Guest Author - Bonnie Sayers
Whenever a new Land Before Time movie debuts on video, Cartoon Network spends a weekend leading up to the release date by showing older movies from the series. My sons gear up for the new movie by familiarizing themselves with the characters of Littlefoot, Petrie, Cera, Duckie and Spike.
In The Land Before Time X – The Great Longneck Migration many of the dinosaurs are having lively sleep stories, otherwise known as dreams. This leads the way for the adventure of their lives, focusing on the Longnecks this time around. Many relate their sleep stories and get confused whether they are actually awake or asleep. We are introduced to Sue, an older Longneck through the voice of Bernadette Peters.
The longnecks sense something of great magnitude is about to happen and head off to parts unknown. Littlefoot accompanies his grandparents and Sue. His friends decide without permission to follow them on this journey and meet up with some Sharpteeth, which are T-Rex dinosaurs. Along the way they encounter an older Longneck who is not really sure where he is going, but they keep running into each other and decide to head off in the same direction together. This Longneck is Pat with the voice pleasantly offered by James Garner. They get stuck in a volcano eruption where Pat has an injury to his leg.
While the friends are on this adventure trying to find Littlefoot, he is meeting his Father for the first time when he wakes up on his grandfather’s backside to see herds of Longnecks at the same destination point. There is another Longneck close in age to Littlefoot and he is called Shorty. It turns out that the adult Longneck that has been raising Shorty and the leader of a large herd is the father Littlefoot never knew he had.
The voice of Kiefer Sutherland fits right in as the parent figure and begins with flashbacks explaining to a distraught Littlefoot why he never came face to face with his father before now. Nicholas enjoyed pointing out to me in the flashbacks Littlefoot’s Mother. She was in the original first movie before the series took off and did not make it through the earthshake due to a Sharp Tooth. The first movie is still one of my favorite’s in this series and I was glad to see the introduction of the never before mentioned parent.
Bron, Littlefoot’s father referred to Sharpteeth as Cowards when Littlefoot inquired to where they were as many Longneck’s gathered at this area. My son did not agree with that statement and when Bron stated that Sue could beat off more than one Sharptooth.
At this point Littlefoot was torn between a life with his grandparents or starting a new life with his father. One night he went back to his grandparent’s area to sleep and told them he had missed them. In the middle of the night Littlefoot spotted Shorty leaving the area, so he ran after him. They talked about Bron with Littlefoot suggesting they could be brothers.
Cera, Spike, Petrie and Ducky arrived with the injured Pat and a Sharptooth in pursuit of them. Bron and Littlefoot’s grandparents with the assistance of Shorty and Littlefoot were able to defeat them as the Longnecks congregated for the arrival of something really big. Shorty and Cera seemed to get along very well for the short time they were playing around.
The sky changed colors and Sue told Littlefoot and Shorty not to look directly into the sky. Littlefoot knew this was similar to his sleep story and while the lights were forming around the circle of life the Sharpteeth were alone in their corner. All the Dinosaurs stood strong trying to save the world as the lights passed each other. The sky did not fall as Littlefoot had dreamed and they assumed the strength of all these longnecks saved the world. Cera was wondering how she would explain that to her father, a threehorn.
Littlefoot’s grandparents said their goodbyes to his father, who had assumed Littlefoot would move on with him. All the herds were going back to their homes now with the kids inviting Pat to come back home with them to the Great Valley. Pat’s leg looked much better now and he was able to keep up with the pace.
Littlefoot finds it hard to explain to Bron that he is not ready to leave his friends and grandparent’s, but promises they will have many adventures when he is older. Bron suggests a possible visit of his herd to the Great Valley in the future. MNicholas was a bit confused during the solar eclipse segment, but that was due to the terminology they used within the context. Once I explained it to him and compared how they used sleep story instead of dreams he was okay with the story. He was pleased to know Littlefoot had a father after all. Nicholas was eight at the time we purchased The Land Before Time X – The Great Longneck Migration.
This paves the way for many more installments in the series. It was a great surprise to learn that Littlefoot would bump into his father and see the flashback sequences from his perspective. This gives more to the initial story and was not referenced at all on the back cover. Olivia Newton John performs a song entitled, Best of Friends.
It was nice to see the friends make a new acquaintance while Littlefoot was getting acquainted with his long lost father. These movies always have more than one story going on so the overall theme consists of the older and younger generations of dinosaurs coming together and connecting on another level. They all got to be a part of saving the world from destruction and made new friends in the process. The animation and scenery is perfect for the movie and they have a few songs spread out through the one hour and 25 minute movie.
The narrator for the series is John Ingle, also the voice for Cera’s father. He played for many years the character of Edward Quartermaine on General Hospital.
We have enjoyed all the movies in The Land Before Time series. Many of them were sold on ebay, but the first one is a favorite that we have kept. I do regret selling the Songs video and will be looking for that one this holiday season.
This was previously published on Epinions
This article is part of the themed series mentioned in The Interests of children with autism through the years
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