This 1992 animated cartoon musical about the rain forest makes a good eco-lesson for kids and for parents who often can’t see the rain forest for the trees. When the fairy Crysta (the voice of Samantha Mathis) finds out that her tropical home is being invaded by insensitive human loggers as well as the evil spirit Hexxus (the voice of Tim Curry), she rallies her friends to fight these forest foes.
But for all its good intentions, this movie is mediocre: The plot is formulaic and the music undistinguished. The exotic rain-forest animals catch your eye, but the rest of the animation is unspectacular — you get tired of seeing the fairy flit around like a Tinkerbell wannabe. The movie comes to life only when Batty Koda (the voice of Robin Williams), an escaped laboratory bat, is on screen. It’s worth renting FernGully just for Williams’ riffs about horrible humans and his uncanny impressions of Bette Davis, John Wayne, and Scotty from Star Trek, which, fortunately, are funny even if you’re too young to catch any of the references.