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pokeplayer984

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What Makes the Sequels Good?
« on: December 10, 2015, 02:05:38 pm »
With The Land Before Time 14 officially coming out, I feel that I want to create an article on The Land Before Time.  Specifically one on the Sequels.  Whenever reviews of the Sequels come, most of them are about how bad they are, especially compared to the original.

However, a number of us at this forum obviously enjoy at least some of them.  So what is it that we enjoy about those that we do enjoy?  That's what an upcoming article I'm officially creating is going to be about.  I'm going to need some help though, considering I don't like EVERY sequel. (13 in particular was bad, and we know it.  I also don't have much love for 7, 8 and 10.  However, those ones I know others like for certain reasons.) That being said, what did you all like about the sequels you did enjoy.

Post it here and I'll likely use that in my article.

For now, see ya later! :wave

NewOrder

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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2015, 02:14:09 pm »
Quote from: pokeplayer984,Dec 10 2015 on  06:05 PM
So what is it that we enjoy about those that we do enjoy?
I read this in Ruby's voice  :lol

Are you a journalist pokeplayer? Where is your article going to be published? I was meaning to write reviews of all 13 movies and the TV series for my blog in the upcoming weeks to "celebrate" LBT XIVs release, if you want a collaboration I'd be happy to help.
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pokeplayer984

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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2015, 03:22:21 pm »
Quote from: NewOrder,Dec 10 2015 on  12:14 PM
Quote from: pokeplayer984,Dec 10 2015 on  06:05 PM
So what is it that we enjoy about those that we do enjoy?
I read this in Ruby's voice  :lol

Are you a journalist pokeplayer? Where is your article going to be published? I was meaning to write reviews of all 13 movies and the TV series for my blog in the upcoming weeks to "celebrate" LBT XIVs release, if you want a collaboration I'd be happy to help.
Was not going for Ruby there, but I think the coincidence is awesome. :lol

Anyways, no, I do not consider myself a journalist.  It is more something I do to make a little extra cash.  I currently run a website where I post articles.  It currently has Google Ads on it and I make money from that.

However, I haven't had much inspiration to post an article in about a month.  Hopefully with this article I can get something going again.

As for a collaboration, sorry, but I find I work better alone.  It's nothing personal really.  I just find I work better on stuff that way.

Ludichris1

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What Makes the Sequels Good?
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2015, 11:14:31 am »
I think the absolute defining factor is: which ones you grew up with, and at what age. For example, I didn't start seeing 11, till I was 11 I think. 13 came out in 2007 so I was 13 I think. During that time I was "coming of age" and because of that I started 'disliking kiddy stuff' more. Not because they were inherently bad, but because they were kiddy. I watched the sequels later on and realized 11 had a an absolute amazing message etc in it, 12's Guido at least was very great and even 13 had a pretty important message about wisdoms.

All that being said, the first sequels I grew up with were 2-5, so I have the most esteem for them. I was only able to watch 6 recorded from TV in Spanish was we were in Ecuador at the time. But even then I knew it was one of the more slow sequels, similar to 8, despite having great messages among other things. I absolutely love 7, mainly because of the focus on curiosity, full-fledged story, songs, and beyond the mysterious beyond. Again I don't dislike 8 or 6 but they were indeed slower in pace despite their sereneness and plot progression. I must say, I wasn't exactly fond of 9 when I first watched it. Littlefoot's VA sounded a lot different, and it seemed to me the villains were made more cartoony and the journey was pretty straightforward. I learned to like it more later, again, mainly because of the message.

The message sounds kind of vague to say. But to put it simply, it is what the characters are going for or learn along the way, usually through much hardship, peril, or progression of plot. Something really solid that sticks with you. It's why people can enjoy the message of A Charlie Brown's Christmas despite the lackluster animation, simple plot, and short running time.

