FernGully: The Last Rainforest/Headscratchers

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  • Why did the scientists do so many unrelated experiments on Batty? Aside from being horribly unethical, it's just bad science. Have they never heard of confounding variables?
    • It's to play up on the whole Humans Are the Real Monsters element of the film. Remember, this is a movie that tries to pound the whole "save the rainforest" message down the throats of children. It has to be over-simplified for the kiddies to understand it. Go figure. Kind of like how the villains in Captain Planet wreck the environment for no reason other than to be evil. It's bad business (Let's face it, I highly doubt Dr. Blight is making billions by dumping oil into the ocean), but it's little more than a means to show kids why pollution is bad and nature is good without going into how complex the ethics of saving the planet really are.
    • In fairness, all we know of the experiments (the lyrics of the "Batty Rap") are coming through a seriously Unreliable Narrator. The whole experience was clearly traumatic, but who knows exactly what was going on when not viewed through Batty's eyes?
    • Animal testing still goes on, and it's horrible. Look it up on the Internet sometime - makeup testing is particuarly common. It depends on where you are whether it's legal or not - but I assumed that while Batty was clearly experimented on, that doesn't mean all he related happened to him - perhaps he witnessed other animals being tested on too. Which would make it worse to escape but not get anybody else out with him.
  • Doesn't sealing away Hexxus make the Fern Gully fairies massive hypocrites?
    • To clarify, Hexxus is never portrayed as something unnatural, even his introduction in Magi's opening story shows him being birthed from a volcano. If anything, he's shown to be a guiding force of natural destruction, where the fairies are shown to be a guiding force of birth and growth. Magi even goes on to say that life in the forest is a constant battle between the forces and death and rebirth...so doesn't essentially locking up the God of Death (twice!) make them, well, liars?
      • The god of Death is often locked away in Mythology. It's part of the Good/Evil Eternal Battle. Besides, Hexxus had become so twisted that he was no longer a God but a Demon, Miyazaki style.
        • WTF mythology are you reading? in most mythology death is True Neutral.
      • One way to look at it is that sealing him away is part of the battle between what Magi called the "forces of creation and destruction". Raw, destructive power, left unchecked, is usually bad, and Hexxus, if left unchecked, would probably cause a full-blown Class 5 Apocalypse.
      • Hexxus' Villain Song specifically states his intentions. His intent is to destroy all of nature. Yes, destruction had it's place in the grand circle of things but Hexxus is out of control destruction, he destroys everything in his path and leaves nothing left behind. While he is a natural entity, he doesn't fit into the natural order, he doesn't destroy in a natural manner. He destroys in a completely unnatural manner, through pollution. Thus he represents uncontrolled destruction.
      • Does this movie really need anymore of the naturalistic fallacy? Natural or not, Hexxus is harming others and that's reason enough to stop him.
  • How does a several millennium old Smoke Demon know about heavy machinery? Did the cursed tree have cable?
    • I don't think he knew what it was so much as that he reconstituted himself inside of the machine, only to realize that here is a thing that not only lays waste to the landscape, but produces an insane amount of pollution while doing so. How could he NOT take advantage of such a device?
      • And why does said piece of heavy machinery have a chamber deep in its bowels with a big "Possess Here" sign? It's too small to be the main engine.
    • Well it's not explicitly shown, but I guess Hexxus snooped around the Leveler for quite a while before launching his plan, enough to establish some things. First of all, he managed to label it correctly as a machine, unlike Crysta who refers to the Leveler as a "monster" (see Good is Dumb, but also Hexxus sees the thing from inside, rather than outside like Crysta does, and you gotta admit the Leveler does have a monster-like appearance with two "arms" and a "mouth" that grinds trees). He also establishes where he needs to go to gain a maximum of energy (I guess the door he enters leads to the exhaust pipe or something, and was created for maintenance. He does not exactly "possess" the Leveler as the previous troper said, he merely connects himself to it to gain energy from the toxic waste it produces. The Leveler is still run by humans, at least at the beginning. It appears he becomes able to control it by himself towards the end, as long as it's activated (which shows that as he gains in power, he probably infiltrates the machinery). Finally, the last thing he learns is that the Leveler is controlled by humans, who in turn receive orders from higher ranked humans, which ultimately allows his scheme to work.
      • Another possibility is that Hexxus may have an innate sense that instinctively allows him to understand anything that causes destruction, just like fairies can feel a tree's "pain".
  • And if Hexxus eats pollution, why exactly is he a force for destruction, anyway?
    • He's a force for the destruction of nature. Doing so would pave the way for decadent civilization, with its factories and cars and industry, and with all that, gallons of pollution for him to gobble up.
    • It's implied that Hexxus doesn't "eat" the pollution as much as he assimilates it. When he consumes the Leveler's exhaust, he doesn't destroy it, he bulges and grows with it. What the Magi and her folk are trying to do is keep him from reaching a "God" level amount of pollution. After that, he'd probably be able to blanket large areas, choke wildlife with poisonous gas and taint rain water to the point of 1-PH Acidity. More or less allow the Toxic Love song to come to a dark and grimy fruition.
