Those Holly-weird tree-huggers are always pushing their eco-weenie agenda onto our children. How dare they! Why can’t they leave us to trash the planet in peace? Apologies for the sarcasm, but it’s always been a point of irritation to me that conservatives have completely abandoned the cause of conservation. They share a root-word, people! I’m not saying that conservatives should start chaining themselves to giant sequoias, but knee-jerking against environmentalism looks like promoting pollution and destruction. Not good.
First, a very brief synopsis of each:
Fern Gully is about a tribe of rainforest-dwelling fairies whose giant tree-home is threatened by a logging operation. The loggers are somehow being controlled by an ancient spirit of carbon emissions and petroleum byproduct. One fairy shrinks one of the loggers to her size so he can learn about the wonder and beauty of the blah, blah, Zzzzzzzzzz… Oops! I bored myself to sleep. Basically, it’s Avatar but it came first. Oh, and if the message that “humans are bad” isn’t driven home strongly enough, bat-Robin Williams raps about how evil they are.
The Lorax tells about a young boy living in a hyper-developed city who wants to find a real tree to impress a girl. To do so, he must find the Once-ler, who will tell him the tale of the short-sighted industrialist responsible for wiping out the Truffla trees that once covered the now barren and polluted land surrounding the town. At first the boy is impatient, wanting only to get his tree. But as the story unfolds, both come to realize the need to conserve the resources they depend upon.
While I’m poking at Fern Gully, I may as well point out its other flaws. This film traffics in the classic racist-liberal pairing of white man’s burden and the noble savage. The fairies are helpless to save themselves, despite possessing ancient wisdom and awesome magic, without the help of an obviously dimwitted youth of European descent. Plus, the film has aged terribly, not that timelessness is to be expected of every film. Stupid hairdos and ridiculous slang are forgivable, but having Mork from Ork rap should’ve been an obvious blunder at the time.