11 had the cute tinysauruses so I couldn't help liking it really. When I first watched it I disliked the VA they chose and it seemed a little too colorful. Later down the line I learned to love it a lot more, that it's pretty high up there for me. Oh forgot 10. Ten was also great, although I wish the actions the rest of the gang went through were more integral to the story. They were good, but when you think about it it seems more like switching between TV channels.

on 12 I didn't take a huge bit away from it, but later on I loved how Guido became portrayed and Petrie's journey to bravery was a lot more relatable. 13's message was in the right place but most of the movie was kind of eh. Mostly because of out-of-place humor, and sometimes wacky music playing with the already wacky yellowbellies. Characters also looked way different, and the  villains were really cartoony. And there was a really big focus on the yellowbellies and Littlefoot's view of them, leaving out other things that could have been expounded upon

NewOrder

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What Makes the Sequels Good?
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2015, 08:03:46 am »
That’s okay pokeplayer984 (:

I’m guessing you’re more interested in what makes the later sequels good, but if you want I’ll post another answer about the earlier sequels.

I have to agree with Ludichris1, the ones that end up meaning the most to us are those that we grew up with. I lost track after LBT VII, although I was aware they were releasing new sequels, mostly because I was in high school, and in that coming of age phase where you start ignoring childish things, even if you will later regret them. I picked up LBT again when I was in my second year in college, that’s when I joined TGOF, and decided to watch the most recent sequels, mostly just so I could keep up with the threads and also out of pure curiosity.

Recently, I’ve rewatched all twelve sequels, the original movie and the complete TV series so, my opinion isn’t in any way shaped by nostalgia. As someone who used to work in the TV industry I can also analyze the sequels with a critical and technical point of view.

Let’s begin, shall we?

LBT VI: I remember at the time this movie came out, I was very disappointed with the overall premise. Seeing a Longneck as the main character lifted my hopes that Ali could make a comeback as well. When I saw it for the first time and realized she wasn’t there, it ruined the whole experience for me. Still, at the time I used to watch a LBT movie every day and I didn’t stop, tearing apart my old VHS watching it to exhaustion.

Rewatching it more recently made me think of some of the similarities that this sequel has with The Time of the Great Giving. Its story focused more on Littlefoot’s character, and not Cera’s like in LBT III. But we still get the lonely song in the end, the gang’s adventure to Saurus Rock and the action packed finale. Like in LBT III, this is a very slow paced story that takes its time to unfold. Some of the bad luck events that happen in the valley seem somewhat forced. The movie itself takes its time to move the plot forward.

However LBT VI introduces some great points that we continued to see throughout the later sequels. It introduces the mythos of the Lone Dinosaur, the only other legend we’ve ever heard of in TLBT franchise other than the myth of the Great Valley in the original film, up to this point. The existence of something more beyond the realm of reality, and the wonder that such an idea brings to the minds of young children.

It has its faults, but it’s responsible for a new trend in the LBT franchise. It was also the first one that RAS had no contact with, and where we could see Grosvenor’s idea for what he foresaw as the future of the franchise.

LBT VII: Aliens! I mean, it’s a pretty farfetched idea, and technically, it would be as bad as dropping humans in the Great Valley. However, it was very well made. The rainbowfaces were fascinating. They were one of the first examples of how scientific and logical thinking could lead to new discoveries and to a better understanding of their world. The songs were very good. And having an antagonist like Pterano, a character with so many layers to his personality, and with such a dark backstory, made this one of the better sequels. It’s nice to see a villain who’s not just a random Sharpteeth, and who has ulterior motives and ambitions that drive his own resolution. We also got to see a lot of character development for Petrie, and we’ve learned something about the grownups journey to the valley.

LBT VIII: It’s a Spike story, stick around for the fun (Family Guy reference). I love Spike and it was great to finally see more deeply into his character. We also got to know more about Ducky and Spike’s family dynamic, and how much his mother loves him, in spite of him being different from them. It’s again, a slow paced movie, Sharpteeth return as the main villains, although I would have to say, the cold, and the snow are the main antagonists of this film. It’s entertaining, but again, not one that sticks out from the rest. The best part about it was Spike’s character development, and Ducky’s too.

LBT IX: This is one of my favourite sequels. Littlefoot is once again the main character, and we get to meet Mo, one of the best guest characters of the later sequels. Even though his character design was meant to sell more toys, his personality and goofiness brought a positive light to this movie. For the first time we get to revisit an old song, something that never happened up to this point. It’s also one of the few times where Petrie’s ability to fly is actually useful for his friends and for the plot. It could’ve done without the whole Imaginary Friends concept, both the song and the idea itself.

