Avatar = Ferngully + Guns

I saw Avatar the other day and it dawned on me half way through that the movie was essentially Ferngully, a movie I watched a lot as a kid, with some guns. As the movie went on, more and more similarities became apparent.  Here are some of the major similarities that I noticed, which could contain spoilers.

1. The main character is a human who doesn’t really understand the forest and the creatures who live within it.  This character is accidently brought into the forests tribe of magical fairies/aliens.

2. A female from the tribe who has a fairly high stature within their hierarchy teaches the main character about the ways of her people and their world.  Her people are highly naturalistic and speak about “communicating” with the forest and about an energy force that connects every living thing.

3. The enemy of the tribe and nature itself is representative of human greed and indifference to nature and life.  This enemy wants to destroy the tribe and its home but in many ways was unleashed by the main character himself.

4. The tribe lives in a large, religiously significant tree which is attacked in a climatic battle by the main villain.  The result of this battle does end up being something of a major difference for the two films however.

5. The power of nature literally overcomes man and his machines.

Of course, there are other difference, like the main characters choice of whether to stay with the tribe, his exact circumstances before the movie, and the character Batty (who doesn’t really have an equivalent in Avatar).  But in the end, while so much of Avatar is groundbreaking, the story and character arcs are almost a direct rip off of Ferngully.

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2 Responses to Avatar = Ferngully + Guns

  1. Bekkah says:

    I completely agree!! And I would say that the Batty character in Avatar is the large creature he rides on – it has a personality of its own even if it doesn’t speak. There’s also the fact that another person in the tribe (Pips / Tsu’Tey)wants to be with the female love interest and that the main character is forced to interact, first negatively then positively, with the native animals in the new culture. The there’s the fact it ends up being the female in the tribe who ultimately saves the day and makes sure the main guy lives.

  2. Bekkah says:

    PS – Not sure if this is true but was told Avatar was written in the 90’s (just after Fern Gully was made) but didn’t go into production because of where technology was at the time and money issues.

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