A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Land Before Time: Journey of the Brave is another entry in the Land Before Time series, which followed the release of the initial film in 1988. In this tale, a band of young dinosaurs join with Little Foot, the kind and brave hero, to rescue his dad from the aftermath of a volcano eruption. On their journey, the little ones must wend their way through a series of adventures, which provide cartoon danger and suspense (a sandstorm, a rock slide, chases by scary predators, and falls from on high). Though there are no injuries or deaths, it's still best-suited for kids who understand the difference between pretend and real violence. Reba McIntyre and Damon Wayons, Jr. provide the voices for guest characters, with McIntyre singing one of the four original songs that accompany the easy-to-understand story.
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What's the story?
It's the first day of spring, and Little Foot (Felix Avitia), a delightful young dinosaur, is beside himself with joy in THE LAND BEFORE TIME: JOURNEY OF THE BRAVE. It's the best day of the year because his dad, the valiant Bron, always comes home to spend time with him. But this year, the other adult dinosaurs return to the valley without Bron and tell a scary tale about a fiery mountain erupting and trapping them all. Only Bron's bravery saved them, but their leader did not make his way to safety. Little Foot decides quickly that he must find and save his dad. The little dino is overjoyed when his small army of best friends decides to join him. Their journey is both awesome -- watching baby dinos hatch, riding down majestic waterways -- and frightening -- with encounters with their constant enemy (the Sharpteeth), a rock slide, a cave, the volcano that's still active, and an argument that separates them, placing them in even greater danger.
Is it any good?
There's a gentle sweetness to this story which, when accompanied by four original upbeat songs, softens the danger and suspense that occur in the action sequences. Yes, the dinos do run into some fierce Sharpteeth creatures who chase them, and they do have mountains to climb and a sandstorm to outrun, and they find themselves on the brink of disaster several times, but for kids who are clear about the difference between make-believe and real, there is nothing truly scary or unsettling. The characters are original, quirky, and funny and have been well established in the earlier DVDs so that audiences, both old and new, will find them engaging. The addition of the voice talent of Reba McIntyre, who sings, and Damon Wayons, Jr., who jokes a lot, is another plus. A solid entry in the franchise.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the fact that both Little Foot and his dad are heroes. What makes someone a hero? How did Little Foot and Bron show that they're heroes? What were they willing to risk to save others?
Little Foot and his friends leave their home without asking permission from the grown-ups. Why is it important for families to know where their kids are at all times?
Do you remember the first time you understood that some danger is real and some is pretend? Why is it important for a kid to understand the difference before he or she watches a movie like this one?
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