Looking Back On.. The Land Before Time Sequels
Last time we took a look at the original The Land Before Time movie as well as its 2 first sequels but a trilogy of movies was not enough for them and they kept making more sequels. It was around this time when even I as a kid started to realize that they were releasing far too many movies and started building a backlog of Little Foot movies that i hadn’t seen. They became an annual series and today we’ll take a look back at sequels 4, 5 and 6. The fourth movie was the third and final movie by Roy Allen Smith while almost all the rest of the movies were made by director Charles Grosvenor.
The Land Before Time IV: Journey Through the Mists
This movie deals with a heard of Brachiosaurus that is migrating and arrives at the great valley alongside a small female brachiosaurus named Ali. The usual shenanigans with the group not wanting to accept her begin only for Little Foot’s Grandpa to become ill. Then they heard about this special flower that can revive him and they go for it. Along the way they meet an alligator and a bird who are the big bads in this story and of course all is well by the end of the story with the migrating dinosaurs leaving with Ali.
This direct to video film is not going to set the world on fire and is just an extended episode of a tv show but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The actual movie is fine for what it is even if it’s something rather simple, I thought the interactions of Ali with Little Foot and the rest of the group were an interesting dynamic. I also like how they try new things with villains and this time we have a duo of an alligator and a bird named Ichy and Dil who are a different type of threat. We also see our first mammal in the franchise which is nice on its own.
The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island
This time the great valley’s food is all eaten by locusts so the adults as usual fight for what to eat and Little Foot’s gang decides to find some food only to go to an island through a land bridge that is destroyed and they get trapped there. Luckily they find their friend Chomper from the first sequel making a return and now with the ability to talk. He is bilingual in both herbivore and carnivore languages and wants his family to meet them but Cera distrusts chomper and convinces the others. They try to escape but in the ocean or big water as they call it has some shark like creatures. They try to avoid Chompers parents but eventually a bigger more evil Gigantosaurus attacks and with the help of Little Foot, his friends and Chomper’s parents they’re able to drown him. Chomper’s parents decide not to eat Little Foot since they’re friends who helped Chomper and a deus ex machina Plesiosaur appears who takes them back to land.
So with a new director we get a new story that has plenty here to make it feel like worthwhile movie by including a little bit of everything. The return of Chomper was great and odd that it took so long to bring such a big fan favorite back. They do more world building and establish relationships in this movie. The great valley gets taken out yet again but by the end of the movie the parents learn to share is always the best answer. Unlike some of the other sequels this one did have enough going on that it never felt like it was stretching its plot too much. That final fight got a little vicious and it’s likely the most violent movie since the original even if it’s not going to really scare any kids.
The Land Before Time VI: The Secret of Saurus Rock
The second movie of this new producer builds on the lore of the Land Before Time franchise and it tells a story of a rock in the shape of a long neck that is not the one that is mentioned in the first movie for whatever reason. We have a superhero or western like anti-hero of sorts with The Lone Dinosaur that begins as a story from Little Foot’s Grandfather and we don’t know if it’s a legend or it actually happened. Then we get a lonesome Brachiosaurus that matches the description of the story named Doc and Little Foot is all excited to have found the dinosaur of legend. We get to meet two of Cera’s sibling with the twins and they make mischief and get lost only to damage the stone formation.
Bad stuff happens in the valley and Doc is blamed for it while little foot tries to fix things only for a sharptooth to appear. Doc comes to fight him off but also Grandpa goes in and helps out. With the threat gone Little Foot has a new hero in his own family and Doc decides to leave. A different premise from the other films which as I’ve mentioned is the best part about these sequels and we meet new characters that are interesting on their own making it feel like an alright experience when you watch.
And with this ends the movies done traditionally animated as the rest of the films would end up being colored digitally so it’s an end of an era of sorts with these movies. As far as the quality of the films I’d say that if we stop comparing them to the original movies and we see them as stand alone movies they’re not horrible films. They clearly skew younger but they tell decent enough stories that a little kid would enjoy.
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