The Land Before Time: The Animated Series
The DVD cover advertises four episodes of the hit television program The Land Before Time. Never before has the word hit been more misused.
The Mysterious Tooth Crisis
The first episode begins with the characters all talking at once about some adult who has a surprise for them. I thought that this would be a horrible way to start the series, what with nobody being introduced or a premise being established but as it turns out this is the second episode. Instead of having the DVD start with the first episode it just doesn't have the first episode. I guess they figured people buying this DVD would already be familiar with the show.
An adult triceratops has a surprise to show the main characters. Her name is Tria. For some reason I thought they called her Mrs. Brisby and had to go back to check. Lay off, they were all talking at once. Mrs. Brisby can be found on a much better DVD.
Tria want to show the kids her favorite place in the great valley her secret getaway... her hidden mud pool! Oh great, this is the episode where they get molested. Hidden mud pool is code for butt hole.
“We're going to a mud hole?” Sarah asks before the credits kick in.
The line that ends the cold open and is suppose to make you intrigued enough to stick around for the entire show is “ We're going to a mud hole?”
The theme song by the way is so generic it could have been written by Phil Collins for a Disney movie. Not impressed.
Cera is wondering what is special about mud but Tria assures her that she will know when she sits in it. It is specials because it is poop. Tria then says its nice to let one self go, while looking like she just had an orgasm. The group is split, half want to get out of there and the others want to go poop and pee all over each other
Ruby Cera and Sarah go to the mud hole, although Sarah is forced to by her father.
Littlefoot, Chomper, Peitry and Ducky go play soccer.
I'm not sure which is lamer, sitting in mud or playing soccer. Probably soccer.
Chomper tries to bite an acorn and loses a tooth. Chomper flips his shit and starts running amok, like a cat that has been let out of the bag. None of the dinosaurs have heard of losing a tooth, although I would imagine it would be a common occurrence for them. They bite hard things and don't practice oral hygiene. Its bound to happen.
Cera's dad wanders by and tells Chomper that he has leprosy. Not like that, he just says that a dinosaur loses a tooth, then his tail falls off, and by nightfall he is nothing but bones. Holy moly, what a psychopath.
The gang goes to see Mr. Thicknose, a triceratops who must hate his name. He says he knows a lot of ways to stick things together and there is no reason it shouldn't work on teeth. Um, okay. Then he breaks into a cool Caribbean tune.
The three methods of tooth sticking Mr Thicknose tries during the course of the song fail to work. Gotta give him credit though, for a dinosaur knowing three sticky things is pretty impressive. Most dinosaurs don't even understand the concept.
They decide to find Ruby because maybe she knows something about teeth. But she is at the secret mudpool! If only they had taken their friend's invitation out of politeness instead of ditching her. Cruel karma you rule us all with an iron glove.
Meanwhile Cera is refusing to sit in the mud because she is a colossal bitch
Chomper tries tracking Ruby by following her scent but he leads them into a cave clearly too small for Tria to fit in. The cave turns out to be full of bees.
The bees chase the dinosaurs out. Well that was a good waste of time. Littlefoot suggests they climb a large mountain as it will provide them good view of the entire valley and hopefully of their mud bound friends.
The grass covered path that is only at a slight incline proves to be too much for Chomper who nearly falls to his death. In the process he loses his tooth, which he has been carrying around thinking that it must be reattached or else he will disintegrate. Luckily Petrie flies down and gets it. Oh good, I thought Chomper was going to lose the tooth and then be faced with the thought of the end of his life as the clock slowly ticked down to nightfall. Glad we avoided all that tension and drama.
At the top of the mountain they see the mudpool
Meanwhile Sarah has fallen into the mud and is amazed at how warm it is. Oh god, it is poop isn't it. I thought I was making a joke.
On the way to the mudhole Chomper falls in some quicksand. He is pulled free but has dropped his tooth. So him not losing the tooth on the mountain was pointless except that the episode would have been two minutes shorter. Chomper is bummed. Littlefoot and Ducky tell him they don't care about the amount of teeth he has, they will still be his friend. Little comfort if you think you are going to die. Die from tooth deficiency.
