After nearly a decade, The Land Before Time franchise will return with its newest installment – The Land Before Time XIV: Journey of the Brave. In the original 1988 film, we watched as Littlefoot and his dinosaur friends journeyed to the Great Valley in hopes of reuniting with their families. Since then, in thirteen film installments, these beloved characters have made new dinosaur friends, embarked on even more perilous journeys outside the Great Valley, and narrowly survived many a Sharptooth attack. So, what does the latest film in the franchise have in store for viewers?
The Land Before Time XIV: Journey of the Brave tells the story of the young Apatosaurus Littlefoot (voiced by Felix Avitia) and his five best friends Cera (Anndi McAfee), Ducky (Aria Noelle Curzon), Spike (Rob Paulsen), and Petrie (Jeff Bennett). When Littlefoot’s father, Bron (Scott Whyte), goes missing, Littlefoot must embark on a daring journey to rescue him. With the help of newcomers Wild Arms (Damon Wayans Jr.) and Etta (Reba McEntire), he and his friends must travel across the dangerous “earth break,” through the land of the featherhead Sharptooth, and along the moving water to reach the ominous fire mountain. In the face of these obstacles, Littlefoot must learn the true meaning of bravery and friendship.
It’s inevitable that sequels to The Land Before Time will draw comparisons to the original feature film produced by Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy, and Frank Marshall. However, this late in the game, I think it’s fair to judge this film as a standalone work. In all honesty, I wasn’t expecting to be blown away by Journey of the Brave (direct-to-video animated sequels, especially the 14th film in a series, don’t necessarily have a reputation for being high quality releases), but it was much better than I expected. For a direct-to-video release, this film has satisfying animation and an appealing visual style. It treads the same basic path many other films in the franchise follow, but it just wouldn’t feel like The Land Before Time without these familiar conflicts and plot elements.
The film also features four original songs. Unfortunately, many of these songs were big misses for me. While Reba McEntire’s song, “Look for the Light,” is probably the musical highlight of the film, other songs, such as “Hot and Stinky,” are not nearly as enjoyable.
The Land Before Time XIV: Journey of the Brave includes four all-new, sing-a-long songs:
“Today’s the Day”
“Hot and Stinky”
“Better Off Alone”
“Look for the Light” performed by Reba McEntire
Overall, I think The Land Before Time XIV: Journey of the Brave will absolutely entertain kids. It’s a great family film with that same endearing Land Before Time message about hope, friendship, and overcoming obstacles. Disney fans will enjoy knowing the film features character designs by former Disney supervising animator Ruben Aquino and character designer/visual development artist Jean Gilmore. And, while Journey of the Brave does tread familiar ground plot-wise, Littlefoot’s determination to find his father is sure to draw viewers into the story.
The Land Before Time: Journey of the Brave is available exclusively through Walmart and walmart.com.
What are your thoughts on The Land Before time XIV: Journey of the Brave? Are you excited for a new installment in The Land Before Time franchise?
Hannah, an animation addict currently living in Southern California, works in production in the animation industry. When she’s not working, she likes to spend her time watching movies with her friends, listening to podcasts, and going to Disneyland.