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Revision as of 13:05, July 12, 2019

MarzGurl Discusses The Land Before Time IV
Released
February 26, 2011
Running Time
13:27
Previous Review
Next Review
MarzGurl Discusses The Land Before Time V
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(The then-current Universal Cartoon Studios logo is shown along with the openings to the first movie and fourth movie, eventually showing clips from said movie.)

MarzGurl (vo): One sequel to The Land Before Time is too many; two is like kicking it while it's down, and so coming in to The Land Before Time IV, you almost expect that while the first movie is down on its luck, this one's gonna come along and teabag it while it has the chance. Is it as bad as we expect? Well, it certainly doesn't start out very promising. I love how, as time goes on, Universal less and less spends time building up to their movie or to its title. You remember the first movie where there was this nice, slow sort of magical alien world buildup, and then finally, the big reveal of the title came in with this big sweeping orchestra backing it up. Instead, in this movie, the title just pops up immediately, no buildup, no excitement. Makes me think that the creators were as equally unenthused about making it as we are about watching it. In this intro, the narrator tells us exactly what I'd already gathered and suspected from movie one, all the land outside the Great Valley is going through some amazing change. The land is changing, the animals are changing, but life in the Great Valley is staying exactly the same. It makes me gather that the Great Valley is mystic in its own way, like it has some kind of unexplained magic freezing it to perfection in time while the rest of the world shifts and shakes outside. Maybe they're still in their perfect little valley sixty-five million years later. But again, here's our old band of young friends together again doing classic kid stuff. Almost immediately, Littlefoot chases a dragonfly straight out of the Great Valley and what does he see? A herd of longnecks marching into the Great Valley. Like, they don't waste time, that very same complaint I had with the last movie still exists in this movie. Despite the fact that the Great Valley is supposed to be its own walled-in little entity, it seems that creatures can come and go as they please. Doesn't that let danger in? Why doesn't danger ever decide, "Hey, it smells like a leaf eating buffet in there, let's go in and eat our fill." Well, maybe since the Great Valley is so magical, it doesn't let Sharptooths in. Well, no, that can't be, because in the second movie, they brought in a Sharptooth egg and two Sharptooth adults came in looking for it! Anyway, what happened to that pre-established rock wall they built to keep crap out? Screw the consistency, it obviously doesn't exist. The longnecks come in and tell the story of how they migrated from their last location, because despite the fact that it was once lush and green with fantastic climate like the Great Valley is, it began to change, raining almost constantly, with new dangerous animals making their homes there. So here they'll stay for awhile, that's cool, I guess. The elder warns that the Great Valley may change at some point, too, but this is completely avoided over the course of this movie, so don't even worry about that train of thought. What we do need to worry about instead, however is racism! See, the longneck herd brings in this other longneck- (The longneck shown looks almost identical to Littlefoot.) HOLY CRAP, CLONES! I mean, like, what?! Please tell me I'm not the only person who finds this kid really, really unsettling! This little girl's name is Ali and she's basically Littlefoot with eyelashes. Like, the character designers didn't even try. They didn't even recolor her or anything. You see how all the foreign longnecks are this sandy, yellowish sort of color? Why doesn't Ali look like that? Anyway, where was I again? Oh, yeah, racism. So Ali's uncomfortable playing with anybody but Littlefoot because she's afraid of anything that isn't a longneck, and Cera, of course immediately decides Ali is terribly snooty and maybe even holds a bit of jealousy toward her. I mean come on, Universal, I get it, the kids are all different breeds of dinosaurs, we know. We figured this out in movie one, which is a far superior movie to anything else you've made in the series thus far. Quit rubbing the subject in our faces. Finally, everything goes downhill when Littlefoot's grandpa gets sick, and they don't actually say this, but he's basically on the verge of death. Wow! Um, actually, despite leaving out the word "death", this is kind of big! The elder longneck from the migrating herd says that the only thing that'll cure Grandpa is the Night Flower, which resides back in their old homeland. And here's what's totally dumb: Grandma Longneck is totally willing to go and get it, even knowing what had happened to their old homeland, but every single other longneck refuses to help! So you know what that means, right? Littlefoot and the kids are destined to go and get it. Why?! In every single situation where something drastic needs to happen, why does no adult ever man up and do the job that needs to be done?! And here's a question, the series has turned into a bunch of life lessons for kids, right? Well, what lesson does this kind of behavior teach our kids, that if our parents won't go do the dangerous stuff, it's okay for the kids to go and do it?! And you know they're not gonna get punished for it anyway, so isn't this bad? Well, Grandma gives up hope in finding the Night Flower herself, and I guess I don't blame her, the migrating longnecks are jerks who refuse to lend a hand. So now, she just kind of accepts that this is the way things are. And then she sings Littlefoot a song. Oh boy, here it comes.

Grandma Longneck: (singing) For the circle of life, continues everyday...

MarzGurl (vo): Wait...

Grandma Longneck: (singing) None of us can stop it, from going on its way...

MarzGurl (vo): Hey, you know, I can't believe I'm saying this, but...I don't completely hate this song, and look, Grandma, she's...crying! Wow, this scene really surprised me. The only thing that bugs me about the whole series of events here is that this would have been the perfect moment to bring up at least some vague reference to Littlefoot's mom who died in movie one, but you know what? It never happens! It doesn't happen now and it won't happen forty minutes from now! Pardon me for saying so, but it's kind of hard to forget that anybody had a mom, especially if they lost her in a particularly memorable sort of way. Anyway, of course, Littlefoot runs off on his own and he wakes up Ali, who's the only other person he can ask to help lead him to the Night Flower. She agrees, but only if Littlefoot doesn't go and get his other friends, and off they go! The other friends are looking for him the next day and assume he's just off playing with his new friend, but Grandma's looking for him, saying-

Grandma Longneck: I'm afraid he's gone to find the Night Flower. Oh, my brave Littlefoot!

