- Adaptation Displacement: It was a book first.
- All Animation Is Disney: Besides being mistaken for a Disney movie, it is also sometimes mistaken for a Don Bluth movie, which it isn't. Its posters and trailers, which proudly proclaimed "from the creator of An American Tail" would have you think otherwise. It doesn't help that James Horner actually did compose the soundtracks for the first Land Before Time film along with this.
- Awesome Music: "Once Upon a Time With Me".
- Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The part where the group comes across the flock of birds and has to save a young bird named Bosworth, whos stuck in a mud puddle. This section really doesn't contribute anything to the story, except comic relief and to introduce the concept of "the Yellow Dragons."
- Cliché Storm: The film is a pretty standard and straightforward Hero's Journey story, complete with obligatory Green Aesop.
- Cult Classic: Has a modest fanbase, mostly comprised of people who saw it within the first few years of release and still enjoy it now.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: Phineas. It helps that he was voiced by Ben Vereen.
- Also Edgar, who was the only character to get a limited edition plush made.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Edgar calls a car a "monster", which is what the Warrior Cats characters call cars and other vehicles ten years later.
- Inferred Holocaust: Though two deaths (Michelle's parents) are shown onscreen, the gas leak would have probably killed many more cute furry forest creatures than that...
- Moe: Michelle, of course!
- One-Scene Wonder: Phineas, the pastor of the bird choir, Willy and Waggs from the meadow.
- Padding: The scene with the wrens sticks out the most. It's long, and even with it in there, the film clocks in at seventy-one minutes.
- Retroactive Recognition:
- So Bad, It's Good: From Michael Crawford's Large Ham acting to yet another Green Aesop.
- So Okay, It's Average: The consensus for those who have actually seen it is that there is a lot to admire about it, but the story and characters are boring.
- Tastes Like Diabetes: Michelle is way too cute. You cannot resist.
- Values Resonance: After things like the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, this film and its aesop are particularly relevant.
- Viewer Gender Confusion: Abigail is not immediately identifiable as a female for some, due to her tomboyish personality, short hair, and gender-neutral clothing.
- The Woobie:
- Michelle, definitely. Losing your parents and being poisoned by toxic gas will make you one.
- Cornelius certainly qualifies. He and his younger sister lost their parents when they were still kids, and then he loses his sister and brother-in-law at the beginning of the movie. It's even easier to feel bad for him, given that now Michelle is all the family he has left in the world and he can only sit there helplessly as she's slowly slipping away.
- Also Abigail, when she starts feeling bad about herself for thoughtlessly leading the furlings into danger.
- Edgar also has his moments of this.
- Also Bosworth, the young wren trapped in the mud that the furlings save.
YMMV / Once Upon a Forest