MarzGurl Discusses The Land Before Time II
February 12, 2011
(We start the episode with MarzGurl entering her room, but is stopped by Juno the Sorceress, who forces MarzGurl to her computer and demonstrates the magic powers in her staff on a Moogle plushie. MarzGurl figures out a plan to outsmart her, confusing Juno.)
MarzGurl (vo): So my old friend, Juno the Sorceress showed up last week. She started doing some really lame party tricks, and said that she was going to force me into watching the sequel to The Land Before Time. I figured,"Hey, this must be pretty bad if she thinks she needs to force me into watching it". That's when I came up with an ingenious plan.
(Clips from The Land Before Time II are shown.)
MarzGurl (vo): See, I know she didn't want to watch it just as much as I didn't, so I agreed to sit down with it, that is, so long as she did the same right along with me, and well...
(Cuts to Juno in a fetal position crying on the couch.)
MarzGurl: As you can see, she's pretty out of commission. Well, now that I've actually sat down and watched the whole thing, now I may as well talk to you guys about how YOU should never sit down and watch the whole thing.
MarzGurl (vo): Introducing The Land Before Time II: Electric Boogaloo...I-I mean The Great Valley Adventure. This, by the way, came out a full six years after the original Land Before Time was released.
(A page from IMDb showing Roy Allen Smith's movie portfolio is shown, with the caption, "Directed a bunch of kids stuff..." in the upper right corner, and "...and Family Guy!?" in the lower left corner.)
MarzGurl (vo): The movie is directed by a man named Roy Allen Smith, whose works include... uh...uh, a bunch of other Land Before Time movies and little else.
(The video cover for The Land Before Time II is shown.)
MarzGurl (vo): As we can see on the box art, we're going to get introduced to a whole new baby dinosaur. This...seems ridiculous.
(The Universal Cartoon Studios logo is shown, along with the then current Universal logo.)
MarzGurl (vo): Well, the movie starts up and the first thing you notice is, well, the Universal logo, it's all cheesy and cartoon-y or whatever. I mean, usually this wouldn't bug me, except in the first movie, the Universal logo played while the opening music was starting up and it gave a totally serious tone. Here, before the movie even begins, we can plainly expect hi-jinks and cartoon-y humor to run rampant, and as we actually get into the introduction, the animation quality is noticeably less stellar than its original incarnation. I guess that's to be expected, considering the fact that this is a direct-to-video release. Here's what bugs me, it's like the movie tries to trick me; it uses some of the exact same musical tracks from the previous movie, and then the narrator comes in and he starts a very similar lead-in to the original movie.
Narrator: While others, the dreaded Sharpteeth, hunted their fellow dinosaurs.
(The Sharptooth roars)
MarzGurl (vo): And it makes me think, "okay, the animation's not so great, but I can look past that, this may not be so awful." And then this happens.
Littlefoot: (singing) I can't wait to see you
Petrie: (singing) See you
Ducky: (singing) See you
Littlefoot: (singing) What's up, today?
MarzGurl (vo): Ah, no, it's a musical, and the songs aren't even good! So we see really early on that Littlefoot and, I guess everybody else, is really frustrated with how young they all are. They just want to be treated like adults and are often offended that their parents see them as little more than babies, never mind the fact that they pretty much are babies, but hey, all kids go through this stage. Anyway, they want to go play at some place far off on the other side of the Great Valley, but they have to cross this dangerous sinking sand place to get there, and so without anybody's permission, they try to cross it on their own and they all get stuck in the process. Does this scene look familiar?
(Cuts to the original Land Before Time where Littlefoot, Petrie, Ducky and Spike are stuck in the tar pit.)
