The Land Before Time (1988)
Ok ok, I know The Land Before Time isn't a "bad movie" per se, but it is older and technically a children's movie, but I really want to review it mainly because I just bought it. This was a favorite movie of mine as a kid, and I was happy to finally own it on DVD after my VHS player ate the tape version. I put it on last night to see how well it stands up today compared to my childhood memories.
How is the overall quality?
In the first few minutes of watching, the movie is still beautiful. The music and illustration are literally like works of art. Even the backgrounds could stand alone as gorgeous paintings. The only downside is the actual image quality. Everything is a bit grainy like older films are apt to be, but I was still surprised because I didn't think this movie was that old. But I did buy the cheap, three movie set (including this movie, An American Tail, and Balto), so I could wave the quality off as just the cheapness of the version I bought. Although the movie is over twenty years old, so if it wasn't well preserved, it might actually be its age. But even with the graininess of the image, the overall quality of the film is lovely. Also, a bit of trivia for you. Did you know this movie was produced by both George Lucas and Steven Spielburg? (I know I said I wouldn't do that, oops!, couldn't help myself)
How's the story line and characters?
Well, I can't be too harsh on this film for having a less-than-stellar plot because it is a children's movie, but even with that in mind, it gets a bit slow in some parts. I don't think it will be something I will be watching all the time, but it is worth bringing out for nostalgic purposes. There are really childlike moments, that I remember being awesome as a kid, but now they make me cringe. But although there are a bunch of childlike aspects of this movie, it is rather scary and depressing at times, even for adults. I know I got a bit teary-eyed last night in some parts. It tackles some adult issues that I think might be too mature for young children, but I guess they really aren't if I grew up watching this movie. The characters are cute, and what you would expect from a children's movie. The main character is the most mature (least annoying) of the group, but they all have aspects about them that make them endearing characters. There is even a grandfatherly narrator to guide you if you get lost in the ever so deep plot. Ok, so I can't be that mean. I like the grandfatherly narrator in the same way that I like documentary narrators. They've become a comfort-blanket thing, although forgettable.
Would you watch it again?
Of course. I love this movie, even if just for the nostalgic feeling it gives me. Will I be watching this movie regularly? No. It will probably collect dust until I feel that nostalgic pull again.