LBT IX also has one of the best songs of the franchise in “No one has to be alone”. It’s a simple plot, with a journey with a specific destination, a bit of a through back to the first film. This is probably the sequel that best embodies the concept of the hero’s journey. With a set destination, a friend in need, a clear goal, and ever growing perils with a nice message in the end.

LBT X: On a personal level, this movie’s biggest mistake was to not include Ali. I understand that it could’ve been too much, since we got to see Bron for the first time, and his relationship with Littlefoot would have to take a considerable amount of time from the script. Still, it would make a lot of sense for Littlefoot to meet up with Ali along the way. The first part of the movie could’ve been about her reintroduction to the franchise, and the second part about his father.

The way Bron was introduced felt a bit out of left field. Especially the explanation for why he wasn’t around. It’s nice to finally have an answer to what happened to Littlefoot’s father, but still, they could’ve come up with a better back story. We once again get to live through a mystical quest, that, like in LBT VII, gives a bit more to the story and makes the characters wonder about what’s beyond the mysterious beyond. Adventuring and Bestest Friends are two great songs. That scene where the gang says goodbye to Littlefoot is one of the most emotional moments in LBT History. His resolution to come back to the Great Valley and say goodbye to his father, although expected, had a very deep emotional weight. Pat and Sue’s characters are funny and well thought out. Overall, it’s one of the best sequels, with very little flaws, and it also provides a very fast paced action/adventure experience for the viewer, with more adult themes than those we were used to up to this point.

LBT XI: I’ve only learned to appreciate this one after I rewatched it a few weeks ago. It’s a slow paced adventure centered in the Great Valley. Littlefoot suffers from a character regression when he blames the tinysaurus, instead of owning up to his mistake. In spite of this, the main protagonist is now Cera, who has to deal with her father starting to date someone else. X and XI both had themes that centered on changes made to their core families. I guess it’s the way the franchise saw to reach out to kids with divorced parents, and to try and help them through the process.

The tinysaurus were fun characters, and it was good to see both Cera and Topsy get a bit of character development. Littlefoot’s side story was so out of character it didn’t make much sense, but still it sort of worked as a premise to introduce the tinysaurus, and as a catalyst to a resolution between Topsy, Cera and Tria.

It’s a slow paced movie, with no great songs to remember, but it’s entertaining. It would fit better as a TV episode, though. They could’ve introduced Tria in a different way and develop a more action centered plot. It’s not that bad, it has some good messages about moving on, owning up to your mistakes and understanding your parents need for a personal life of their own.

LBT XII: A change of pace when compared to the previous sequel. Day of the Flyers is a fun adventure where we get to know more about Petrie’s culture and family, and where we get introduced to Guido, a funny, Woody Allen type character, who, like Mo, lights up the tone of the movie and makes for a great guest character. Although Petrie is the main character in this one, Cera has a lot of character development as well through her relationship with her newborn sister Tritia.

I believe this sequel’s only flaw, and one that’s mostly recurrent in every sequel is Petrie’s scary egg personality. He took on Sharptooth in the original movie and we’ve seen him be brave and fly through clouds without much trouble. Having him scared all the time makes for a good comic relief, but it seems lazy and a bit out of character by this point in the series. It would also make sense for his siblings to admire him since he’s been on a lot of adventures and knows the mysterious beyond better than most grown-ups in the Great Valley. I was expecting more of a character evolution for Petrie than what we got. However, I liked the theme about how you shouldn’t be afraid to express yourself, and make your own path in life, even if it means bending the rules a little bit. It’s also a story about friendship and loyalty, and about getting to know one’s self.

LBT XIII: I can’t sincerely, in any way say anything positive about this film. The acting was poor, Littlefoot’s voice is annoying. Don’t even get me started on the Yellowbellies. This could’ve been a very forgetful TV episode, but instead we got the sequel that almost killed the franchise. I remember being here on TGOF when we were speculating about what XIII would be about. Most of us believed it would shine a light on how Chomper and Ruby found themselves in the Great Valley, and answer questions like, who is Redclaw and what happened to Chomper’s parents. Instead we’ve got Sandra Oh and Cuba Gooding Jr phoning it in. It’s entertaining, I guess, for very small kids, but the more adult themes that we were getting in the later sequels were just gone, the comedy was awful and the action was too slow paced. This is the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the Jurassic Park III, the Phantom Menace of The Land Before Time franchise.