MarzGurl (vo): Also, this is really frustrating, the last one in the group to get stuck is Petrie; He's hovering overhead when everybody falls in, and then all of a sudden, he just dive-bombs in and gets himself stuck along with everybody else. What, did he just want to feel like he was included in the group, even so far as following them to their deaths? You know that old saying that starts with "if all your friends jumped off a bridge", I actually think Petrie might be the guy that jumps off with them, too just because they did, just saying. Luckily, they all get rescued by their parents who all happened to hear their cries for help, and of course, they get reprimanded, that's just to be expected. All the while, there's this subplot consisting of two very British Struthiomimuses (Ozzy and Strut) who are portrayed as bad guys because they so badly want to eat eggs, or at least one of them does, as the other one wants to give up and start eating greens, but the first dude will have none of that. I don't really like how these characters are portrayed, I mean, think about it. This breed of dinosaur requires eggs in order to survive; they cannot survive on greens alone. This shouldn't make them bad, and yet, it does; they even have this awful song in a minor key, which indicates that they are evil and about how badly they want to eat eggs.
Ozzy: (singing) Feeding myself is very, very tricky / because you see, I'm ridiculously picky / Eggs
MarzGurl (vo): So how does this have anything to do with the main character kids? Well, the kids sneak off in the middle of the night to talk about what their parents lectured them on, and here's something that should've been funny and yet, it just kind of got me angry; everyone's talking about how they were told that they're still kids and they need to do as the grown-ups tell them, but Cera's dad says...
Cera: Don't hang around with longnecks, big faces, and spiketails. (The others stare at her in surprise.)
MarzGurl (vo): Wow. I mean, after the first movie, we had just finished overcoming the race barrier after the different types of dinosaurs had to get along to accomplish things together, and yet, here we are still complaining about how the different dinosaurs are still different, that they'll always be different, and can't ever get along! Wow, Universal, way to take a step backwards. Either way, they're all trying to figure out how to prove to their parents that they aren't babies when they spot the two egg eaters steal an egg from Ducky's family nest. Oh, no, it's on, never mind waking anybody up to get help! The kids take off after the egg nappers.
Cera: What could go wrong?
MarzGurl (vo): Which, of course is the one line that basically causes everything to go wrong. This basically turns into a long string of Scooby-Doo-esque chase events until a big important looking rock wall collapses and everybody loses the egg, which actually conveniently just rolled back safely into place, of course. But the kids don't know that, which is why they bring back a tremendously huge egg that they have just stumbled across, never guessing that this might be a completely different egg.
Cera: What could go wrong?
MarzGurl (vo): Not until they get back to the nest and find out that the egg is already back in place. Actually, this kinda bugs me. They say it's already back, then they give us a shot of the nest and everybody looks shocked like how did the egg get back? Well, it leaves me thinking, I have no idea how many eggs were in that nest to begin with, and I'd be willing to bet that only Ducky knows just how many eggs were supposed to be there. How does everybody else know?! I feel absolutely no emotion when you show me a shot of this nest, I just kind of have to take Ducky's word for it that all the right eggs are all in the right place! Don't show me a reaction shot of everybody when there's nothing to be reacting to! The kids have this great idea to raise the egg and be the baby's parents. Sure, instead of returning the egg to where they found it.
Cera: What could go wrong?
MarzGurl (vo): Except for the fact that the egg conveniently starts hatching and it turns out to be a Sharptooth! Littlefoot, being the main character that he is, sees that it's just a baby and can't take care of himself. He names it Chomper because...well, Littlefoot is a kid and he's incredibly uncreative. Littlefoot can't get Chomper to eat greens because let's face it, he's still a baby Sharptooth, but this leads to what might possibly be one of the greatest lines in animation history.
(Cuts to Littlefoot's grandparents eating and then looking at each other in shock after hearing Littlefoot's question.)
Littlefoot: (off-screen; hesitantly) Well...um...I want to know about babies.
MarzGurl (vo): This whole time, the egg eaters have some silly grudge against the kids for ruining their egg meal. Whatever, nobody cares about this plot anymore, and it's all about Chomper from this point out. The kids all realize he's a baby that can't actually hurt them much, and then they sing to it, unfortunately.
All except Chomper: (singing) We're a family and you're one of us now, we're a family and you're one of us now...
