Written by Old Bluffer 13th Jun 2005
The forest realm of Arboria is not all about mincing around in green leggings. No, a young treeman must earn the right to sport a dapper moustache, with an intriguing coming of age Trial by Treebeast.
Before the film can progress to the Treebeast duel between Prince Barin and Flash though, the audience needs to be shown that said beast is a seriously scary critter. Cue Young Oik, AKA Peter Duncan (later to gain minor UK celebrity status as a presenter of children's TV mainstay, 'Blue Peter').
The nature of the Trial by Treebeast is to walk around a large treestump with an intense look on your face, and finally choose a hole to plunge your arm into, all the way up to the shoulder. If you are unlucky enough to pick the hole where the Treebeast is, then it will probably bite, which would be unfortunate as its venom is of course fatal.
Now, you don't need glasses to see the tree stump in question is riddled with at least fifteen holes, and later on in the film we see that the Treebeast is actually pretty benign, and won't bite you unless you actually try to insert your hand into its mouth. So, Arboria is unlikely to suffer too great a dip in their population as a result of the ceremony.
This is scant comfort to Peter Duncan though, as he foolishly lingers for ages with his arm in the stump, and eventually is rewarded with a green blob of venom indicating that certain agonising death is all he has to look forward to.
Prince Barin (Timothy Dalton) duly performs the 'coup de grace' with his effeminate sword, camply.
No, not that hole, fool!
Treebeast: 1 - Peter Duncan: nil