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Author Topic: Sharptooth Showcase - January 2020  (Read 262 times)

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rhombus

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Sharptooth Showcase - January 2020
« on: December 31, 2019, 01:52:10 AM »
Well, the new year is almost here. So at any time now we should expect our first antagonist to appear...



And there he is!  Really, there was only one way to begin the Year of the Antagonist, and that is with the original sharptooth who started it all.  For January 2020 we will be showcasing - Sharptooth!

In this topic please feel free to discuss Sharptooth as a character, to share your own creations (fanfics or fanart), or to mention some of your favorite fanworks of others involving this character.  For a full set of rules please see the 2020 Monthly Character Showcase topic but keep in mind that this is meant to be fun as opposed to any sort of contest.

I will go ahead and get the discussion started with the following questions:

1) How do you see the original Sharptooth in terms of his motivations?  Is he to be seen as a villain, or as merely another hungry predator in the Mysterious Beyond?

2) What qualities do you think the original Sharptooth has that subsequent sharpteeth in the series lacked?
« Last Edit: December 31, 2019, 01:46:54 PM by rhombus »


Go ahead and check out my fanfictions, The Seven Hunters, Songs of the Hunters, and Mender's Tale
Mender's Tale.

rhombus

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Re: Sharptooth Showcase - January 2020
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2019, 01:47:56 PM »
And bumped now that it is out of the admin area.  :evilsmile


Go ahead and check out my fanfictions, The Seven Hunters, Songs of the Hunters, and Mender's Tale
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Sneak

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Re: Sharptooth Showcase - January 2020
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2019, 04:39:42 PM »
YES

will write here after celebration is over.
Sorry, Tyran. Don't eat me.
STUPID COMMENTS SECTION!!!

RF: illustration: 0%
PD: writing: 38%

FLITD: done!
AGOHITB: done!
PHAW: writing: 40%

-------------------------------------------------
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Anagnos

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Re: Sharptooth Showcase - January 2020
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2020, 06:39:45 AM »
I am glad to see the Character Showcase return for another year and we do have very interesting characters to converse about this time. Without further ado, let’s get right into it…

I believe it is a highly controversial discussion whether sharptooth was a cruel villain who caused an unnecessary death or simply just an individual trying to survive in the brutal world as a predator. In order to properly understand him and his goal, merely observing Littlefoot’s perspective on the entire thing is not suitable enough as that doesn’t give the needed outlook on his characterization.

First of all, one must understand how difficult life must be in a world like this. Furthermore, in order for him to survive in this crude existence, he must devour others to placate his increasing hunger, and while that is not enough to label him as a monster, herbivores obviously do not see it this way as to them sharpteeth are simply just murderous beasts and nothing more.

Do I think that he is merely a villain seeking for nothing but satiation at the expanse of others? No, I do not believe that. But just because I can find myself sympathizing with him doesn’t mean that he hasn’t done terrible things in order to survive. I think everyone of us would make equally terrible things when the need to survive outweighs everything else. It is what you might call a survival instinct – nothing else besides that matters in the entire world, even if you would have to resort to murder.

Moreover, the film clearly only presents him as a villain desperate to conquer, but how can we be certain that he doesn’t feel regret over his actions while out of the shot? Perhaps the producers thought about this little fact that would have managed to humanize him, but perchance chose not to go with that as I don’t think many of us would have understood that when we were children.

I would like to remind people that these are only my personal feelings of the spoken character and by no means confirmed information. Anyone can make their own speculations about the Sharptooth and I think that there is not a single right answer or theory in that regard.

To end this post, I would like to post a little something that Don Bluth himself said about the Sharptooth as I really believe it brings more out the more unseen qualities of his personality in a rather simple way as this:

''Was he deficient in kindness and mercy? No! Was he evolutionary arrested or r******d? No! Simply put he was hungry. It is the law of nature to seek out food to satiate the appetite. So I reasoned, how could I hate the beast for doing what nature instinctively ordained? Just because he was big, growling and hungry didn't make him malevolent. He needed to step outside nature's boundaries to be a bad guy, embrace brutality over compassion, and harbour a vendetta or grudge that could twist his soul into an unnatural existence. That would be a true villain. Creative ideas are born out of conflict. I wanted a more dimensional bad guy, but I was outnumbered and finally gave in. Steven and George, in fact, the whole team, felt that the Rex's teeth did the job. More evil could be over-kill. If something can bite you, that's reason enough to fear it. The dinosaur children, simply put, are terrorized by their natural enemy. Although I knew our story would pack a dramatic wallop to the audience if they could hate Rex, not just fear him, I grew weary of pitching the idea. The most horrific villains are those who appear confident, cool and in control at first glance, while beneath the skin, you sense something is terribly wrong, and you never suspect the magnitude of the twisted horror inside until it is too late."
« Last Edit: January 01, 2020, 06:52:50 AM by Anagnos »

StrutEggStealer

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Re: Sharptooth Showcase - January 2020
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2020, 06:17:42 PM »
Quote
1) How do you see the original Sharptooth in terms of his motivations?  Is he to be seen as a villain, or as merely another hungry predator in the Mysterious Beyond?

