DTV Wonders: The Land Before Time XII the Gread Day of the Fliers

This is the last film I had not seen when I was the target demographic.  I am trying to make my final rankings based off both my views as a child and an adult.  Unlike The Wisdom of Friends (13) I saw trailers to this one.  I really did not enjoy eleven too much and none of my family was still into the franchise so this is actually the last one before the franchise was brought back I saw, since I was more interested in what killed off the franchise in 13.  I was finally able to figure out what is unique about the Later Sequels trilogy watching this one, it is for younger audiences.  The terror is reduced.  the songs and morals are more basic.  I think they decided the audience was growing up so The Great Longneck Migration (10) was made to finish it for them, and the next films would try to make a new fanbase.  This is the only one either group really liked much.  It shows that in the second half the franchise the even numbered films are better.

The basic is Petrie cannot fly in a group well, as he tries to fit in.  Cera tries to stay fitting into her family, as she is about to get a half sister.  The episode’s guest, Guido tries to fit in anywhere, as he does know of anyone like him.  The theme is that it is better to be different than be too similar to everyone else.

Of notable significance this is the last film to be directed by Charles Grosvenor or to have Kenneth Mars and John Ingle voice Grandpa Longneck and Mr. Threehorn respectively.  Grandpa Longneck has a small role where he tells Littlefoot about how important the great day of the fliers is.  He also has some more comical moments later. Grandma Longneck never talks, but she does get to do the Heimlich maneuver.  Mr. Threehorn is not too fun to watch with Tria around, but his scenes with Guido are actually really good, especially before he warms up to him.


Just an ordinary family

Petrie is the main focus.  He has trouble flying in a group despite flying alone really well.  Most likely this was caused by learning to fly by Sharptooth’s breath being what made him fly.  This is further supported by there being two more call backs to the first one later.  Petrie is mostly used as a voice of reason and the basic good protagonist.  He is also shown to be the most willing to help and sacrificial.  He also shows the problem with this one.  Despite being enjoyable it is forgettable, and there is nothing notably memorable he does other than in the climax.

Littlefoot is the idea person and narrator here.  He often shows up to explain something.  He is now played by Nick Price, who is great at having a voice that captures authority and intelligence, but it is probably for the best that his role was probably the smallest of all the films here.  He always sounded the same, and he could not capture Littlefoot’s questioning voice when talking to grown ups, and it was obvious when he talked to Grandpa.


We need eye patches for dinosaurs

Cera also has a role, but it was hard to find a way for it to fit in with Petrie.  They did it in the song “One of a Kind,” but it was hard to see elsewhere.  Petrie worries about not fitting in well, as Cera worries about another member fitting in makes her less special.  I actually really enjoyed her in this one, especially when she rolls her eyes at Tria.  I also felt her pain.  One really good call back the first one is when Tricia is born and how underwhelming her “brave” acts are compared to Cera “seemingly born without fear.”


Ducky and Spike do not have much of a role, but Ducky at least gets some good scenes in the sleepwalking part.  Contrary to popular belief it is perfectly fine to wake up a sleep walker, and this actually supports it.

My least favorite character in the series is Tria, but that is mostly for how she acts in Invasion of the Tinysauuses (11).  Here she seems unnecessarily mean to Mr. Threehorn and Cera.  Again it is not portrayed as a flaw.  Her daughter, Tricia, I actually like, but the name is way too similar.  I think it was a previous draft’s name, but her character is good, and I like seeing Cera have to be the responsible one.

One of the best parts is the climax with the spinosaurus.

It is right after the sleepwalking part, which is really funny.  To add to it the gang is back in the desert part of the Mysterious Beyond making it look like there is no place to hide.  Petrie is again the hero, as he is the one who can escape him.  There is no rock throwing, as they usually do. The music is great.  It also has my favorite call back to the first one.  Petrie tells Guido to open his wings when the Spinosaurus is getting closer.  He knows the breath will propel them forward the same way it taught him how to fly.  It does only get Guido to fall with style, but it saves them.  What weakens the climax is that it is more of a part 1 to it.

This is the second film to have no music from the original film, and I think most of the music shows that it was made for previous sequels.  It is a weak point.  The songs include “One of a Kind.”  I find it to just be forgettable, except where it connects Cera and Petrie’s stories.  “Things Change” does appeal to me, but the beat and lyrics were too dull.  “Flip, Flap, and Fly” was the song they played on the end credits, and I understand why.  It has some good cameos.  It is a fun song.  It shows the theme well.  It has some good excitement with the egg.  I is obviously dangerous, but this film has not been very serious anyway with its tone.

One benefit of having Jeff Bennet and Rob Paulsen voice Petrie and Spike is they can always rely on them to voice guest characters.  Rob Paulsen’s Guido was a very pleasant surprise.  He was funny and it was intelligent humor.  He also played the heart this episode, and he di it really well.

This is fun to watch, but it is forgettable.

The new running time rankings are 14 (82 minutes), 12 (81 minutes), 13 (76 minutes)

The worst three songs are 3. Hot and Stinky (14) 2. Yellow Belly Dance (13) 1. Say So

The three best songs are 3. Things Change (12)  2. How do you Know (13) 1.Flip, Flap, and Fly (12).

The climax rating is 12, 14, 13.

The film rating is now 14, 12, 13.  This was very hard to determine between 12 and 14.  I liked 14 more, but I came into this ranking expecting to put 12 first.  I think I would have liked 12 more as a kid, but I cannot confirm that so 14 is top dog still.


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