Created in 1993
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Directed by Charles Grosvenor
Based upon "A Furling's Story" by Rae Lambert
This is the trailer for this film:
While I was growing up I had heard of the film "Once Upon A Forest", but I had never had the opportunity to watch it. I saw it at the library recently, so I picked it up since I started this project. The film is one of those children environmental movies. It discusses how chemicals can hurt animals, but it is really also about the adventures of three small animal children that want to save a friend. The friend is this character in the film: (this all happens relatively early on in the film, so I am not spoiling anything major in the film)
The characters are being taught by a badger character (see below) that has went through a similar issue in his own past. He sends the children that are well on an adventure to find specific ingredients to help cure the hurt child.
The story is a little blase in many ways. It feels like it has been done better in other stories, like "Ferngully: The Last Rainforst" or "Secret of NIMH". I will say, however, that this is probably because I am an adult. The story is very much geared towards a child with no real redeeming qualities for an adult. There are some movies that are able to seamlessly incorporate jokes or aspects that are slight nods to the parent that is bringing the child to the movie, but this is not one of those types of movies. This is a child's movie pure and simple. I can appreciate it for a great children's movie though. I can see a mother sitting with her child on her lap and watching this film with them. It is perfect for that type of night, but it is not a good film for someone like me at this particular moment of my life.
The three characters are the following:
None of them really stuck with me above the others, so I cannot say that I have a favorite character in this particular film. This being said I also am not able to say that any of them is my least favorite character either. They all sort of meld together. Though the characters are given distinct personalities that are tropes, in my opinion, of children movies. The mouse is brave, the mole is the "geek", and the hedgehog is the "foodie" character. These are all character types that are better done in other films and there are no qualities that make these characteristics unique for this film. There are ways to make these characteristics work in new and interesting ways, but that does not occur in "Once Upon A Forest". They are just used to make a movie and not in interesting ways.
There was one moment in the film that I enjoyed though. There is a moment where the children come across what appears to be a funeral procession lead by the bird above. This moment is hilarious in many ways when you discover what was really happening. It also was a great moment that showed the strength of the characters in their limited way. If it was not for this particular moment the film would have had little to no redeemable qualities for me.
While it may have not had a lot of redeeming qualities to me I understand that this is the journey that I want to go on. I want to see things that I did not see as a child or do. This was one of them. I feel like I can mark off this film from my "Never Seen Films" list, especially in the era of my childhood. I am sure there will be others that I will not find a lot of redeemable qualities in, but will ultimately feel better for having watched them. I will not have that "did I miss something?" feeling looming over my head after I finish each of these films.
Are there films from the 90s that you would recommend watching for someone that has not seen a lot of films from their childhood? What are some of your favorites? I am very interested in seeing what is recommended and seeing what I may have seen that I am not even aware that I have.
WHO I WOULD RECOMMEND TO: Children, Parents, and people who like environmental issue movies.
WHO I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND TO: Adults without children and those not interested in environmental issue movies.
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My next post will be on Thursday and will be:
INKHEART- THE BOOK
Thanks for coming to the library... I hope you check me out again soon!