Littlefoot finds Ruby and those who are with her follow at the prospect of adventure. When Cera finds out the hub bub is over a missing tooth she blows a nut and starts yelling because she is a bitch.
Ruby explains that a sharptooth losing a tooth is neither out of the ordinary or deadly. Then they all sing a song where Ruby says that losing a tooth is strange and also normal. Oh, so its an allegory for puberty. Gotcha.
Got that was tedious. The premise was blasé, the story had to be padded, and everything any of the characters said made me want to beat the voice actor to death with my rubber Land Before Time puppets from Pizza Hutt. I think Littlefoot's voice actor was the only one who even tried to sound like the original character and this includes the guy whose been doing Petrie since the second movie.
Unresolved Plot Lines
Why did Cera's dad say Chomper was going to die? Even if he didn't know that shartpteeth lose their teeth and grow knew ones he still had no reason to say that a dinosaur losing a tooth will be dead by nightfall. What is wrong with this guy?
The Missing Fast Water Adventure
Cera's dad is digging a hole. Chomper offers to help and he tells scoffs at the idea of someone with such little arms being able to dig. This lowers Chomper's self esteem. He tells Ruby about his body issues, and Ruby points out that while his arms are small he does have hands which are awesome. Chomper throw's some rocks around in a show of superiority of hands over horns but his bipedal display is cut short by an earthquake.
As a result of the earthquake the river, and as a result other water sources that fed from the river, have dried up. The adults decide to have a meeting to discuss this wave making disaster. Wasn't the water drying up a plot in one of them movies? Yes it was Littlefoot's grandfather tells me a few seconds later. Okay, it is pretty cool that the show is willing to make references to the movies. Somebody must have watched those.
Littlefoot thinks that if the earthquake caused the water to dry up then there must be a way to bring the water back. Like that other time the water dried up. All the adults think this is hooey and Cera's dad tells Littlefoot that one day he will learn the difference between things he can change and things he can not change. Clearing out the blockage in the river should be something he can change. Cera's dad just don't know shizzle.
Littlefoot decides to go do what he wanted to do in the first place. All his friends agree to accompany him because they have nothing better to do. They find the part of the river where rocks and logs have fallen and created a dam. It took them like five minutes to get here. If it was me I would go back and tell Cera's dad to suck my asshole because you can do things about dams blocking rivers.
To see how deep the water behind the dam is Ducky goes for a swim. Unfortunately these waters are filled with danger. Those on the land notice something is swimming at her and they have no way to worn her. Get out of there Ducky, its not worth dying for!
Luckily its just Mo the Ophthalmosaurus, we'll call him Mo for short. He was featured in The Land Before Time IX: Journey to Big Water, wow the continuity in this episode is staggering.
They even sing an updated version of the song Big Big Water from The Mysterious Island. That movie is the only time The Land Before Time franchise has had good music. Big Big Water is bested only by Friends for Dinner from that same film. The rest of the songs from all the movies are tied for last place because they all blow.
Pleased with the success of the song Mo agrees to help his friends free up the water. The problem with clearing out the dam is that Mo, and other big water swimmers will be trapped in the Great Valley if the water flows too quickly. They need to get the water flowing but slowly enough that the water dwelling creatures will have time to swim back to the big water. Also I haven't mentioned it in awhile but Chomper is still bummed out about his arms, but soon he will learn why having small arms can be an advantage * Spoilers *
Operation “Dam Destruction” is going well, except for Chomper's contribution which is hurt by his small arms and low self esteem. His arms are so weak that he falls into the water. Chomper is saved from drowning at the last moment. Not only are tiny arms embarrassing but dangerous.
It looks like enough rocks are cleared for the water to flow at a safe speed, but the current causes a rock slide that again blocks the water way. Ruby thinks that they need a new plan Stan, as more rock slides will occur if they clear the obstruction in the same manner.
Spike figures out that there is a log in the pileup that if cleared will act as a channel for the water if a rock that is inside of it is cleared out. Spike may appear dumb but he is actually just autistic. He can't really communicate normally but is obsessed with pipes and can recognize one from 30 feet away. The only problem is that the log is too small for anybody to reach into it. Oh, if only there was somebody who had tiny arms, maybe somebody who thought his arms were too small to be useful, but could be used now. Oh yeah there's Chomper. He clears the log.