    • I always felt like he was like Hedorah, he consumes pollution but it just makes him more deadly and is ultimately much worse than the pollution itself.
  • Further, if Hexxus is strengthened by pollution and has a fair understanding of machinery, why not just go: "New orders boys...you're going directly back to the factory." Release himself into the production plant/ship yard (either would be a far greater source of carcinogens or whatever powers him), then go back against Ferngully as a super-charged Smog God with an army of Levelers beneath him?
    • Because, while he can instinctively figure this one out, he doesn't know if there are more, or how much pollution there is elsewhere. He's spent the entire Industrial Revolution inside a tree; as far as he knows, other than that one machine, all there is is the smoke of campfires. He may want to go and find out what pollution is available elsewhere, but he wanted to take Fern Gully- the only threat to him- out first, on the off chance that there isn't anything else available- if that was the case, he'd just be giving Fern Gully time to prepare, and he doesn't want to risk that.
  • Probably an unanswerable question, but what exactly happens to Hexxus after the Leveler gets shut down? A millenia of hate gave him a power up?
    • I always thought that he drawed upon all the pollution he already caused (if you look carefully when he's rising, you can see him "inhaling" some sort of fumes). He might have also directly drained the Leveler from its fuel instead of sucking its wastes.
    • Also, just because it was shut down doesn't mean all the pollution had left the Leveler. Also, he might have just eaten the entire supply of oil from it to go One-Winged Angel.
  • Why is Zack marking all the trees to be cut down? Quite a waste of spraypaint, that is.
    • Checking for the trees with the "purest" lumber. A mecha-monstrosity like The Leveler must take unheard of sums of fuel to run, so you need to get the best lumber as quickly as possible, and with as little dead time as possible (like turning).
      • Yea, but since it just destroys all the trees in front of it indiscriminately, there's still not much purpose to singling out trees one at a time.
    • I always thought the marking was for the benefit of Those Two Guys driving it, so they could point it at the best stands. Or possibly it's so the PR people in the leveller's home Mega Corp can tell the media they make every effort to target harvest.
      • I just always figured the marks were guiding the leveller through safer grounds, perhaps marking the trees by species, as there might be extremely rare trees in the forest that are protected by governmental order of the nation the forest is in...?
  • When Hexxus goes into Full Power Mode at the end... what's the point? I mean he's still bound to the Leveler and the Leveler is inactive. He would have remained stuck there until the end of time, or maybe even he would have died as soon as the fuels on which he feeds ran out.
    • I don't think he was bound to the Leveler at all. He probably could have left when ever he wanted. He basically found it, thought it was cool and decided to use it as a weapon against Fern Gully. When that fails he gathers up all his power to attack the place himself. Unfortunately for him, they react faster and seal him away again.
    • Also, there was probably still pollutants in the Leveler at the time, since it'd just now shut down. Thus, he was still feeding off of it and getting stronger every second. Until it was completely drained, he had no reason to leave it.
  • What, so trees experience pain? Wow, those beavers and termites and woodworms are complete and utter BASTARDS.
    • The movie probably operates under the logic that only humans are not part of nature, so only humans can do things wrong. Beavers and termites and all those things are "natural" so the things they do don't count.
      • That seems a little unfair... But even if you're right and animals have some kind of cosmic "get out of jail free card", it wouldn't change the fact that the tree would suffer excrutiating pain. Imagine standing unable to move with your arms in the air as a beaver gnawed through your ankles until you fell over? AAAAGH it hurt just typing that. Termites would be constantly crawling under your skin and chewing through your flesh, and even worse it wouldn't kill you. Even if it caused nothing more than a bad itch, trees can't scratch. Add to that the fact that trees potentially live for thousands of years(whether they want to or not) and you have...oh my god, talk about a Fate Worse Than Death. If Crysta got so upset about Zack using his tiny little knife to carve her tiny little name into the trunk of a tree (which didn't even break the bark) then wouldn't this bother her a little? Wouldn't the fairies at least try to stop this sort of thing, even if it did interfere with nature?
    • But the thing is is that trees don't feel pain in the first place due to lacking a nervous system, so there is no way for beavers or termites to hurt them. If I had to guess why Zack hurt the tree, I would say it's magic. The film does have a theme of human technology being bad and nature being good, and pretty much attributes both to magic. So using an "unnatural" metal knife on the "natural" tree is what caused the tree to hurt in the first place. If this is the case, beavers and termites wouldn't count.
      • Beavers and Termites are fulfilling the niche they carved (so to speak) for themselves in their ecosystems long ago. Humans are consuming for the sake of consuming.
        • That might not necessarily be true. Lumber is used to build houses. Beavers build their houses out of wood, too. You could easily argue that humans are fulfilling their niche in nature, as well.
  • If the fairies and humans of Fern Gully lived in perfect environmentally-sound peace and harmony until Hexxus showed up... how did Hexxus show up?
