Looking Back On.. The Land Before Time Revival

We’re almost finished with the revival movies, though technically one of them is the “last” in the on going series before the break I feel it was pretty much meant to start a new way to release these movies since the animated show had also launched that same year. Many people got their wish and wasn’t until 9 years later that it got revived to tie in with Jurassic World just like the first sequel did all those years ago. Both these movies had new directors and both feel different than previous movies and not necessarily in a bad way so let’s take a look at the last The Land Before Movies as of now but let’s hope a reboot comes along one day.

The Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends

the land before time 13 xiii dvd cover

Released the same year as the previous film in 2007 but near the end of it so it had been nearly a year. I have to admit that I was not happy they were releasing more movies now that they had a cartoon but looks like I got my wish in the end since this became the last movie in nearly a decade. Apparently this movie is not well liked with fans but I think it’s one of the most refreshing ones we’ve seen in a while. The tone of the movie isn’t any lighter than normal, it just has more humor, but I prefer interesting humor in a kids movie than a safe by the book story for kids so at least it succeeds in that. Some people blame the tone of the movie for the direct to video movies being cancelled but I’m guessing it had been a while since the decision had been made and this was like the last chance for the movies to continue and it just didn’t work.

the land before time jar jar binks

For those continuity nerds like me this movie would take place before the tv show since it doesn’t have any of the characters from it and also since this movie was likely in production at the same time as the tv show was or even later it meant that the Yellow Bellies made no appearance in the show either even though most other crappy friends from previous movies did. So yeah this movie is about Little Foot being a bit of a prick and thinking he’s morally superior and trying to teach others like his grandmother does only to fail miserably with his new friend for the movie the Yellow Bellies who are just ridiculous and sh-t all over his tries. I think that’s what makes the movie enjoyable for me as Little Foot can see his condescending tone does not work for everyone. A Baryonyx is the big bad in this movie and it’s always cool to see them try new bad guys even if their role is not that big.

The Land Before Time XIV: Journey of the Brave
the land before time dvd cover journey of the brave revival 14

So after a long break we finally got another movie which while some may have complained I was pretty ecstatic that it was happening as it was about time to see our friends again. The movie takes place after the tv show since Chomper and Ruby who became main cast members in the show appear here and no explanation is given as to why they’re there so it’s safe to say they kept the continuity even though the target audience would likely have never watched the show so it’s awesome to see them keep continuity after such a long break. This is even more true since the plot of the movie deals with trying to rescue Little Foot’s father Bron and doesn’t go too much into detail over the previous events explaining why he doesn’t live with him. After watching all the previous 13 sequels I can say that this is easily the best in the sequels.

the land before time cast group shot

I feel that the movie for the most part decided to go back to the basics since it doesn’t really include a gimmicky villain or new friend or theme to sell the movie. Like in most of the sequels the big bad is nothing but a cheap plot device but at least it’s nice to see a carnotaurus in the franchise. Also we do have returning characters with Bron, Chomper and Ruby with the plot dealing with a volcano erupting but overall that’s not what the movie is about. The movie mostly deals with the interactions of the main cast and they do a better job than any previous movie sans the original, this is a big deal since we did get some nice character moments and decent character development over the past 14 years but the writers of these movies truly got the chemistry and dynamic of the group. It doesn’t matter that they’re kinda learning some similar lessons than before, it’s done well enough that it feels like a coat of fresh air to the franchise

the land before time volcano erupting

I think in a way both movies tried to give a re-launch to the series, with sequel 13 trying a more comedy approach to entice viewers and differentiate itself from the cartoon that had premiered but it just wasn’t able to do it. The other movie was only likely done as a tie in with dinosaur mania thanks to the new Jurassic Park movie coming out and a way to see if they could start doing them again but I’m guessing it didn’t grab enough attention, after all DVD is basically dead and Blu-Ray was never able to replace it. I had hoped that with Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom we’d get another tie in but it didn’t happen. As of now it’s the end of the Land Before Time franchise but I’m guessing we’ll see it return eventually again in some type of reboot.

the land before time collage

In all these movies we see the heroes leave the Great Valley in the majority of the movies and into the dangerous mysterious beyond for various different reasons, we had plenty of sharpteeth get inside the valley they shouldn’t have been able to or at least become a threat to them when they were outside of it but none were ever as big of a threat as the original Sharptooth, that monster Tyrannosaurus Rex from the original film. We got used to songs by the cast being featured in every single movie and it became a staple that it even got its own soundtrack and video release, with an average of 3 songs per movie they have an extensive library. It’s also funny how the Land Before Time tried to make the dinosaurs more scientifically accurate as new studies revealed new things while Jurassic Park stagnated and kept the status quo of the first film despite later discoveries.

the land before time revival

We saw Little Foot and his friends meet new friends in every new movie and so many that would make even Sonic blush and while many movies felt like extended episodes I don’t think any of them were truly horrible even if they paled in comparison to the original. When they explored new territory as they tried to in a few films it was always awesome and I wish they had done more, why not have Little Foot deal with his grandparents dying? Oh yeah, and did we keep count on how many times the Great Valley was destroyed or at least temporarily damaged? I’m guessing about 5 times or so which would mean every 3 movies, not good odds for the Great Valley.

For more Land Before Time articles click here. If you enjoyed the article or have any thoughts let me know by commenting below or by tweeting at me. You can also share the article or hit me up an email with your thoughts, it’s nice to hear from other fans.

Luigi Kawasaki

social hermit

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