MarzGurl Discusses The Land Before Time TV Series
May 17, 2011
(Clips from the series are shown.)
MarzGurl (vo): The Land Before Time...has a TV series. I barely feel like setting this up any further. It first aired in early 2007 in North America and I can only assume it bombed, because it died after only its first season, and hasn't had any Cartoon Network re-airings since 2008. It doesn't even appear to have ever gotten a...
(The DVD cover for The Land Before Time: Magical Discoveries is shown.)
MarzGurl (vo): ...full DVD release, just a couple of sparse episodes on one, maybe two discs.
(Another DVD, The Land Before Time: Friends Forever, is shown zooming into where it says, "4 Episodes of the Hit TV Series")
MarzGurl (vo): The hit TV series? Call me crazy, but I think you guys are giving yourselves a little too much credit.
(More clips from the series are shown.)
MarzGurl (vo): I don't know, the series is only twenty-six episodes long, and trust me, when you've seen one episode, you've seen them all. Not only do we have our usual cast of five main characters, but Chomper comes back. Yeah, remember him? That Sharptooth baby they hatched back in movie two, and then found again chilling and talking on an island with his parents? Yeah, he's back, but how did he get there? Why did he get there? He says something about wanting to learn stuff in the Great Valley, but that's a pretty weak explanation. He lives in a cave at the edge of the Great Valley and-aw, what? Who the hell is this?
Ducky: Oh...thank you, Ruby!
MarzGurl (vo): Ruby?
Ruby: Those treestars that aren't yours, aren't yours! / The best surprises are always surprises! / (sighs) I'm glad it's you, and not the you I thought was you. / I saw you there, and here you are. / We just need to practice until practice isn't practice anymore.
MarzGurl (vo): Okay, so Ruby is some kind of omnivorous thing (Oviraptor) which also traveled in from the Mysterious Beyond. At least one episode kind of gives her some backstory; her parents send her off to start...learning... lessons and junk-I don't know, it just barely holds more water than Chomper's reasonings. So we have seven main characters. Isn't seven a little too many? I mean, like...
(A photo of the Power Rangers is shown.)
MarzGurl (vo): ...most children's TV heroes barely formed parties larger than five, and I wouldn't exactly...
(A still from the 1954 Japanese film, Seven Samurai, is shown.)
Marzgurl (vo): ...consider these guys to be the Seven Samurai or anything.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo: (singing) All I see is the day in front of us (Chorus: All I see is the day in front of us) / Burning bright with a newborn sun (Chorus: Burning bright with the newborn-)
MarzGurl (vo): You know what, you can pretty much watch the intro alone and already know what you're getting yourself into. Of course, I'm the kind of idiot who likes getting herself into things a little too deep. Oh, and if the intro song wasn't enough, and the songs from the movies weren't enough, you're gonna love this: the TV series has songs in it, too! In fact, they managed to shove two songs into every episode. Can you imagine that? Every episode only runs at something like twenty-three minutes, it's awful!
Chomper: (singing) I want to go adventuring, adventuring, adventuring / I want to go adventuring and find a brand new cave!
MarzGurl (vo): Yeah, you hear that? They aren't even creative enough to write a new song. This song originally came from that Great Longneck Migration movie, remember? Oh, and you don't just hear it in this first episode, check this out!
Spike: (scat sings)
Ducky: (singing) Adventuring, adventuring
Spike: (scat sings)
Ducky: (singing) To the jumping water place!
Petrie: (singing) Wish me not go adventuring, adventuring, adventuring / Me not go adventuring, me not be here right now!
Mr. Thicknose: (singing) I have to go adventuring, adventuring, adventuring / I have to go adventuring while Hidden Runner's back!
