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Littlefoot Getting rid of Sharptooth

LittlefootOnASkateboard

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I'm really glad I found this old thread. Some really deep insightful analyses being shared here. It's been a joy to read them all. The conversation of whether Littlefoot did kill Sharp Tooth for revenge or not reframes his entire character. If his sole motivation for engaging the t-rex was to avenge his mother then the way he did it (endangering his friends and Ducky especially) would be selfish. However, I think it's unlikely that Littlefoot did it without being at least, in part, subconsciously motivated by the desire for revenge. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.

 I had to rewatch the scene just now just to really see what might be going through the little apatosaurus's head.

  • So here's the scene where the kids wade across the water. So we start with Sharp Tooth's roar, everyone's hiding behind that rock. Littlefoot hops out from behind the rock immediately. "Let's get rid of him once and for all" he says and starts laying out his plan while his friends are still cowering behind the rock.  He doesn't seem as much fearful as he is angry.
  • He details his plans. It's remarkable how quickly he figures it out. He seems actually a little excited. Completely confident in the plan it took him 10 seconds to come up with. Again, while the very real possibility of Sharp Tooth finding seems to be his implied motivation, I'm sensing it's not what drives him here. Also note that he doesn't seem the least afraid himself, in contrast to his friends. He probably doesn't even fully realize the danger that he is putting himself and his friends in.
  • Later, Littlefoot is definitely the first to indicate that Ducky should be bait. I think the way the other kids are smiling here indicate that they too perhaps don't fully realize the danger they'll be putting Ducky in. To Littlefoot, this seems like a game to him. And the smile on Littlefoot's face here doesn't really suggest indifference or callousness to me.

So it seems like Littlefoot's motivation could be the safety of the group. That he realizes that they'll only truly be safe once Sharp Tooth is dealt with once and for all. And considering how this one t-rex has been tracking them since the "earth shake", it's not entirely unreasonable. But that's not how it comes across in the context of the film at all. Quite the opposite, Littlefoot seems quite excited to get back at Sharp Teeth and despite the danger it puts them in. It's not like he's corned, with no choice but to lure the beast that's been stalking them into a trap. Sharp Tooth is even heading away from the kids at this point.

So even though he may not realize it himself, what drives him is probably a desire to kill the creature that's been stalking them and that took from him the most important other person in his life - his mother.

So does that make Littlefoot evil? Short answer: no. It makes him a kid. He's a smart, sensitive and genuinely caring kid. That he cares about his friends has been demonstrated many times.

But like a kid, his risk assessment is underdeveloped. And kids too have a deeply ingrained sense of revenge. Kids too experience anger and malice. In fact, these tendencies usually develop in children even fore things like empathy.

So we have here a traumatized, starved and also incredibly resourceful and intelligent kid. Who knows how much suppressed anger and frustration he's dealing with? Who knows when he last ate? And now he's finally given a chance to get back at Sharp Tooth. He's smart, so he figures out a plan to do it. And he executes it. He doesn't consider the danger it'd be putting everyone in, not because they're not important to him, but because it doesn't occur to him. It's nothing but pure impulsive opportunism on his part. Let's not forget that Littlefoot risked his life to save Ducky mare moments ago. There should be no question that he cares about her.

It's also worth noting that Littlefoot is never seen endangering his friends live in such way again. In fact, in the sequels he's quite protective of his friends. Sometimes more so than what is rational. He'll leave them behind when there is something he needs to do outside the safety of the Valley, not realizing that they're stronger together.

I wonder if seeing Ducky so close to being comped up by the angry rex, and Petrie almost drowning, filled him with regret at that moment. Maybe he's compensating for that, and this could explain why he's much more protective and considerate in the sequels?

Anyway, so basically yes, I believe revenge was a subconsciously motivating factor, and that he acted recklessly but didn't understand the risks either. I don't think it would be fair to judge Littlefoot based on his actions here. I think, in context, they're fully understandable.