2) What qualities do you think the original Sharptooth has that subsequent sharpteeth in the series lacked?

As a child watching the Original Land Before Time, I remember viewing the Sharptooth as a force to be reckoned with: a fierce, hungry, prowling beast. In short, I really didn't like him. From the angles of the scenes and the way he was portrayed, I clearly remember feeling my skin crawl as I watched that great big looming shadow appear to Littlefoot and Cera, and then hear the thud of footsteps and finally that horrible shrieking roar.

Now as a grown-up, I believe I've come to view Sharptooth as an animal out for his next meal, similarly to how Anagnos described him. And I agree that since the movie is largely from a child's perspective, that the world is big and scary and dangerous (Not saying it ain't to a grownup as well lol).

1) Considering my two very different viewpoints of this character taken at different points in my life, I can say that he's just out for himself, a lone bull wandering the prairies. Sharptooth is hungry and is simply following the rules of nature.

2) Now this is where is gets interesting: this Sharptooth was much more threatening, much more evil, and far more dangerous because of the perspective of the movie: younglings perceiving a threat. Sharptooth was primal and wild and terrifying. He didn't care WHO he went after as long as it meant food. While the resulting sharpteeth in the series had their moments, none of them could quite match that fear, that unsease that OG Sharptooth evoked onscreen :)
"Not all who wander are lost"
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StardustSoldier

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Re: Sharptooth Showcase - January 2020
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2020, 01:04:46 AM »
Happy New Year everyone! I too would like to voice my pleasure at seeing the Character Showcase return for another year. I think these threads are a fantastic idea. :DD

The first Land Before Time antagonist, and in my opinion, still the best. :)

I haven't read the Illustrated Story book adaptation myself, but I am aware that it portrays Sharptooth as much more overtly sinister, rather than simply being a hungry predator. However, I think I like his portrayal in the film better. It gives him just the right touch of ambiguity regarding his true motives. If anything, I think it makes him scarier if we don't know exactly what he's thinking.

Although that said, I personally thought he still came off sinister even then, so it's not hard to imagine him as a genuine villain even if we don't see inside his head.

As for what he has that many other Sharpteeth lack, he comes off much more dangerous and intimidating. Which is interesting when you think about it, because he set the template for most of the Sharpteeth in the sequels, and he really isn't portrayed all that differently from his successors. One thing that does add to his menace is...
Spoiler: ShowHide
He actually kills someone.
That, and the darker tone of the first film in general lends itself well to making him stand out as an antagonist. Still, it does make me wonder why many of the later Sharpteeth just weren't as threatening.

Mumbling

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Re: Sharptooth Showcase - January 2020
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2020, 05:26:21 AM »
Ahh, this will be a good year for the character showcase! Time to put the baddies in the spotlight  :evilsmile

1) How do you see the original Sharptooth in terms of his motivations?  Is he to be seen as a villain, or as merely another hungry predator in the Mysterious Beyond?

2) What qualities do you think the original Sharptooth has that subsequent sharpteeth in the series lacked?

This first question is an interesting one. I would definitely not call him a villain per se, as we don't know his reasoning (unlike some of the other antagonists in the sequels, who had evil plans). A hungry predator is much more likely, though you would also think that baby dinosaurs would not make the most filling meal. Looking at real world predators, it is of course easier to hunt down the young or ill compared to a fully grown dinosaur. But since we just had this massive earthshake after the first encounter with sharptooth, you would think that dead or wounded dinosaurs could be found all over the place. T-rexes are probably no scavengers, but if they are hungry they would probably go for a dead adult rather than chasing down some kids. So my answer is a little bit of both. Almost as if Sharptooth wants to take revenge for losing his eye.