MarzGurl (vo): They just change a couple of the lyrics here and there and try to pass it off like it's a new song! This isn't the only song they do this for, either; other songs that show up from prior movies include: Friends for Dinner, Big Water, and The Legend of the Lone Dinosaur; And all of them are repeated over the course of the series multiple times. The couple of songs that they did write specifically for the series, well, they repeat themselves over and over again through the course of the twenty-six episodes, too. Not a pretty sight at all. I can think of a TV series that did the whole musical number thing twenty years prior to this, and did it a whole hell of a lot better.
(The Jem theme song plays briefly)
MarzGurl (vo): So, what's the point of this TV series? I'm glad you asked! It serves the exact same purpose as every single one of the movies: frequently step out into the Mysterious Beyond, run away from Sharptooths, almost fall into things, narrowly avoiding getting killed, pulling one another through holes, up cliffs, out of water, all kinds of not fun. And believe me, they're all slow, tedious, and unaccelerating. Also, this TV series likes to bring back cameos as seen from previous movies. Watch every episode and you'll see Mo, Bron, Shorty, Doc, Tricia, Tria, Mr. Thicknose, and those three bullies from the third movie. It's nice that they're trying to give the TV series some semblance of continuity, but then there's other moments where that continuity is just outright ignored. For example, you may remember that the kids all learned that Mr. Thicknose is mostly full of crap, and spouts a bunch of know-it-all lies in order to feel important, and yet, they still listen to him and believe him when he tells amazingly fantastical stories. The twist to this is that each of these times in the TV series, Mr. Thicknose happens to be right about almost everything he says, but that just totally breaks character, doesn't it? Oh, and I love the episode where Doc comes back, because right at the beginning, Littlefoot spoils the ending to The Secret of Saurus Rock.
Littlefoot: It wasn't that long ago. Everyone thought the Great Valley's good luck had run out, because Saurus Rock had been damaged!
Littlefoot (vo): I tried to bring our luck back by taking a tooth from a dead Sharptooth. The only problem was...the Sharptooth wasn't dead! / Grandpa tried to save me, but he had to fight two Sharpteeth! That's when Doc showed up.
(Grandpa Longneck and Doc pull on a large rock formation with their tails and the rocks crumble onto the two Sharpteeth)
Littlefoot (vo): Those two Sharpteeth never bothered anyone again!
MarzGurl (vo): Oh, yeah, and they still say the Lone Dinosaur like that.
Littlefoot: The Lone Dinosaur!
MarzGurl (vo): Another thing that really gets on my nerves is that this series does that one thing that I hate; you know, when a cartoon just has to end almost all its episodes on the big group laughing?
(A montage of the characters laughing is shown)
MarzGurl (vo): Past that, this TV series is mostly forgettable, aside from a single, solitary episode. Remember how I said that Spike speaking ruined the character for me? Well, he kinda speaks again, only this time, it's mostly just speaking to himself, you know, inner monologue and everything. And no, he doesn't have anything of value to say.
Spike: (thinks) Those guys. It's like they're all so busy talking, they can't hear the treestars sing.
MarzGurl (vo): He actually hears plants singing to him! Oh, and this is beautiful, for some reason, he sees in purple, and to him, everybody else has that same, stupid, garbled speech that he has.
Littlefoot: (growls gibberish)
Cera: (growls gibberish)-Littlefoot!
MarzGurl (vo): This indicates to me that Spike has never understood a single word that has ever been spoken to him before in his entire life. Not a surprise, but they just keep reinforcing the fact that Spike is fat, stupid, and next to useless, aside from occasionally, accidentally solving problems. Believe me, I would love it if they wrote his character even slightly differently and didn't make him come off so dumb. Really, I do, but they just won't do it! And that's...really all there is to it. It just isn't a good series, at all! It barely stands alone on its own aside from its movies, which is probably why it died as quickly as it did. The animation is a slight step down in quality, even from its crappy movie counterparts. Don't bother finding this TV series in any form, it's really not worth it, not as a Land Before Time fan, and certainly not as an animation fan.
(Credits are shown.)