With the water flowing again they all say their goodbyes to Mo and return to the great valley where Chomper presumably tells Cera's dad to fuck off.
10/10 for Big Big Water.
References to movies
The Lone Dinosaur Returns
Doc, the Lone Dinosaur, is one of those things that you try to forget because it is really really stupid. He is the cliched slow talking non-nonsense cowboy who always shoots the bad guy to save the girl, but also a dinosaur. He was in one of the movies and now he is back.
Littlefoot recalls the story of how he tried to bring the good luck back to the great valley by getting a tooth out of a dead sharp tooth's mouth, but it wasn't dead, at least not until Doc showed up and killed it to hell by dropping a mesa on it. Pretty intense.
Chomper is concerned that Doc is there to kill him for being a sharptooth. Cera directly telling him this doesn't help. Cera is a bitch.
points out that what will happen won't happen until it happens so
they might as well go to sleep and be well rested for
That night Chomper has a dream that Doc kills him, and is red. Chomper must have assumed Doc is a communist and born without an anus. Maybe Chomper should be afraid; what does he eat? As a Sharptooth there really isn't anything for him too eat other then other dinosaurs. I remember this being a plot point in movies. Doc's entire premise is that he wanders around killing sharptooths (sharpteeth?) and Chomper is one of the enemy.
The decision is made to hide Chomper. Looks like a chance for hijinks if you ask me.
Littlefoot is in charge of keeping Doc distracted until Chomper can be hidden. Since he planned on hanging out with Doc anyways this convenient. Doc asks Littlefoot if he has seen Dara who is apparently Doc's new lady friend. This disappoints Littlefoot because you can't very well be the lone dinosaur with some pootang on your heel. Doc doesn't care. You don't get called the lone dinosaur by caring. You get called the lone dinosaur by being lone all the time, so I suppose he will have to change his name.
Doc walks around looking for Dara, and Littlefoot follows him. Chomper and his cohorts see that Doc is looking for somebody and assumes he is looking for Chomper. I told you there would be hijinks.
Cera sarcastically talks about how they need to hide Chomper and overall appears to be having way to much fun toying with his fear and stupidity. The gang ends up on the wrong end of a rock slide. I swear, there is a rock slide or earthquake or something else where the ground moves in every episode.
Since the hiding place of standing on rocks without cover didn't work due to the rock slide, and not the reason it shouldn't have worked, namely because they were standing on rocks without cover, they instead decide under an outcropping on top of a cliff which is Peatie's house. It is slightly less stupid then the last hiding spot so they go for it.
Within moments of taking up the hiding spot Doc finds them. Of course he isn't looking for Chomper. He does turn out to be kind of a racist though, showing disgust at the idea of being a friend with a Sharptooth. Oh well, Clint Eastwood is a racist and we still love him. Maybe this will turn out like Gran Torino. Remember that documentary on Clint Eastwood's car for the Speed Channel where he ended up getting killed by the Asians? I was surprised that didn't get mentioned on the news.
Chomper offers to use his nose to find Dara, not sure how this would work since he doesn't know what she smells like, but Doc says that he will never accept help from a sharptooth. Chomper, of course, finds Dara. She is sinking in some mud in the swamp. No word on how warm it is. The kids fail to save her but Doc shows up to take care of business. I guess he would have found her no matter what Chomper did. Hurray for making an effort.
Doc admits he was wrong, being prejudiced just because a certain group of people keeps trying to murder you is wrong. He tells Littlefoot that nobody has ever told him he was wrong before and that Littlefoot was right to call him a douche earlier. Doc then makes Littlefoot promise to tell him whenever he is wrong in the future.
Great, after watching this episode kids will think its okay to sass talk their parents/wandering cowfolk. Thanks a lot Land Before Time: The Series.
Its the oldest trick in the book, take a beloved one time character, bring him back, and make him a bigot.
So What Does Chomper Eat
Insects, I think, which when you think about it are still living creatures.
The Legend of the Story Speakers
Grandpa is telling the kids stories. In the story a longneck, named Starwatcher, goes and looks at stars every night. This is suspicious activity that the government takes note of. When a firefighter goes berserk but manages to evade capture Starwatcher is killed as a cover up, with the government claiming he was the firefighter they were pursuing. Then hobos with photographic memory rule the world. Good night.