These are my thoughts on both the positive and negative points of the later sequels. If you’d like I can also do the same to LBT II through V.
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bestariana1girl

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What Makes the Sequels Good?
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2015, 11:56:34 am »
Personally, I love the sequels because we get more of the story! I love LBT IV because I totally ship Littlefoot & Ali as a couple when they grow up!  :lol . I also really enjoy LBT V, I always am interested in how everything changed in the Great Valley, and how the kids want to be together no matter what; plus Chomper is so cute as a baby!  :p

Ludichris1

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« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2015, 12:41:19 pm »
Quote from: NewOrder,Dec 15 2015 on  07:03 AM
LBT XI: ...with no great songs to remember...
I agree with most of the other stuff, but this? "Girls and Dads and If Only I think are very great songs  :p

NewOrder

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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2015, 12:43:17 pm »
Quote from: Ludichris1,Dec 15 2015 on  04:41 PM
I agree with most of the other stuff, but this? "Girls and Dads and If Only I think are very great songs  :p
Ah! I forgot about If Only, my bad :p It is a great song.

Girls and Dads, it's a fun song, but I wouldn't say it's great or memorable, it's sort of like Friends for Dinner.
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landbeforetimelover

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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2015, 02:02:15 pm »
I do agree that I look back on the earlier sequels that I grew up with and they seem more special than the later sequels.  However, I also want to know more of the story.  In movies, they try to make you care about the characters, and I care about Littlefoot, Cera, and the others.  I want to know what happens to them.  I want to see them as they grow and learn and have fun with each other.  Even LBT 13 was special because we got to see more of the gang.  I didn't like the storyline, and the yellow bellies annoyed me.  But it was still nice to see what was going on with the gang again.  And regardless of how LBT 14 turns out, it will be nice to get an update about how things are going after 8 long years.  I realize the characters aren't real and it's just a movie, but when you're watching it, you get into it.  And that's the goal of movie makers.

pokeplayer984

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« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2015, 02:01:39 am »
I think I've got some good material to work with here.  I'll be starting this article on Sunday.  Hopefully, I can get it done before the end of the year.  I'll keep you all updated on the progress of it.

Bruton the Iguanodon

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« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2015, 02:30:09 am »
I want to know what you think, NewOrder!  :smile

NewOrder

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« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2015, 02:55:06 pm »
About what Bruton? The first sequels?

Looking forward to reading your article pokeplayer (:
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pokeplayer984

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« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2015, 11:22:23 pm »
So, it is currently in production and you can catch it as I make it in my signature.  I'll do my best to update it daily.  Any feedback you can give as I go will be helpful.

Campion1

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« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2015, 12:36:51 am »
The series definitive goal is getting me to feel like a kid again IMHO. Have some nice wondrous music, a few heartwarming moments and make sure that the characters are cute. The songs always managed to make me cringe unless it was LBT 5 IIRC, but if they can mange to be decent or have some entertaining animation then that's an extra bonus. The absolute way to kill it though is to annoy the viewer. Do that, then it's over. Otherwise, it should be fine.

Bruton the Iguanodon

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« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2015, 09:42:33 pm »
Quote from: NewOrder,Dec 20 2015 on  01:55 PM
About what Bruton? The first sequels?

Looking forward to reading your article pokeplayer (:
Yes, please.   :smile

pokeplayer984

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« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2015, 03:39:50 am »
Wow!  I'm still in the middle of talking about LBT 2 and I have more to talk about than I thought.

This could take longer than I expected.

In fact, I may have to learn a few HTML tricks to make it look pretty on my site.

Bruton the Iguanodon

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« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2015, 10:46:07 pm »
Quote from: NewOrder,Dec 20 2015 on  01:55 PM
About what Bruton? The first sequels?

Looking forward to reading your article pokeplayer (:
Look forward to hearing back. :smile

NewOrder

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« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2015, 11:37:40 am »
As promised here’s my review of the first sequels:

The Great Valley Adventure

I remember when I first saw it. It was back in 1998, I was almost 10 and had just fallen in love with The Land Before Time last Christmas. I found it on VHS at my local library, I cried when I saw it. I was so happy to find another adventure of my favourite Gang of Five little dinosaurs. Days before I remember thinking how cool it would be if they were friends with a Sharptooth, and out of the blue, they had already done it.