    • He was released from inside the earth by an exploding volcano.
  • Why are the humanoids native to north-east Australia all Caucasian? And why does everyone have an American accent (except Hexxus, who, being the bad guy, is a Brit)?
    • It never really says they're native to the area, just that they're logging there. As for the accent, they probably just didn't care enough to get it right, so they decided not to bother.
      • Anyways, what kind of accent would fairies have anyways? You'd think they'd speak their own language rather than English, and that Hexxus would probably not be able to speak at all.
      • I always figured Zack and the other two guys were American immigrants to Australia, and Zack being able to understand the fairies and the animals sorta came with the 'fairy sight' package.
      • If they couldn't be bothered to hire Australian actors, I wonder why they didn't just set the film in America?
      • Because there aren't any rain forests in America?
        • Well, there's the Great Pacific Northwest, but it's cold and mostly filled with Neo-Nazis instead of Fairies.
      • No, most of the Neo-Nazis are in northern Idaho, not the PNW proper. My guess would be because not only is it a completely different type of rainforest, but most of the Olympic Peninsula's forests are on national park land and thus safe from logging. Also, it would be a lot harder for fairies living in any of that forest to not know humans actually existed—even if they never personally saw anything, they'd still probably see planes or something.
    • The humans have Australian accents in the sequel. Including Zack's skinny co-worker who gets a short cameo.
  • When Crysta walks upside down, why doesn't her skirt go fall down?
  • Crysta never seems really surprised when Zak kisses her. In fact, why does she seem completely nonplussed once they get out of that cave thingy?
  • In the scene where they find the Walkman or whatever that thing was, wouldn't the loud music blast out their little fairy (and tiny human) eardrums? At least, the faeries reacted, but Zac's still tiny, so wouldn't that have affected him too?
    • Eh, it's the same reason why giant monsters are able to run around without being crushed to death in the movies. Lack of physics.
  • Say, Hexxus, you want to destroy the rainforest, right? You got yourself a big ol' machine to cut down the trees too. But...um, might I suggest an easier plan? You, uh, you know trees are kinda flammable, right?
    • Hexxus started off as a tiny black ooze thing with almost no power. It's unlikely he would have been able to burn down the forest until he had fed on a lot of corruption, which is why he was using the Leveler.
      • Also, the Leveler was pretty much an all you can eat buffet on wheels. He benefited two fold, he has a huge weapon of mass destruction and all the food he could possibly want rolled up into one. It shows because he goes from being a tiny black blob to a One-Winged Angel by the time the Leveler is disabled. Had he gone right to causing havok himself, it'd have been easy for the fairies to reseal him. That's another point, inside the Leveler, he was protected to some degree from them, it wasn't till he emerged that he could be sealed away.
    • But destroying it with fire wouldn't get rid of the rainforest forever, especially with the magic of the fairies helping to speed up growth. In reality, some species of plants will grow back faster after a fire. As Fern Gully is in Australia - where bush fires occur constantly - all species of plant there are adapted to not only grow faster than usual but drop more seeds to increase the number of plants regrown as it's being burnt. Hexxus wants the rainforest destroyed for good, not temporarily then in a few years later have this rainforest regrown into something even bigger. Also, it wasn't like Hexxus knew of the humans' plan to build over the cleared out forest, so he couldn't have expected that nothing would happen to intervene with the forest regrowing while he was off causing destruction else where.
    • Hexxus is a poster child for Evil Is Hammy; he's got an overblown sense of style and showmanship. Which is more dramatic: a flamethrower, or a giant metal monster with bladed claws and chainsaw elbows, hmmm?
    • The fairies can likely counter and heal damage by fire with their magic. Fire occurs in nature after all. Machines however do not and as such they have no direct power over it or anything it does.
  • It's an animated movie and it was released on VHS with cardboard slipcases. In short, pretty much THE WHOLE GODDAMN MOVIE IS BUILT ON FUCKING PAPER!!!!! MADE FROM TREES!!!!
    • Trees for paper by and large come from tree farms, not rainforests. Rainforest clearcutting is mostly for purposes of clearing the land for agriculture, not for need of wood. Those who cut for wood are usually pretty responsible about planting replacement trees, if only so they still have something to cut in thirty years.
      • To a kid, a tree is a tree, no matter where it comes from (which is the target audience). And even IF the tree comes from a different place matters not. After all, this movie says cutting trees is a bad thing to do-in which case, regardless it does come off a tad on the hypocritical side.
    • That's a pretty major oversimplification. The movie portrays humans as carelessly destructive, with our greed getting out of hand, not "Everything we do is bad and it needs to stop!" It never explicitly states or even implies that the logging industry is bad. But the Leveler is a gargantuan, all-consuming, mechanical monster that represents our carelessness. It's deliberately outlandish because there needs to be a villain to stop, and showing an ordinary logging company damaging the ecosystem over several years wouldn't have that same effect. And also, certain species of insects produce paper too.