Ferngully: more than just family entertainment

The world could learn a thing or two from Ferngully: The Last Rainforest.

Crysta tries to heal a wounded tree

Unable to sleep, I popped the 1992 animated film into my DVD player at 430 this morning, eager for a comforting classic to lull me back to la-la-land. But the familiar tale of one curious fairy’s quest to explore the vast rainforest did more than just ease my chatty mind.

The themes of the family flick, pollution and deforestation, hold more true now, in the 21st century, than they did when the movie was released in the early 90s. The experience of these man-made catastrophes are portrayed from a fictional point of view (at least I’m told fairies are fictional; I’m not entirely convinced), but the devastating effects are terrifyingly real.

When Crysta, the young, magi-in-training, ventures beyond the reaches of her rainforest home, Ferngully, she discovers that the world is not innocent the way she believed. When she meets Zak, a human, she allows him a glimpse at forest life. But what she doesn’t realize is that Zak is part of a logging team, who are there solely to cut down the trees to manufacture lumber. The team has also accidentally released Hexxus, who represents the pollution such actions cause. But once Zak sees the pain and destruction his crew is causing, not only to the fairies, but to the rest of the forest animals, he teams up with Crysta to bring an end to the demolition. Together, they are able to shut down the logging company, trap Hexxus and save Ferngully, all while reminding me of the simple joy of make-believe.

But sadly, the idea of forever shutting down the logging industry is  make-believe.

The after-math of the logging industry

There may not be such things as fairies, but the message Ferngully gets across is very real. Logging and deforestation have always been dangerous issues, but it won’t be much longer until these forests are no longer endangered: they will just be gone completely. The rate of deforestation far surpasses that of new tree growth; some forests may never grow back. Even through forest management and recovery, there’s still no guarantee the forests we willingly and intentionally destroy will ever recover. And these forests are crucial parts of innumerable ecosystems. Not only are we destroying plant life, we are forcing animal life out of their natural habitats, causing many to become endangered and extinct. And if, and when, it gets bad enough, the repercussions will not just affect isolated plant and animal life.

If we don’t do something soon, we’ll soon be facing global consequences.

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2 Comments

Filed under deforestation, destruction, Entertainment, family fun, Ferngully, logging, Movies, Pollution, Restoration

2 responses to “Ferngully: more than just family entertainment

  1. Laura

    The act of deforestation is in an of itself devasting. The consequences will be great for future generations. If they exist at all..lets not forget that the human race needs oxygen to exist. In essence, oxygen is the waste product that trees emit into the atmosphere for us to breathe. They draw the carbon portion for their own growth through photosynthesis. Thus, are are an integral part of the cirlce of life no? Therefore, less tress…less oxygen. Picture a planet with no trees…hmmmmm. Somehow I don’t see humans on it.

  2. Jon Svansson

    Well put, Ferngully was a favorite with my kids….the problem with deforestation is bad, but a possible solution is already out there, just profits from logging are high.The solution is new kinds of constuction material like steel and recycled plastics and so on, there is not much need for wood in this area at all anymore, just the age old conundrum make the new product more cost effective than the old school method……and getting the corporations controlling the markets now, unwilling to make neccasary changes for the future of the planet, so they can have riches now ond the future generations do not seem to matter at all, not mention ecological effects….change is needed here in a big way!

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