The second question is easier. The later Sharpteeth lacked the feeling that they were an actual threat. There is no dreadful feeling if you knew they are close. Heck, Littlefoot even ends up in the mouth of one of them, and the Sharptooth doesn't bother forcing his mouth shut until after 30 seconds, right after Littlefoot jumps out. How can you see them as serious predators? The original Sharptooth causes more dread, especially when Littlefoot thinks he is dead. The feeling that the loss of his mother's life might be for nothing probably adds to the growing despise for the original Sharptooth. I really appreciate that they didn't hold back and made Sharptooth look very menacing, with proper teeth, red eyes and roars that make you want to run away.

I really enjoy the quote you posted, Anagnos. Thanks for that!

pokeplayer984

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Re: Sharptooth Showcase - January 2020
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2020, 06:50:41 PM »
About a decade ago, I made the stance that The Original Sharptooth has superpowers.  I still believe that to this day.

This is the hill I will die on regardless of what anyone says.

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Re: Sharptooth Showcase - January 2020
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2020, 08:58:00 AM »
Sharptooth is scary. Probably the most personal villain of the entire franchise.

Maybe this is a biased viewpoint given how much LBT5 tries to push the "not all sharptooth are bad" mentality, but I feel like they did make him a more compelling villain then the average sharptooth. While antagonists like Ichy & Dil speak and we know their motivations for eating the gang, we usually know zilch for sharptooth in general, except the movie goes out of its way to show his eye being impaled, implying a grudge with Littlefoot that the longneck later returns in earnest.

So yes, despite seeing him as a predator, I think they portray him as a more personal villain, than say, the random sharptooth in LBT8.

As far what made Sharptooth so different... just the tone about him, the way he's drawn, it almost feels like he could legitimately kill off the Gang. When he jump-scares Ducky, you truly felt that. Later villains are either comic-relief or lack that dread and tension.
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ImpracticalDino

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Re: Sharptooth Showcase - January 2020
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2020, 04:26:05 PM »
*just copying and pasting from a convo I had with Owls on another thread cuz I'm too lazy to write an original response* :lol

In my opinion, I would still argue that Sharptooth was evil...or at least the most evil in comparison to the other antagonists featured in the LBT movies. It feels like such a waste of energy to chase the Gang of Five for who knows how long, and still end up empty handed. I guess we could also assume from his perilous pursuit that he was unsuccessful in capturing any other prey off screen, so Sharptooth has to resort to getting a meal that is easy to get (seemingly) but at a huge drawback of any nutrition. Being in an environment where leaf eaters are pretty scarce due to the lack of vegetation also doesn't help the situation at all. But then again, what about all the herds traveling to the Great Valley? There were a lot of casualties, so theoretically, there should be scattered corpses all around for a Sharptooth feast, correct? Was that ever shown in the movie? We also have to factor in the Diplodocus herd that ran up to the trees and ate up all the tree stars that the Gang should've had. Where the hell did they went after that? I have no clue honestly. The last factor to consider is the chance of an encounter. With all of these food jackpots littered across the land due to the Earthshake and the vast expansiveness of the Mysterious Beyond itself, what were the chances that the Gang would encounter Sharptooth not just once, but twice!? Unfortunately, a decent chance because both the Gang and Sharptooth were traveling towards the direction of where the fabled Great Valley supposedly exists. But even then, if Sharptooth had some sort of consciousness and a bit of empathy, he would leave the kids alone and move towards the food source that is plentiful AND easy pickings at the same time.

So with all things considered, I now think that Sharptooth could've made much better and more rational decisions in the first movie, but he isn't a complete monster. Very flawed, but maybe he thought he had no other choice but to hunt the children down, otherwise face starvation.

Poor Littlefoot, what an unfortunate situation to end up in. I kinda wonder what thoughts were running inside the Sharptooth's mind the moment he was hit in the eye with the thorn - albeit by accident because Littlefoot was trying to escape from his pursuer. A normal and rational mind would shake it off and let it go, but not for this guy. I would even say that he wasn't completely open minded before his eye ends up getting injured, making him more enraged. During a hunt, the natural survival instincts probably held mostly dominant over his normal cognitive abilities. So when the Littlefoot accidentally hurt him in the eye, it was most likely taken as some sort of challenge by Sharptooth, and therefore that's how the endless chase for the blood and meat of the Gang started.

Or we could just say that Sharptooth is a very egotistical guy in general and doesn't like his pride to be hurt like that. The more simple explanation of course, but at the same time, not explaining the full scope of possibilities though. :p
And the really, really simplified explanation is revenge. :o

For a little addendum to my original two posts, I feel like the version of Sharptooth depicted in the book was simply made just to appeal to the masses of people who just want to confirm their bias that he's all and only evil. While I also hold the same bias to a certain degree, I agree with viewpoints from both the book and what the intended message that Don Bluth was trying to push out to the viewers.
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