|“||What a miraculous device. I'm really getting the hang of this. I do believe that we are destined to be soul mates.||„|
|~ Hexxus while merging with the Leveler machine.|
Hexxus is the ancient evil spirit of destruction and the main antagonist in 20th Century Fox's 1992 animated film FernGully: The Last Rainforest.
He is voiced by the legendary voice actor, Tim Curry.
Hexxus is the dark and ancient spirit of destruction and all that is toxic to nature. As such, his only goal is to cause destruction, decay and death in any way he can.
Hexxus first appeared on Earth in ancient times when the balance of nature shifted. He rose out of the Earth and rained down poison, destroying much in his wake and killing countless living creatures, including humans. He was finally defeated by the fairy priestess, Magi Lune and imprisoned inside an enchanted baobab tree, which he remained trapped in for hundreds, if not thousands or possibly even millions of years.
FernGully: The Last Rainforest
While painting X marks on trees, marking them for cutting, the movie's main male protagonist Zak comes across the tree Hexxus is imprisoned in; he finds it creepy, much like the entity it contains. While he is looking at the tree, Zak is bugged by a fly, and while trying to hit it with his aerosol can, he ends up marking the tree. That evening, the mobile lumbermill known as "The Leveler", driven by Zak's superiors Tony and Ralph, cuts down the tree. As the cutting begins, the Leveler shakes violently, likely due to Hexxus's supernatural presence, but the lumberjacks ignore the signs and cut it down anyway. The tree is processed and reduced to sheets of wood by the leveler, releasing Hexxus in a slimy form. Chuckling maliciously, he almost immediately begins absorbing energy from the Leveler, and by the next day, he has regained enough strength to quickly move around and coherently speak. While wondering how he escaped, Hexxus quickly realizes it is the work of humans. Determined to get revenge upon the fairies of FernGully for imprisoning him and seeing the useful potential of the human machine, Hexxus decides to take control of it and use it to exact his plan.
Under the outspoken guise of their boss, Hexxus manipulates the lumberjacks into tearing down the rainforest in the direction of FernGully by the next morning, thereby destroying the very fabric of their world. He then assumes his ghostly main form, singing the song "Toxic Love", before going to the Leveler's roof to oversee progress. Sometime later, upon reaching FernGully after having successfully destroyed much of the rainforest, Hexxus reveals himself. With Magi gone (having sacrificed herself to give her power to all the other fairies), it is up to Crysta and the other fairies to defeat him. He and the Leveler chase the fairies and drive them into their home tree despite Crysta's efforts to stop his advance. Zak, knowing the fairies cannot stop the Leveler, has Batty take him to the machine's cab, from which he can stop it. However, Batty gets carried away and flies right up to Hexxus, who laughs and swipes at them, sending debris raining down onto Batty, who drops Zak onto the windshield as a result. As Zak frantically tries to get the lumberjacks' attention, Hexxus scares them off and takes control of the machine. As he proceeds to the fairies' home tree, he closes off the Leveler's cab to keep out intruders, but Zak still manages to get inside with Pips' help. Just as Hexxus is about to kill off all the fairies, Zak turns off the leveler, causing Hexxus to lose the energy he was gaining from it and disappear. However, he reemerges moments later, this time in the form of a giant, demonic, fire-breathing skeletal creature made of oil.
Crysta, remembering a bit of advice that Magi gave her before her death, takes a seed and flies up to Hexxus, who devours her as he laughs, to everyone's horror. However, as he prepares to destroy FernGully for good, he begins sprouting branches like a tree. Annoyed, he rips off the sprouts, but the emerging new tree continues to grow. Pips, realizing what is happening, leads the fairies into helping the new tree grow; within moments, Hexxus and the Leveler itself are overrun. Hexxus can only watch in terror as he is sealed within the closing roots, imprisoning him once and for all. After his defeat, Crysta and Batty are revealed to be alive, while Zak, knowing human development can still threaten FernGully, returns home with Tony and Ralph with a new, environmentalist mindset.
Hexxus, true to all he embodies, could very much be considered the dark side of nature itself. At the core, he relishes destruction and decay. He also shows to take great pleasure in the suffering, greediness, and death of living creatures. Hexxus (at least in his smoke form) usually talks in an extremely respectful, polite, appreciative, quiet, and sensual fashion, and the pleasure he derives from pollution seems to be almost sexual in nature. However, he also shows great fear when the situation turns against him, such as when Zak turned off the leveler and then when he was imprisoned once again.
He is an exceptional manipulator, able to influence others from the shadows. Hexxus also seems to show some admiration for humans, describing them as "wonderful creatures, so clever and helpful". Possibly because he and humans share much in common, they both cause destruction to nature and its creatures. Nevertheless, he only sees them as a means to an end and, like all other living creatures, Hexxus takes great pleasure in their deaths just the same. He also has shown overconfidence and enjoys taunting his prey; however, his own arrogance is ultimately his greatest flaw.
Powers and Abilities
As the dark side of nature, Hexxus wields as variety of abilities and powers. He can change his form, which presumably depends on what type of poison or toxin he is currently feeding on, for example: Zak's spray paint (a shapeless blob of black ooze), the smog produced by the Leveler (a humanoid shadow of black smoke), the oil in the Leveler (a giant flaming skeleton-like beast draped in ooze like a cape), etcetera.
He has been shown to be able to mimic seemingly any voice. He is also able to breathe fire, both in his smoke and fire forms. His smoke form also appears able to cast bolts of acid. Hexxus can also possess machines, such as when he merges with the Leveler and also takes control of it once he scares off it's human operators. As stated by Magi Lune, Hexxus can rain down poison which presumably is his deadliest ability, for Magi states that during his first rampage the forest was "nearly destroyed and many lives were lost".
Aside from those abilities, Hexxus also seems to have some level of omniscience or omnipresence. Because as is hinted many times in his song "Toxic Love", it seems that, despite being imprisoned for countless years, Hexxus was still fully aware of how much humans and civilization had evolved over the millennia. Thus he, at least partially, understood the concept of machines, human greed, human work (shifts, breaks and all) and was aware of human things like shopping malls, cocktails, etcetera. Furthermore, he apparently also knew both the voice and even the personality of the lumberjacks' boss when he mimicked him over the intercom. The fact that he is a spirit further adds plausibility to this theory. Indeed, Hexxus himself has stated that he "sees the world and all the creatures in it".
- The name "Hexxus" is probably derived from the word "hex", meaning a harmful curse.
- Hexxus is often considered to be the best character in FernGully. Tim Curry's voice gives a very darkly sensual charm to the lord of pollution (especially during his signature song "Toxic Love"), making him stand out among the other characters who are mostly considered fairly bland (with the possible exception of Batty, voiced by Robin Williams).
- Toxic Love's full version is longer than the one that appears in the movie. It may have been cut due to both time constraints and age-inappropriate content (such as the line "I feel good, a special kind of horny").