We’re getting nostalgic today as we look back at the 1988 animation classic the Land Before Time. Considering the era this film is set in, a more appropriate title might have been the Land Before Thyme. We’re not entirely sure about the evolutionary history of thyme, though. Heck, perhaps T. Rex and his mates did chow down on thyme whilst consuming their dinner and what not. Begrudgingly, we’ll admit the Time option was probably the best option, as dinosaurs didn’t have watches, the speaking clock, or anything else with which to tell the time back then.
Steven Spielberg (that famous director) and George Lucas (the neck-free Star Wars superhero – seriously, he has no neck. Have a look at a picture of him!) executive produced the film, for whatever reason. Perhaps it was as prep for Jurassic Park. Regardless, although it’s a children’s film it holds a special place in many wee one’s hearts. Mr. Wapojif first saw it in the early 1990s and, gee whizz, he thoroughly enjoyed it.
So… it is the Land Before Time?
Yes, although the film’s effectively our generation’s Bambi, unless of course you watched Bambi as part of your generation anyway. That’s the thing with animation, it’s kind of difficult to lump it into a “generation” as it’s animation and borderline generation less. Or is it? Whatever, the plot follows Littlefoot who is orphaned (one of those real gut wrenching film moments which sticks with you for life) and flees a famine. On his way, he makes friends with other children dinosaurs, such as Cera (a belligerent triceratops), Ducky (a duck like creature), Petrie (a petri dish), and Spike (the group’s resident imbecile).
This lot are pestered throughout the narrative by a rampaging T. Rex (unimaginatively called Sharptooth), but the film more generally busies itself exploring themes of prejudice and hardship in a sentimental, genuinely enjoyable way.
Since it’s now on the UK’s Netflix majigger, Mr. Wapojif was able to watch it again for the first time in 20 years and recall elements of the film he did, and didn’t, remember. As the film was released on November 18th 1988, it seems fitting to cover it again… as it’s almost the 18th November. Check your dates, weirdo. Besides which it’s a lovely little film, and everyone needs lovely stuff.
But surely there were sequels?!
As the film was a hit, it spawned around 70 billion sequels (to be a little more exact, some 13 straight to video sequels – 13!) and a TV series. The last film was in 2007 – The Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends. We’re presuming this has more to do with Ross Gellar or Chandler Bing’s wisdom, as Joey and Phoebe aren’t the smartest friends out there. You know?
Anyway, if you want to relive the memory of however old you were back in 1988, take a gander at the trailer and go, “Ahhhh. 1988! Back in my day, we used to have proper…” and continue with your anachronistic diatribe on the reasons stuff was better in “your day”.