It's hard to complain about an animated feature that is environmentally correct and boasts gorgeous animation, a zippy pop-song score and Robin Williams as the voice of a looney bat (obviously ad-libbing outrageously).
"FernGully: The Last Rainforest" has made some savvy choices, and while it's no "Beauty and the Beast," it's an entertaining cartoon feature that kids will enjoy and parents won't mind.
Whether "FernGully" will make any serious box-office dent remains to be seen, of course. Theaters are surprisingly full of competitive movies at the moment, though this is traditionally a time when there is a dearth of product. There's even another animated feature out there, "Rock-A-Doodle."
But "FernGully" has much to recommend, with its fantasy yarn about fairies and tree spirits and all manner of odd creatures populating a rain forest that is threatened by humans who are chopping down trees.
The focus is on a young apprentice fairy named Crysta (voice of Samantha Mathis), who is a bit too much like Ariel in "The Little Mermaid."
Crysta yearns to leave her forest paradise and see the human world she's immensely curious about humans. Eventually, she gets her wish when she ventures outside and encounters a young logger, whom she shrinks down to her size and whose aid she enlists to do battle with the evil, tree-chopping Hexxus (Tim Curry).
She helps the logger see the error of his ways, of course, and with the aid of several friends, including Batty (Williams), a pair of biker fairies called the Beetle Boys (Cheech & Chong) and others, she manages to save the day.
There's nothing revolutionary here, but "FernGully" is well-intentioned, very well-made and Williams has a field day, handily stealing the show.