throwback Tuesday and looking at
one of the quintessential 90’s movies: FernGully. FernGully has some
obvious applications to illnesses like #MultipleChemicalSensitivity,
but let’s dive in and take a deep look at all this classic has to offer.
In the opening narration we discover that fairies and humans used to
live in harmony until a force of destruction, called Hexxus, “rained
poison” over the land, killing many things. The fairies don’t think that
humans survived this rift in the balance of nature. The fairies were
able to trap Hexxus in a tree and stop the spread of his poison, thereby
putting a stop to further loss of life. And so we’re all set up for a
classic tale of man vs. nature, with the villain literally being a
noxious cloud of toxins and poisons. So anyone with MCS or a silimar
illness is going to immediately see their own daily struggle being waged
on screen here as well. We can’t actually remove poison from the world,
but it can be contained and controlled… for now.
Well our protag, Crysta, is not super interested in her lessons from
the local old sage woman warning that if young fairies like Crysta don’t
care a lot, it’s not going to get better, it’s not.
Wrong 90’s kid material.
Anyway, Crysta sees a black cloud rising above the canopy. Could it be…?
Well it sure looks like it, ’cause right after that a Robin Williams
bat shows up, performs a very white rap, and proclaims that, yes, MAN IS
IN THE FORREST.
But pretty much everyone writes him off as crazy because humans all died in the poison. Also, he’s acting… really really crazy.
And how did Batty get this way? Why it was COSMETIC TESTING! Which
everyone with MCS knows it a truly toxic regimen. And I don’t want to
come off like I’m saying this lightly, because I really mean it: makeup
and fragrances are one of the most common ways people systematically
poison themselves in daily doses. It is BAD for you. REAL BAD. But when I
say things like that, I sound as crazy as Batty, no?
But Batty’s right, y’all. Man’s coming, and they have poisons galore. And you know who likes poisons?
But it’s ok ’cause he’s stuck in a tree.
BUT WAIT OH NO–
You know who loves cutting down trees??!
So yeah, one thing leads to another and soon Hexxus is not only out
of his tree, but sucking down poison and getting super strong off MAN’s
polluting, tree-destroying hellbeast of evil.
And he’s also TIM CURRY!
Truly, the most formidable of all foes.
But meanwhile, there’s a romance subplot between a fairy and a human
because IT WAS THE 90s. And having an interspecies couple was pretty
I’m willing to forgive the cliche here for… obvious reasons.
I have a thing for shaggy blondes who need repeated and thorough
education on why we need to take better care of the environment.
Anyway, Crysta is trying to cast a helpful spell on this human but
instead shrinks him so that shenanigans can ensue. This shaggy blonde
who needs to learn to love nature is named Zak. Zak Mc90’s probably.
Well Zak quickly falls in love with Crysta and Fern Gully and thinks
that his part in chopping down the rainforest was totally uncool, man.
So now he’s on the fairies’ side. But he’s got a lot to learn. FOR
INSTANCE: he does the most totally romantic thing he can think of: carve
Crysta’s name into a tree. But then she’s horrified as fairies can
literally feel the pain trees feel, so… oops.
I like this scene though, honestly. Because the pain of that tree is
so real to Crysta. And Zak clearly doesn’t feel it the way she does. But
he believes her, and respects her enough to change his behavior so as
not to cause any more pain.
And as someone who lives with #ChronicPain and who has a thing for these dumb scruffy blondes, it means a lot.
So Zak brings human music to the fairies in the form of “Land of 1000
Dances,” he and Crysta go on a magical cave tour where they definitely
5 minutes in to the cave tour and she gives you this look…
Post canoodling, Crysta wants to go tell her grandma all about her
new boy toy (as any young girl would) and while she’s gone, Zak
discovers… OIL IN THE WATER?!
Aw man! See he thought they were just gonna chop down some loser
trees and not come to FernGully, but no, MAN IS TOTALLY COMING TO
And Hexxus is at the helm, more powerful than ever before. MAN has
brought so many toxins and noxious fumes and poisons that he was able to
grow big and strong, like some kinda poison Popeye.
Meanwhile, Magi (the wise old lady of the village) has found the
stump of a tree cut clean away by man’s technologies. This is
destruction beyond her healing.
The fairies prepare to run. Really REALLY cute animals cry and run
with their babies away from MAN and all his evil and poison. And can I
just say I really love the way “pain” is visualized in this movie?
And now, with Hexxus and Man closing in on FernGully, it’s time for
some inspiring quotes that also happen to be profoundly applicable to
“Look for the hero inside yourself, Crysta. Look to the
good and loving heart in you and all others. For just as every seed
holds the power and magic of creation, so, too, do you…”
“We all have a power, and it grows when it is shared.”
And of course, Hexxus is reimprisoned, and FernGully can never be harmed again.
Well… except by humans. That’s why Zak decides to return to his life
as a human, and leave his fairy girlfriend behind. We see Zak reunite
with his fellow men and say a very promising “things have gotta change”
before he leaves Crysta’s life forever.
Honestly I gotta respect a kids movie setting the romance aside for
the greater message of people need to stop being so poisonous and
destructive. What is Zak gonna do exactly? As a young dude with little
to no education or influence? Well… let’s just go with it’s a message
that even one person can make a difference. Remember: even one tiny seed
holds all the power of creation inside it. That means Zak does too.
AND SO DO YOU, my chronic illness warriors!
Ok so FernGully is far from a perfect movie. But it still gives me
the feels. And it’s still got some good moments in there for people
struggling with chronic illness and environmental illness. Were there
any I missed? Leave ’em in the comments below and stay tuned for more
spoonie movie reviews right here on doilooksick.com.