FernGully: The Last Rainforest was a beloved animated movie that came out in theaters in 1992, and it was well ahead of its time in regards to the message it was sending to kids. Before environmental activism became what it is today, FernGully was already laying the groundwork for children to truly appreciate what the beauty and fragility of nature was truly about.
It might not be as popular in mainstream pop culture as many other animated flicks, but still it is worth remembering because it could mean the survival of the natural world that we still have around us. Here are 10 facts about this classic kids movie you might not already know.
1. Robin Williams's animated debut.
Everyone remembers Robin Williams's portrayal of Genie in Aladdin, but what most people don't know is that when Williams voiced the character of Batty in FernGully, he was making his debut in an animated film.
2. The Spanish version set a world record.
When the movie was dubbed into Spanish for viewing in Spain, it was done entirely by Spanish comedian Angel Garo. By voicing every character in the movie he ended up earning himself a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
3. The movie's dedication.
When the movie was released it had a rather important dedication. It was dedicated to, "our children and our children's children." It was a rather poignant way of showing the people (both parents and children) watching the movie just how important taking care of the Earth truly is.
4. It had a delayed release.
The movie was initially supposed to be released in 1991, but the studio decided to delay the release in order to avoid it conflicting with a Disney box office smash hit. If it had been released on its original date, it would have been competing with Beauty and the Beast, and it is safe to assume FernGully would not have been able to compete.
5. It is based on the Australian rainforest.
Animators for the movie actually spent time in the actual Australian rainforest in order to come up with the concepts for their art. It turned out spectacularly, and you got an authentic feel from the animation.
6. FernGully was originally a book.
The movie was based off of a book that was written by Diana Young. It was published in 1991, but obviously it got a reboot in book stores once the movie hit the big screen.
7. Zak's character is missing a little something.
The character of Zak is actually supposed to be Australian, though if you remember watching the movie, you would have noticed that Zak has no such Australian accent. It's a fairly big omission, but one we are willing to overlook in the bigger scheme of things.
8. The world's politicians took notice.
The movie was deemed important enough to become the first film to ever be screened in the United Nations General Assembly Hall. It was actually introduced by Olivia Newton-John on Earth Day.
9. It inspired a successful modern film.
Avatar is one of my favorite movies of recent memory, and if you compare FernGully and Avatar side by side, you will see a wide variety of similarities. Critics have said that in comparison, the two films share a number of themes and important plot points.
10. There was a brand logo dropped into the opening credits.
Even back in 1992, brands were getting strategic with dropping their products and logos into popular feature films. In FernGully, you can see the logo for the clothing company Body Glove during the opening credits.
What was your favorite animated movie growing up? Let us know in the comments.