MarzGurl (vo): Really? My brave Littlefoot? Not, "Oh, poor Littlefoot, I'm so concerned about you", or "Oh, Littlefoot, you're going to be so grounded if you ever come back from running off on your own"? Geez, why is everybody in the Great Valley such an awful guardian? Ali leads Littlefoot across the desert and into...a double rainbow? What does it mean?! No, actually, she takes him into a cave behind a waterfall. Dangerous? Hell, yeah, there's dark water and flesh- eating birds and gators in this place, not to mention it's all topped off by a cave-in that separates Littlefoot and Ali, leaving Littlefoot seemingly stuck in the cave. Ali has no other choice but to get Littlefoot's other friends for help. Way to go, some guide you are, Ali! Well, while the two of them are gone, Grandma makes the mistake of telling the kids where she believes Littlefoot has gone. Now, if I were an adult to these kids and I had remembered all the crazy stuff the kids have gotten into before, the last thing I would do is tell them the dangerous place their friend went. Now it's obvious that they're gonna go find him even if you tell them not to, which they do. Ali shows up and convinces them to come along, and together, they rescue Littlefoot from the falling rocks and the flesh-eating bird and gator (Ichy and Dil), which believe me, he needed, because they were singing awful songs while they were all separated.

Dil: I need you like a pain in the gut!

Ichy: Oh, yeah? And I need you like a kick in the butt!

MarzGurl (vo): During the time Littlefoot was trapped in the cave, he met a big turtle (Archie)-don't ask-and then he leads them to an exit to the Land of Mists, and when I say exit, I mean ledge, because, sure, that's a way out, alright, but does it really look like that's a way down to you? Oh, well, stupid me, I guess it is. Not like I actually believed they climbed down the face of that cliff or anything. So in the middle of all these dangerous other creatures around them doing dangerous things, Cera manages to stumble off into the mist where nobody can see her and she can't see anybody else. Way to go. They find her, but only just in time for her to fall into a river before they can get to her. And that's where the antagonists that nobody is afraid of come in and try to eat her. The heroes try to pull Cera out of the river using a rope and vine and-hey, wait, what did I say last time about characters pulling each other out of stuff? Okay, so this isn't a tar pit and not everybody falls in, but come on, really? Oh, and they have this little furry mammal thing (Tickles) helping them now. Don't ask why, he just is. Ali jumps down and despite some early complications, she's then able to save the day by riding on the back of the gator, picking up Cera, and then hopping off to safety. Now wait, is there some reason why the gator couldn't just do its patented death roll? They're on her back! All she has to do is lean a little to the left or right and then YUM, dinner is served! Isn't there a single, competent antagonist in this series? Then a song about anti-racism happens.

Ali: (singing) It takes all sorts to make a world...

MarzGurl (vo): Next! They apparently get really tired after all that singing and go to sleep for the night. So, wait, they do realize that the flower they're searching for is called the Night Flower, right? Well, apparently not, because they nearly sleep through the whole thing. Luckily, of all the characters to figure it out, Spike is the intelligent one who then nudges Ducky awake to see the Night Flower, and rather than starting to pick some, they instead run circles through them and later pick up a small handful and start heading back. And that's when the incompetent duo of flesh eaters show up. Again, why? By now, haven't they given them enough trouble? Also, we've learned over the course of the movie that the gator can't even see. I'm totally not afraid for our heroes. But something's gotta give to make this more exciting, right? Well, that just means that one of our heroes has to do something really stupid to make up for the fact that the villains aren't smart. So Ducky stops to pick up one of the Night Flowers that they've dropped on a log above a high drop, which is when the bird swoops in and picks her up. Petrie thinks he's doing a great service by tugging on Ducky's tail, but to me, it just looks like they've done the great service of nearly choking her to death. They both drop her and it leads to her almost getting eaten when...

Spike: Duh...duh...DUCKY!

(The kids gasp in shock after hearing Spike's first word.)

MarzGurl (vo): WHAT?! No, that's it, this series is over! You know what Spike's charm is? He doesn't open his mouth! Because he doesn't speak, he can't say anything stupid, but now?! Universal, you've gone and you've opened the floodgates, and they can no longer be closed! This is completely irreversible! Sad, but true fact is that it has now happened and it will be around forever! I just...wow. I don't even want to talk about how all this ends. There's absolutely nothing else I want to say. This seriously ended all desire for me to continue. (sighs) Anyway, they save her, the mammal goes back home-I don't even know why it was there to begin with-they bring the flowers, nobody gets punished, and Grandpa is cured practically instantly, and the migrating longneck herd migrates back out of the Great Valley. The narrator says that Littlefoot and Ali meet again one day, but from everything I've heard thus far, apparently they don't. Good job.

(Sighs) I'll say this much about the movie: it's not like this movie was exactly the perfect definition of good, because it isn't. It is, however, leaps and bounds better than its previous sequel. The near loss of Grandpa genuinely started to feel sad even if they avoided using the word "death", and at least one of the three songs didn't suck. Plus, the pacing was nearly perfect for what they were trying to accomplish with this film. It's not The Land Before Time worth sharing with the whole family like the first one was, or like I would want, but it holds its own head and shoulders above Land Before Time II and III. Unfortunately, the entire thing is ruined purely because Spike opens his mouth and speaks. In personal opinion, this one action was all that was needed to ruin the entire franchise, but you know what? For all I know, these things could feel more like mere mosquito bites compared to whatever's coming in the next nine movies. (sarcastically) Gee, can't wait to find that out.

(The credits are shown.)

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