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This movie had a bit of a revival recently because more and more people started to notice and point out, the similarities between this movie and James Cameron's "Avatar", to each other. And it is indeed similar in a lot of ways but to be fair, "Avatar" 'borrows' just as much from many other different movies as well.

This movie actually made me realize how enjoyable and quite good most of the animated movies from the 20th Century Fox studios were. They had a very distinctive style to them and even while they obviously always wanted to be too much like a Disney movie, it still was the studio that produced some of the best and also more enjoyable movies, that tried to compete with the much bigger and far superior Disney studios.

And this movie is quite good as well and definitely does have some great moments and good ideas in it. Unfortunately as a whole the movie is still really lacking.

Part of the problem is that the movie is way too short. Because all of the action is already over after 70 minutes, neither the story or characters ever get developed properly and thoroughly enough. Because of this you also really never start to care for its story or any of its characters. A shame, since the movie definitely seemed to have some good ideas in it.

The whole message of the movie also falls kind of short because of this. It's the sort of movie that tries to make kids aware of their environment and point out the importance of nature and how bad and evil it is that humans are destructing the rain forest. I already disliked these sort of movies as a young kid and it does still annoy me to see how the movie tries to force its message on its young audience, no matter how good and noble its intentions with it all were.

Besides, it really isn't done in a very good or creative way. I mean, making pollution an actual villain, with a face and a singing voice? It was all a bit too weird and plain ridicules to me. It doesn't matter really that he is voiced by the great Tim Curry.

The movie actually does have a great voice cast in it. Besides Tim Curry, Christian Slater, Samantha Mathis, Robin Williams, Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong and Brian Cummings are all doing some of the voices. And really, they also make some of the characters truly enjoyable but most of the characters get pushed far too much to the movie its background, simply because the movie itself is being far too short for each and everyone to have a big role in it. Even Tim Curry as the main villain is hardly in the movie at all.

The animation of the movie itself is pretty good. Both the characters and the background and environments of the movie are pretty good looking. It's certainly not one of those cheap and simplistic animated movies. You could tell lots of time and effort got put in this movie, unfortunately it did not all work out that well. The story- and character development, the music, the songs, its overall message. It's all still really lacking, which makes this a movie you could easily do without.

Really not a bad animated movie but it still has far too many weak points in it to considerer this a recommendable one.

6/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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