You can tell it’s a classic movie, which will stand the test of time, if you can watch it repeatedly without it ever getting old. Especially if you can watch it repeatedly… for over twenty years’ time. I have trouble believing it, but The Land Before Time came out in 1988, when I was eight years old. And by the way, I’m talking about the original Don Bluth film, not the stupid follow-up “sequels”. I grew up on Land Before Time (I still remember our rubber “Ducky” toy, that the boys played with all the time), and I never grow tired of it.
Are you familiar with the Don Bluth animated films? Aside from The Land Before Time, his others included An American Tail and The Secret of NIMH. I was raised on both Bluth and Disney, but they’re very different. Though, I think he might’ve worked for Disney at some point, he went in a new and interesting direction with his animation and story style. Occasionally, a character in his movies will sing, but more than likely, that song will the heart and soul of the story, the theme that the film revolves around. The song isn’t generally required to move the story along, just to tug your heartstrings further into the story.
Ever heard the song “Somewhere Out There”? That’s from An American Tail, originally sung by Fievel and his sister. No, it wasn’t a romantic song, in the beginning. It was sung by a mouse (yes, you heard that right) who was separated from his family, hoping against all hope that he would find them. Everyone should see this movie.
We rented an online version of Land Before Time, and I watched it with my girls, this morning. Occasionally, I’d sit down between the little ones, to reassure them that everything would be ok, after the Sharptooth (T-rex) arrived. The older girls had seen it before and already love it. Me? I noticed the beautiful background, more than I ever did, as a child. Yes, James Horner did some beautiful music scores, even before Titanic. : )
I’ve always loved Land Before Time‘s theme song, “If We Hold on Together”, and I’ve been playing it on the piano for years. So, of course, I know all the words, too. And even before the credits rolled, today, and I started singing along, I could hear the melody of the theme song, woven throughout the film. Just amazing.
What can I tell you about the movie? It’s a simple story, a tale of loss and friendship, learning to work together, and growing up. There’s always some hilarity to liven up the scary and sad parts, and even young children can watch it. My girls enjoyed it, and because I talked my Sadie through it, she is able to tell her parents, clearly, that “there was a very naughty dinosaur” in the movie.
Have you avoided this movie, for yourself and your children, based on the terrible straight-to-video follow-ups? I should create a new mantra… something like “Don’t judge a movie by its sequel”. This applies to Disney, as well as Don Bluth. Don’t miss out.