This is the adventure that started it all. Six years after the release of the original movie the franchise was all but dead. Perhaps the popularity of Jurassic Park and cartoons like Dink, the little Dinosaur, Denver, the Last Dinosaur, and the “live action” Dinosaurs, made Universal take a risk at reviving The Land Before Time and change it to a more kid friendly themed direct to home video franchise.

The movie itself is flawless. Both plot wise and with its clean cut animation. The darker tone of the first film was gone, but the light and positive vibe of the Great Valley was very present. The songs conveyed such a heartwarming feeling that even grown-ups would end up glued to the TV screen.

The introduction of Chomper, seeing Littlefoot overcome his fears to help out a new born baby, and the evolution shown by Cera and the rest of the gang in accepting Chomper as one of their own is very well made. This movie showed the first real glimpses of the Great Valley, as a wonderful paradise with dangers of its own. Having two Sharptooth attack the Valley and pose a real threat to the dinosaurs who lived there is something that we haven’t seen as well made as it was back then. We didn’t get to see much of the family dynamic between TGOF and their parents, but we still got enough of it to convey a clear message about the responsibilities of growing up.

It’s an hour long action packed LBT sequel with a very positive nature to it. It might not be my favourite, but it’s the most important one, because it was the first one, and it set the tone for all the sequels that we’ve got throughout the last twenty years since its release.

Time of the Great Giving

This was the first sequel I’ve ever watched. It aired on TV in December 1997. For years it was my least favourite sequel. Mostly due to its slow paced narrative, Mr. Threehorn’s portrayal being way too on the nose (no pun intended), and the bullies just never captured my attention.

Now I can see some merits to this movie. Kids like Us is one of the best songs in the franchise, one that gets a lot less credit than it should. The third act adventure in the Mysterious Beyond with the raptors was well paced and it raised the stakes for a story that based itself on escalating perilous obstacles throughout the narrative. Topsy has a very in depth character development that is somewhat sadly, brushed away in the future sequels. We also get to see more of Cera’s relationship with her father, and it gives us a glimpse to how the Great Valley cohabitation government between different species is managed.

It’s a Thanksgiving story that came out on Christmas. It has a very sweet message about sharing and not being afraid to just be yourself.

Journey through the Mists

Ali. The Great Valley Adventure was the one who started it all, but Journey through the Mists was the one who assured the franchise would stay alive and well for years to come. This story is focused around Littlefoot, and for the first time we see a love interest being introduced specifically for him. After Littlefoot’s Mother promise of him meeting new young longnecks when they’d reach the Valley, we had to wait three more sequels to finally meet one.

This is Littlefoot’s, but also Ali’s story. One of the guest characters that we’ve gotten to know more in depth in all of the sequels. Her character’s story arc is solid, and her promise to one day return to the Great Valley filled us with wonder and with the desire to see her new adventures together with the gang. Sadly, Universal has yet to deliver on that promise, and here I will disregard the TV Series.

We are also introduced to the first mystical object, the night flower. In many ways this sequel is the one who stays more true to the first film, in a way that it almost mirrors it. The death of the leaves is replaced with Grandpa Longneck’s disease, and the Great Valley with the Night Flower. Our hero’s set out on a perilous journey, with the help of their new friend Ali, who, along the way, learns how beautiful it is to share your life with friends of different backgrounds and with different traits from your own.

Their bonds are tightened, and the journey becomes less about the Night Flower and more about their friendship. Talk about high stakes, this little mystical object was the only thing that could save Littlefoot’s Grandpa. After losing his Mother this would be devastating for the character. But not only that, his passing would mean he would have to leave the Great Valley and his friends.

Oh, and the songs! Grandma’s Lullaby and It Takes all Sorts are timeless wonders that only a great movie like Journey through the Mists could’ve given to us.

On the whole, it’s impossible not to fall in love with this movie. And it’s even harder to not watch it and wonder about what happened to Ali, and what our gang’s next adventure will be like. For me this will always be the best sequel in the franchise, and it holds a very special place in my heart. I can even say that if it wasn’t for LBT IV, I would probably not even be that much of a fan of the franchise.