A longneck shows up and tells Gramps that he is old and forgetting the stories. His name is Saro and he is an old friend of Grandpa. Saro tells the kids that Grandpa was one of the great story speakers, a person who traveled around and told stories. They can't call him a story teller because all the dinosaurs talk like they're stroke victims.
Grandpa decides to tell the kids the story of how longnecks came to be known as longnecks. A long time ago longnecks had shortnecks, but the trees were also short so it was all cool. Oddly enough they were still called longnecks after their two founders, Herbert J. Long and Cornelius Montenegro Neck. Then one day Lord Frith made all the trees bigger because he likes trees. Then the moon gave the longnecks longnecks, and the rest is history.
Saro wants Grandpa to return to the story telling circuit and travel the land to tell the tales to the longnecks who are starting to forget the great longneck stories. Grandpa says no because he is old, and fuck that noise. Saro throws a bitch fit when he hears this.
Grandpa sings a song about remembering. The same song about remembering from the big water episode. Jesus Christ, its bad enough that all the songs on this show make me want to stick uncooked spaghetti in my ear drums (Except for Big Big Water of course) but they couldn't even come up with unique songs for each episode? Its not like any of these songs must have taken more then ten minutes to write.
Gramps tells Littlefoot that Saro is knowledgeable enough to tell the stories himself, but he never got a chance to tell him this, and now that Saro is mad at him he can never tell him this. Littlefoot decides to tell Saro that he can be a story speaker. Alright, we got the plot set up, lets see how it plays out.
Saro has left the great valley and it looks like he will be hard to track. Luckily Chomper is just sort of behind a bush and they can use his nose to follow Saro's scent.
They come to a river that Saro crossed. Chomper is worries because it looks like a large aquatic area. In other words big big water. They do not sing the song Big Big Water. Wankers. They forge the river, losing three oxen and a wagon wheel in the process.
They find Saro who refuses to go talk to Littlefoot's grandpa because he is a whiny baby. He also says he cannot be the story speaker, presumably because he is a whiny baby. Then there is a rock slide because The Land Before Time writers love rock slides. The rocks end up blocking the way back to the great valley.
Saro tells a story about a dinosaur beating the wind at a race, which is not relevant to the current situation and frankly is pretty far fetched and pointless even for a dinosaur's legend. Then they all get saved by the other characters. The legend is about being brave, but they got found because the others heard them yelling back when they were panicking, so being brave really wouldn't have helped this situation.
Then they sort out all that story speaker nonsense. Saro is taking over the job.
1/10 This episode is retarded
Hard Retarded is it
Its so retarded that Rosemary Kennedy beat it in a game of Scrabble.
There are two bonus features. One is printable connect the dot games. Two of them. This is annoying because sometimes I activate this feature when I try to play the DVD on my computer. The other is a sing along video. It is not Big Big Water. I have no use for it.
Was a Land Before Time television series a bad idea? Yes. It is not a good show. It is better then making a new movie every year, but that is also a bad idea. How about only making a movie when there is a chance it will turn out decent? If they followed that idea then we would have like, three movies. Maybe less.
I find the inclusion of Ruby and Chomper odd. There is already a fairly large cast. Adding Chomper wouldn't have made a huge difference as he has a history and is made out to be one of the main protagonists. Ruby is an odd. With a large cast it seems strange to to add more people to it. However Ruby is entertaining in her own right. She gives Chomper another outsider to connect with and she talks like Yoda if Yoda were high. I imagine her impact on the show on a whole must be larger then Spike, Ducky and Peitrie's. Possibly even Cera's from what I saw. I would support her addition whole heartily if the cast wasn't so big already. Maybe they should have killed somebody and then added her.
When I have children I will show them the original Land Before Time, and possibly the two Chomper sequels. I will not show them anything else because those movies, and the series, blow. Thanks to DVDs I will be able to avoid all annoying kid's shows and movies. I will not have cable but will have a large collection of children's DVDs all of which will be movies and shows I enjoy. Lucky for my future spawn I have good tastes and never got tired of cartoons.