FernGully: The Last Rainforest is the first film in the FernGully series and was the most popular as compared to its sequel FernGully 2: The Magical Rescue. It was first released on April 10, 1992 in the United States, but it was later released in Australia on September 17, 1992. FernGully was written by Jim Cox, and it was based on the same book by Diana Young.
The film tells the story of FernGully, a rainforest near Mount Warning, Australia. A curious fairy girl named Crysta saw a part of the world she and her friends had never seen before beyond FernGully and believes humans dwell on the nearby mountain Mount Warning. But the wise sprite of the forest and Crysta's motherly figure, Magi Lune, says humans are now extinct. In the opening scene, she says that they fled, driven away by the attack of an enemy known as Hexxus, the spirit of destruction and all that is toxic to nature, who emerged from Mount Warning while causing an eruption that destroyed most of the forest, never to return and presumed dead. Hexxus was defeated by the fairies and imprisoned inside a tree. Crysta mentions a black cloud that she saw rising near the mountain, and Magi identifies it as smoke, but nervously dismisses Crysta's speculation that the smoke might be Hexxus, saying "There isn't a force in nature that could release him, and there are no poisons here on which he can feed. Hexxus is trapped for all time." It is implied that Magi shares Crysta's fears, but is afraid to say so openly.
Befriending a mentally unstable yet comical fruit bat named Batty Koda who has been experimented on by humans and now has wires and antennas fused into his head, Crysta heads to Mount Warning where she finds dead trees all marked with red aerosol paint exes and crosses, which mark them for cutting. She finds male humans, and accidentally shrinks one named Zak when trying to prevent him from being crushed by a tree. He gets stuck on a spiderweb on the tree that's just about to go through a tree shredder. She tries to get him off but can't when Batty swoops in, grabs them both off of the spiderweb and blames Crysta for her almost getting killed because she did not listen to him.
Zak goes on a wild adventure with Crysta and Batty, nearly getting eaten by a hungry Goanna lizard named Lou, and unexpectedly falls in love with Crysta. Meanwhile, Zak's superiors cut down an enchanted baobab tree that Zak had accidentally painted an X mark on while trying to spray a fly that was buzzing around him. Unfortunately, this turns out to be the tree Hexxus is trapped in, and the cutting down and processing of the tree by the lumbermill-like leveler machine releases him. Determined to get revenge upon the fairies of FernGully (specifically Magi Lune) for imprisoning him, Hexxus gains power from the pollution, specifically the energy and smoke produced by The Leveler, as he can be seen "drinking" from it like a liquid. He manipulates the lumberjacks and their tree Leveler into tearing down the rainforest in the direction of the fairies by the next morning, thereby destroying the very fabric of their world. He does this under the vocal disguise of their boss.
Up until this point, all the fairies have not had a clue as to what danger awaits them. Then, Zak reveals that the humans are not the same ones who protected FernGully, but ones who came to cut down trees, and that he was one of them.
Once the truth is revealed the fairies all join forces and fuse their powers together, creating a protective tree cage. Magi sacrifices herself giving her power to the fairies and even Zak and it is up to Crysta and the other fairies to defeat Hexxus. Zak turns off The Leveler, causing Hexxus to lose all the energy he was gaining from it and disappear, but he soon rips out of the machine as a giant demonic skeleton creature made of oil that breathes fire. Crysta seemingly sacrifices herself like Magi did by allowing Hexxus to devour her in one bite, and uses her powers from inside him to grow a seed she had with her to again imprison Hexxus (together with The Leveler) inside a new tree with help from the fairies led by Pips, thereby imprisoning him again. However, she emerges, unharmed and alive. Crysta sadly resizes Zak to normal size and he sets off with his fellow lumberjacks, Tony and Ralph, to try to stop the destruction of the rainforests. Meanwhile, Crysta takes Magi's place after finally learning how to control her powers.
- Jonathan Ward as Zak Young
- Samantha Mathis as Crysta
- Tim Curry as Hexxus
- Christian Slater as Pips
- Robin Williams as Batty Koda
- Grace Zabriskie as Magi Lune
- Geoffrey Blake as Ralph
- Robert Pastorelli as Tony
- Cheech Marin as Stump
- Tommy Chong as Root
- Tone Lōc as Goanna Lou
- Townsend Coleman as Knotty
- Neil Ross as the Elder
- "Life Is A Magic Thing"
- "Batty Rap"
- "If I'm Gonna Eat Somebody (It Might as Well Be You)"
- "Toxic Love"
- "Raining Like Magic"
- "Land Of A Thousand Dances"
- "A Dream Worth Keeping"
- "Some Other World"
- In this movie, it has more color and magic and effects as the sequel does not since their magic is more faded.
Animation Goofs & Mistakes/Bloopers
- Stump is credited as Cheech Marin, but when Zak falls off the waterfall and is caught by Stump, it's clearly not Cheech Marin's voice as Stump.
- Zak's back pocket changes sides through out the movie.
- Zak's eyebrows and sideburns change color from black to brown throughout the movie.
- In the cave where Zak kisses Crysta, as they are floating in the air, Crysta has some of her wet hair on her shoulder in all the close-ups but not in the other shots.
- The window that Zak climbs through to get inside the leveler is shown to be halfway up from the inside but is rolled all the way down from the outside.
- When Pips jumps up onto Zak's stereo while trying to describe what it is, one of the camera views does not show the control buttons on the top surface.
- In the first scene with Crysta and Magi Lune, their wings are missing.
- Crysta's eyes change color throughout the movie. They vary from green, aquamarine, and blue.
- After Zak tries to carve Crysta's name into the tree, he never puts his knife away while pushing the leaf-boat.
- A running gag is that Batty, being a bat (and thus short-sighted) keeps running into things. Yet, Batty is a fruit bat: these are day animals with quite a good sight, particularly useful to spot berries and fruit to feed on.
- When Batty says "Catches on quick, doesn't he?" the bottom of the background cel comes into view.
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