But that doesn't change the fact that he did risk his friends, especially Ducky. And that's probably something that's gonna stay with him and shape his personality and his actions going forward.

Quote from: aabicus (LettuceBacon&Tomato) on January 29, 2008, 11:29:37 PM
Quote from: aabicus (LettuceBacon&Tomato) on January 29, 2008, 11:29:37 PM
Don't forget that all 5 of them were hungry, and had been hiking for days. Since we are all sitting, well-fed and watered (and hopefully not in any immediate danger) in front of our computers, we have the luxury of unlimited foresight and a clear head. When one is in a dangerous situation, one tends to lose the ability to think absolutely clearly. I believe the desicion was much more on-the-spot than we imagine.

When I try to put myself in Littlefoot's case, I think of when I was 15, and got lost in a forest outside my old house. I had dozed off in a large tree, and woke up to find it about twilight. Remembering that dad said never to panic, I calmly slid out of the tree and thought about where to go. I thought: "Due to the Coriolis Effect, my body is tuned to walk counter-clockwise, since I live in the Northern Hemisphere. The sun is setting to my left, and in the morning I can see it from my bedroom window, which faces east. Therefore, east (and home) is to my right, and I should follow any paths that lead clockwise from my current position, since I want to retrace my path."

While it sounds like I had thought this through really well, in reality, I was cold, hungry and wanted to get home. I wasn't exactly sure what I was doing, and the logic was proably reall flawed, but I thought, "Screw it, I gotta do something." Also, I didn't have the luxury of double-checking my logic, and making sure I knew I was right: daylight was almost gone, and I needed to use it while I had it.

Also, to follow my unblazed clockwise direction, I strayed off the path and did some risky things I certainly wouldn't have tried during the day, in a safer stuation. However, once I had made my original desicion, I didn't think enough to even consider changing course. Evey move I made was calculated to shave as much time off of my journey as possible, regardless of the consquences if I misstep.

I wound up exiting the forest and finding myself downtown, which was petty far away from my house.

Anyway, the point is, Littlefoot and co. couldn't afford to think clearly, and weigh the possible solutions anymore than I could've 5 years ago. They needed to make a desicion and stick with it. Littlefoot conjured in his head a possibillity of a way to eliminate Sharptooth, and once it was fully formed, he implemented it. If the others had had any better ideas, they would've said them, but they obviously didn't. And then they fell into place behind him.

Also, if anyone says that Littlefoot didn't look tired or exhausted, trust me he probably was. One of the marks of a good leader is the ability to hide one's own exhaustion, and put on a brave face for the others in your party. since Littlefoot had shown in the past that he was going and willing to be their leader, he knew he'd have to act the part completely, to keep the others going.

Precisely! This is perspective here is so important. When you consider Littlefoot's actions, you have to also consider his mental state, his exhaustion, the trauma he's been through.

Yet even with the movie as it is I doubt revenge to be the central motive of Littlefoot's decision. While he is certainly not immune to such traits I don't see Littlefoot as a character who would willingly risk the live of others to satisfy a personal hunger for revenge. I do not deny that Littlefoot probably did feel satisfied about the death of the Sharptooth, but I would not go so far as to consider his desire for revenge the central motive. Sharptooth did pose a threat to him and the others and Sharptooth had been very persistent in the pursuit of the kids. Had Sharptooth not been on the track of Littlefoot I suppose we can take it for granted that Littlefoot would not have tried to track down Sharptooth to get his revenge. Sharptooth happened to appear in a place where the terrain was suited to trap him and Littlefoot took that chance to get rid of the permanent threat. The lucky coincidence of the suitable terrain and the need to get rid of the permanent threat seem to be more plausible central motives for Littlefoot's decision than thirst for revenge.

This is also a very important point that I considered in my response. We shouldn't forge that Sharp Tooth did pose a continues threat to the kids throughout the movie and Littlefoot would have been aware of this. I have no doubt that this is a big reason why he did what he did. Still, I read it less as a decision made out of fear for his own life at that moment or in the future, and more like Littlefoot taking the chance to get back at the t-rex for everything he had done. And on that list would be all the times he attacked them AND what he did to his mother.

