78 Postcolonial Critique: Fern Gully

John J. Bush III


After reading, The Angel of Progress: Pitfalls of the Term ‘Post-Colonialism‘, by Anne McClintock, I have gotten a better understanding of the term. Applying a critique of postcolonialism to Fern Gully, we see that the film is simply about taking over the forest from the native people. There are many little details like the fairies being small and women, as the male characters are deemed to be bad and abusive to the environment. In this snippet, you see the two characters interacting in a way that seems disconnected when trying to communicate. He tries to give her a handshake and she does not know how to do this, while this male and female split is shown in many different ways. The antagonist is the industrial movements and his pollution is his colonizing tool to strip the fairies of their cultural and native lands. Leaving them poor, homeless and dehumanized (Women fairies) as if taking over a country with political and imperial powers.

Much like what is said on page, 1194. “By 1989, the World Bank had $225 billion in commitments to poorer countries, on condition that they, in turn, endure the purgatory of ‘structural adjustment’, export their way to ‘progress’, cut government spending on education and social services (with the axe falling most cruelly on women), devalue their currencies, remove trade barriers and raze their forests to pay their debts.” (McClintock 1194).  This makes me think a lot about how Fern Gully portrays women and how the forest is removed for goods and currencies–how the effects of industries and the patriarchy deludes the idea of expanding and growing, but destroys cultures and dehumanizes many.

This idea of male hostility towards women and cultural disintegration emerge through ideas of postcolonial views. Fern Gully is a prime example of colonization of the fairies and their home (the forest), as well as the effects of male power; they literally bulldoze their lives and take everything from the poor, little defenseless fairies.


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