The Mysterious Island

This is a clearly split story between two directors and with different tones to each side of the narrative. It’s where we say goodbye to RAS, to the tone of the first sequels, and to what little references were left to the original film.

The first part has another high stakes event throw our friends back in the Mysterious Beyond. This time with the harder task of finding a new home for their herds to live in the near future. We again see the Mysterious Beyond as a desolate place, filled with death and the constant threat of Sharpteeth. Having the herds fight with each other forcing the gang to set out on their own was something straight out of RAS imagination.

Always There is possibly my favourite song. I listen to it sometimes when I’m finding it hard to fall asleep, or just when I’m feeling nostalgic. Big Water and Friends for Dinner are very entertaining and they’ve even been revived on LBT IX and on the TV Series.

We finally get to see Chomper again, even though his voice actor was just awful with a very annoying voice. We meet his parents again and see how it’s like to be a kind Sharptooth in the Mysterious Beyond. A shark attack and a Giganotosaurus facing off against two T-Rexs allowed for some jaw clenching action moments that managed to be a lot better done than the ones in Jurassic Park III, and that’s saying a lot.

Elsie was a bit too “deus ex machina”, but then again the gang has gotten a lot of those throughout the sequels. LBT V could’ve been a mess with two directors fighting to one up the other, but it managed to become a solid work of collaboration that managed to bridge the gap between the first sequels and the later ones.

Here are my two cents about the first four sequels, I hope it can help. It sure is hard to talk about the one’s you’ve loved and watched over and over again when you were growing up.
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Bruton the Iguanodon

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What Makes the Sequels Good?
« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2015, 08:52:17 pm »
Quote from: NewOrder,Dec 23 2015 on  10:37 AM
As promised here’s my review of the first sequels:

The Great Valley Adventure

I remember when I first saw it. It was back in 1998, I was almost 10 and had just fallen in love with The Land Before Time last Christmas. I found it on VHS at my local library, I cried when I saw it. I was so happy to find another adventure of my favourite Gang of Five little dinosaurs. Days before I remember thinking how cool it would be if they were friends with a Sharptooth, and out of the blue, they had already done it.

This is the adventure that started it all. Six years after the release of the original movie the franchise was all but dead. Perhaps the popularity of Jurassic Park and cartoons like Dink, the little Dinosaur, Denver, the Last Dinosaur, and the “live action” Dinosaurs, made Universal take a risk at reviving The Land Before Time and change it to a more kid friendly themed direct to home video franchise.

The movie itself is flawless. Both plot wise and with its clean cut animation. The darker tone of the first film was gone, but the light and positive vibe of the Great Valley was very present. The songs conveyed such a heartwarming feeling that even grown-ups would end up glued to the TV screen.

The introduction of Chomper, seeing Littlefoot overcome his fears to help out a new born baby, and the evolution shown by Cera and the rest of the gang in accepting Chomper as one of their own is very well made. This movie showed the first real glimpses of the Great Valley, as a wonderful paradise with dangers of its own. Having two Sharptooth attack the Valley and pose a real threat to the dinosaurs who lived there is something that we haven’t seen as well made as it was back then. We didn’t get to see much of the family dynamic between TGOF and their parents, but we still got enough of it to convey a clear message about the responsibilities of growing up.

It’s an hour long action packed LBT sequel with a very positive nature to it. It might not be my favourite, but it’s the most important one, because it was the first one, and it set the tone for all the sequels that we’ve got throughout the last twenty years since its release.

Time of the Great Giving

This was the first sequel I’ve ever watched. It aired on TV in December 1997. For years it was my least favourite sequel. Mostly due to its slow paced narrative, Mr. Threehorn’s portrayal being way too on the nose (no pun intended), and the bullies just never captured my attention.

Now I can see some merits to this movie. Kids like Us is one of the best songs in the franchise, one that gets a lot less credit than it should. The third act adventure in the Mysterious Beyond with the raptors was well paced and it raised the stakes for a story that based itself on escalating perilous obstacles throughout the narrative. Topsy has a very in depth character development that is somewhat sadly, brushed away in the future sequels. We also get to see more of Cera’s relationship with her father, and it gives us a glimpse to how the Great Valley cohabitation government between different species is managed.

