Most people who were children in the late 1980s still fondly remember The Land Before Time and consider it to have been a rewarding animated film experience. Now, the release of another sequel is upon us, and you might be surprised by how many of these movies have been made while you weren’t looking.
This trailer was released on the official Universal Pictures YouTube page. While the film’s title, Land Before Time: Journey of the Brave, doesn’t give away any hints to this, I can confirm that this film is the fourteenth in the series. That’s right, folks, Land Before Time, that cute little film about friendship and adorable young dinosaurs having adventures, has inspired a whopping 13 sequels.
I know what you must be thinking, How is that possible? But, it is, friends. It really is.
See, the key to this mass of unknown sequels is how they were released. Every single one of them, all 13, were home video only. This, of course, means that if you were without little kids in your life for the past 22 years, you wouldn’t have known that anyone anywhere was going nuts over the characters from The Land Before Time starring in all new exploits.
The first movie in the series, The Land Before Time, was a darling movie released in 1988. The film focused on a young brontosaurus, Littlefoot, who’s mom was murdered by a tyrannosaurus. Littlefoot then escapes his home’s famine and general mayhem to search for a place called the Great Valley, a part of the world that has escaped utter devastation. On this journey he makes friends with four new traveling companions: Cera the triceratops, Ducky the saurolophus, Petrie the pteranodon and Spike the stegosaurus.
This film uses the prejudice between different species of dinosaur to explore real life prejudices. The hardships they experience during the expedition are eased by the guidance of the spirit of Littlefoot’s mother, and they are forced, eventually, to deal with the murderous T-Rex. This is the only film in the series that isn’t a musical and was the only one released theatrically worldwide.
Now, if you have managed to vaguely hear over the past two-plus decades that there was another Land Before Time movie, that wouldn’t be totally surprising. Since 1994, when the first sequel was released, they’ve made one of the films basically every year or every other year, except for the nine year break between the previous installment and Journey of the Brave.
The sheer dedication to keeping this series going is impressive. As long as it generally takes to finish an animated project, the crew involved is probably working on two or three films in differing stages at any one time. That would be…well, it would be completely exhausting and confusing without some very good plans in place. Considering how good they must be at this by now, I doubt we need to worry about general quality here.
Land Before Time: Journey of the Brave will be released on February 6, 2016.