Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Land Before Time: Journey of the Brave

I finally got to see this year's new movie, The Land Before Time: Journey of the Brave. It is the fourteenth movie in the series, the first movie since 2007.

I loved it! I give it nine Nothronychuses out of Yutyrannus. Both of those being the dinosaurs with feathers that appear in this film.

The movie is a semi-sequel to the tenth movie, which is the last movie in the series that I enjoyed. The story is that Littlefoot's father, Brom, comes to visit him every year. This year, Brom was injured, while trying to save a celebrity cameo character. Now he's dying and needs help escaping his inevitable lava death. Littlefoot and friends travel a long distance to reach Brom and save him.

Major props to this movie, for not shying away from the topic of parental death. The death of Littlefoot's mother dominated the first movie, but all the sequels either ignored it or glossed over it, as inappropriate material for a children's movie. This movie goes into detail about the death of Littlefoot's mother, because that's his main motivation for saving his father. He doesn't want Dad to die like Mom did, he's scared of being all alone, and he still has some survivor's guilt, because Mom died to save him.

Not that Littlefoot is actively angsting over his tragic backstory. He's still a happy singing dinosaur who has fun adventures. But I liked how the movie had a serious element to it.

I also liked how the movie had Ruby and Chomper in it! It's good to see that they acknowledged the existence of the short-lived TV series, and besides, their subplot was entertaining. They were paired up with the celebrity cameo, Littlefoot's grandfather and Cera's father, and it worked surprisingly well to have the oldest characters and youngest characters interacting with each other. (On a sad side note, they had to recast both of the older male roles, because their voice actors died.)

The movie does retread some old ground. Littlefoot and Cera get into a fight and decide to split up, in a sequence that is more or less a repeat of the original movie. The subplot with Petrie finding a bunch of followers was entertaining, albeit pointless. My least favorite subplot was the one with Etta, which was the other celebrity cameo character. It seemed like she was there, mostly so they could have her sing a good song.

The music was amazing, by the way. It's been months since I saw the movie, and the tune for Hot and Stinky still pops up in my head occasionally. I would probably have the first song memorized, if I saw the movie more than once.

Overall, it was a good movie. It's WAY BETTER than the thirteenth movie, which is all I was hoping for. If the series doesn't continue after this, then we can say that it went out on a good note.

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