It’s a Thanksgiving story that came out on Christmas. It has a very sweet message about sharing and not being afraid to just be yourself.

Journey through the Mists

Ali. The Great Valley Adventure was the one who started it all, but Journey through the Mists was the one who assured the franchise would stay alive and well for years to come. This story is focused around Littlefoot, and for the first time we see a love interest being introduced specifically for him. After Littlefoot’s Mother promise of him meeting new young longnecks when they’d reach the Valley, we had to wait three more sequels to finally meet one.

This is Littlefoot’s, but also Ali’s story. One of the guest characters that we’ve gotten to know more in depth in all of the sequels. Her character’s story arc is solid, and her promise to one day return to the Great Valley filled us with wonder and with the desire to see her new adventures together with the gang. Sadly, Universal has yet to deliver on that promise, and here I will disregard the TV Series.

We are also introduced to the first mystical object, the night flower. In many ways this sequel is the one who stays more true to the first film, in a way that it almost mirrors it. The death of the leaves is replaced with Grandpa Longneck’s disease, and the Great Valley with the Night Flower. Our hero’s set out on a perilous journey, with the help of their new friend Ali, who, along the way, learns how beautiful it is to share your life with friends of different backgrounds and with different traits from your own.

Their bonds are tightened, and the journey becomes less about the Night Flower and more about their friendship. Talk about high stakes, this little mystical object was the only thing that could save Littlefoot’s Grandpa. After losing his Mother this would be devastating for the character. But not only that, his passing would mean he would have to leave the Great Valley and his friends.

Oh, and the songs! Grandma’s Lullaby and It Takes all Sorts are timeless wonders that only a great movie like Journey through the Mists could’ve given to us.

On the whole, it’s impossible not to fall in love with this movie. And it’s even harder to not watch it and wonder about what happened to Ali, and what our gang’s next adventure will be like. For me this will always be the best sequel in the franchise, and it holds a very special place in my heart. I can even say that if it wasn’t for LBT IV, I would probably not even be that much of a fan of the franchise.

The Mysterious Island

This is a clearly split story between two directors and with different tones to each side of the narrative. It’s where we say goodbye to RAS, to the tone of the first sequels, and to what little references were left to the original film.

The first part has another high stakes event throw our friends back in the Mysterious Beyond. This time with the harder task of finding a new home for their herds to live in the near future. We again see the Mysterious Beyond as a desolate place, filled with death and the constant threat of Sharpteeth. Having the herds fight with each other forcing the gang to set out on their own was something straight out of RAS imagination.

Always There is possibly my favourite song. I listen to it sometimes when I’m finding it hard to fall asleep, or just when I’m feeling nostalgic. Big Water and Friends for Dinner are very entertaining and they’ve even been revived on LBT IX and on the TV Series.

We finally get to see Chomper again, even though his voice actor was just awful with a very annoying voice. We meet his parents again and see how it’s like to be a kind Sharptooth in the Mysterious Beyond. A shark attack and a Giganotosaurus facing off against two T-Rexs allowed for some jaw clenching action moments that managed to be a lot better done than the ones in Jurassic Park III, and that’s saying a lot.

Elsie was a bit too “deus ex machina”, but then again the gang has gotten a lot of those throughout the sequels. LBT V could’ve been a mess with two directors fighting to one up the other, but it managed to become a solid work of collaboration that managed to bridge the gap between the first sequels and the later ones.

Here are my two cents about the first four sequels, I hope it can help. It sure is hard to talk about the one’s you’ve loved and watched over and over again when you were growing up.
Oh, thank you! That was beautiful!  :smile

Reading that really makes me miss Roy Allan Smith. He's the best LBT director, IMO. Bluth's style is too dark and Grosvenor's is too kid-friendly (though not nearly as much as the Jamie guy who did WOF), but RAS managed to give a great balance. The only low points of his sequels were some average writing and a few bad songs (I'm sorry, "You're One Of Us Now" sucks). If the LBT franchise goes on beyond JOTB and anyone hear is lucky enough to direct a sequel one day, I hope they'll take on something close to his style.

Bruton the Iguanodon

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What Makes the Sequels Good?
« Reply #19 on: December 25, 2015, 06:45:46 pm »
Um...again, thanks!