MarzGurl (vo): And maybe it's because of the song that Chomper decides to take a bite out of Cera's tail. Littlefoot and Cera break out into another physical fight, which leaves Littlefoot in tears, which is yet another addition I'm assuming was placed in the movie to make it look similar to the original film. Too bad it's not nearly as good, nor is it for as nearly as good of a reason. They all scold Chomper just like the grown-ups they said they didn't want to be and then Chomper runs off upset. Good, leave it that way, we don't really need any more character additions to the series. But again, Littlefoot plays the main character and takes off looking for him. Chomper, like the brilliant infant he is, climbs up an active volcano to chase after a dragonfly. This is so dumb! Uh-oh, here comes the Struthiomimuses again! Oh, never mind, completely avoided. While it's not cool to have our main characters dangle over a really high ledge for too long, it's totally okay for the slightly doofy antagonists to jump and fall into a pit where lava is constantly pouring in, totally cool because they're not the main characters, I guess. But the adventures aren't over, there's two very angry adult Sharptooths after everybody.
(A picture of Chomper is shown with arrows pointing all to him.)
MarzGurl (vo; sarcastically): Gee, what could possibly have brought the Sharptooths into the Great Valley?! The kids fight them off for a little bit, but again, the parents come in and save the day, and again, they're pissed, understandably so, their kids won't listen no matter how much scolding they're given, or maybe they aren't punishing their kids enough. Maybe they're all just really bad parents. Whatever, except wait, who's this Stegosaurus? (points to the random Stegosaurus in the group.) Did he just join in for the ride? Initially, you might think he's Spike's dad, but no, that can't be, Spike's parents essentially abandoned him as an egg and he got adopted by Ducky's family. So, who the heck is this guy? Am I supposed to care? I guess it really doesn't matter. Anyway, they learn from the kids that the important looking rock wall that collapsed was the wall barricading everything bad out and keeping everything good in. This makes me wonder how anybody ever got in the Great Valley in the first place, and how they originally discriminated who got to stay and who got to go, but never mind that, that'd be nothing but a bunch of details. Of course, the kids leave out the part of the story where they brought a Sharptooth egg back into the Great Valley, but that's also negligible. The adults plan on closing the wall up which spurs Littlefoot into wanting to go and find Chomper. Does he want to make sure he's safely inside the wall? Does he want to kick him out? We don't really know, all we know is that he goes off to find him and he does just in time to also be found by both Sharptooths. But Chomper sort of...uh, I guess talks to the bigger Sharptooths, and that's when they all realize that Chomper is their long lost egg that they've been looking for this whole time.
Littlefoot: I-I think they're-they're his mama and papa!
MarzGurl (vo): Wow, what an incredibly astute observation, Littlefoot. You managed to stumble across a Sharptooth egg and decided like a genius to keep it and then wonder why you now have a pair of adult Sharptooths rampaging around the Great Valley. This lack of thought is so incredibly amazing, I don't even know where to begin. Tag in some extra bit where the Sharptooth family comes to save Littlefoot from being dropped off a cliff by the egg nappers, and the movie is nearly at its grand finale. Littlefoot sadly encourages Chomper to leave the Great Valley with his parents. Now look, none of the other kids were anywhere near this series of events, but suddenly, at the very last moment, they pop literally out of nowhere and all say their goodbyes together. Kind of scary. Afterwards, everybody plugs the hole back up with a whole new wall of rocks. Crisis averted and the adults seemingly never find out that the kids were keeping a baby Sharptooth as a pet or a kid of their own or whatever. Hooray for kids getting away with crap! And it ends with a credit roll, the first song in the movie starting all over again, and some extra animation, with everything being all cute and stuff. But wait, sudden spiketail alert! Look, this baby Stegosaurus just pops out of nowhere just like that adult did earlier in the movie. Initially, I just think he'd stumbled into the group to hang out, but everybody else's family had this nest of eggs that hatched at the end of the movie, and then just before the screen fades to black, everybody's siblings are standing there on top of that hill with them. So, are they insinuating that Spike has a younger sibling now? What the heck, Universal, don't you have continuity directors?
MarzGurl: Well, that garbage is over, thank God.
Juno: Ugh...what happened?
Marzgurl: Oh, you're awake.
Juno: Did...did I miss anything?
Marzgurl: Eh, not much of anything. But you are just in time, I am about to watch the third movie.
Juno: Ohhhh, no, oh, no no no no, you're not turning this back around on me!
Marzgurl: As you can see, she's not much of a sorceress.
(Credits are shown.)