Littlefoot wanted to be rid of him once and for all. Like he said himself.

Lastly. I just had to...


Credit to Malte279 btw for that idea. 


Littlefoot is just not the revengeful nature who would stand there proclaiming something like: "Never shall I set a foot (however little they may be ;)) in the Great Valley before I haveth not spilled my foe's blood and satisfied my thirst for revenge!" Nor do I believe that he would think along these lines (lest in a poor imitation of middle English ;)



« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 09:50:25 AM by LittlefootOnASkateboard »


Sneak

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I didn't know such thread existed here on forum. :O

Well, I told my opinion on this topic couple times before in different threads.

Here's what I think.

Littlefoot's motivation differs in different versions of the film (theatrical release and early script version. Different versions of finding the valley): he decided to get rid of Sharptooth to save little group from being stalked by him, or to protect Great Valley from him. At least, this is what movie / script lines try to tell us.
But, at the same time, I personally think that Littlefoot seeked for revenge in his mind. Maybe, just maybe, it was the MAIN reason, his primary desire, and he tried to hide it from others, and even from himself, with making up and explaining other important and valid reasons why they should get rid of Sharptooth.

Littlefoot is a very good hearted boy, yes. Of course we expect to see only good actions and pure thoughts from him. But... he's still a 5-years old kid. With still not fully formed psyche and worldview. Who recently got a serious child trauma.

Let's be honest - remember your early childhood. Remember moments when someone hurted you very badly. It can be serious like somebody hit, humiliated or insulted you, or something silly or moments when you were guilty but you still felt like it was unfair and hurtful. Now tell me - was there cases when your first thought was not to try to reason with person who hurted you, to make a piece with him, to apology, or to ignore  and forget him, BUT make a revenge, harmful as possible?...

That's what I prefer to think. No matter what version of movie, behind Littlefoot's pure motives there WAS a revenge. And he used his friends and put them at grave danger when he made them be involved into it, performing a plan to get rid from person who was responsible for great loss in his life.

I prefer to think that in critical moment, right before Cera appeared, when friends couldn't do anything to stop Sharptooth, standing on the cliff, when death was closer than ever, Littlefoot could realize that he put his friends, his huge responsibility (it was his main goal - to lead them to the Great Valley, since the moment when he met Ducky), at grave danger, and he's the one to be blamed. Well, actually, even if there wasn't revenge motive, I think that's what Littlefoot thought at that moment.

Of course such vengeful motives doesn't make Littlefot evil, in my opinion. But it was interesting to see Littlefoot from this side, with dark thoughts visiting him. Thoughts that COULD radically change his personality, form his worldview and and life position, and make him different person in the worst circumstances.

And I think that one of the best things that sequels gave us is introducing Chomper and his parents. There, we could see that Littlefoot didn't become some kind of avenger against all sharpteeth in the world. There, after some new adventures, we could see Littlefoot's formed view of sharpteeth. For him, sharpteeth are regular dinosaurs: they grow up from innocent kids, they have the same feelings, they make families and have their own lives.

After all, like Rooter said: "lt is nobody's fault. The great circle of life has begun, but, you see, not all of us arrive together at the end."
It wasn't Sharptooth's fault.

After all, Sharptooth himself hadn't any evil intentions when he attacked Littlefoot and his mother. (at least in theatrical version of the film, which I consider as canon, unlike book version). He just acted natural at that moment.

(Seeds of evil could appear in Sharptooth's revenge subplot that was hidden behind main plot - stalking gang for food. In my opinion, this motive also took the place in the story, and it's pretty interesting to see how it reflects Littlefoot's revenge against Sharptooth himself. But that's different topic for discussion.)

Lastly. I just had to...


Good one!  :littlefootmad
« Last Edit: September 13, 2021, 09:37:45 AM by Sneak »
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