The Land Before Time XIV: Journey of the Brave is a 2016 direct-to-video animated feature and the fourteenth film in The Land Before Time series. It is the first installment in the franchise to be released since 2007's The Wisdom of Friends. The film was directed by Davis Doi and written by Cliff Ruby and Elana Lesser. It was made available on DVD and Digital HD on February 2, 2016, with the DVD version exclusive to Walmart stores in North America until May 10, 2016, when it became available in other stores. The film features the voices of Damon Wayans Jr. and country singer Reba McEntire, who performs the song "Look for the Light". Like all other The Land Before Time movies, it is traditionally-animated.
Some characters have had voice actor replacements, as Kenneth Mars (voice of Littlefoot's grandfather) and John Ingle (voice of Topps and the narrator) had passed away during the series' hiatus, and Cody Arens (voice of Littlefoot in XIII and the TV series) and Max Burkholder (voice of Chomper in the TV series) had gone through puberty, making their voices unsuitable for the characters they had voiced eight years prior. Tress MacNeille, for unknown reasons, did not reprise her role as Ducky and Petrie's mothers.
Reception for the film was much more positive than the negatively received previous installment.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Littlefoot, a young Apatosaurus living in the verdant Great Valley, is eagerly awaiting the arrival of his father Bron, who returns to the valley with his herd once a year. However, he soon learns from a Nothronychus member of his dad's troupe named Wild Arms that his father became stranded in the wilderness when the "Fire Mountain" erupted, leaving the rest of the herd to go on without him. They ask Wild Arms for help, but he belligerently says no. The other grownups agree with him. After worrying about his father, Littlefoot sets out alone at first. However, his friends soon catch up with him.
They do fine at first, but run into the earth divide. It is suggested that they follow the Long Valley instead, but Littlefoot says that that will take too long and that they must cross there. Luckily, they are able to knock down a tree and get across. As they approach the "Land of the Featherhead Sharpteeth", an area inhabited by Yutyrannus, they realize they cannot make it through without coating themselves with stinkweed, as the Featherhead Sharpteeth have an excellent sense of smell. It works at first when they encounter the predators, but the gang soon play in water, washing off the stinkweed, causing the larger pale green sharptooth of the pair to pick up their scent.
After being chased and cornered at a small cliff at the top of a steep hill by the sharpteeth, the gang use a vine and rocks to fight off the sharpteeth, tripping the larger pale green with the vine sending it off a small cliff, and Cera causing rocks to fall sending the olive sharptooth sliding back down the hill. The gang soon go to sleep after they escaped the sharptooth land as dusk had fallen and they had walked all day. Meanwhile, the elder dinosaurs learn about their children's trek, and decide to go after them with two younger ones - Chomper and Ruby. They attempt to have Wild Arms guide them back to where Bron was last seen, but he faints at the mere sight of Chomper, a "sharptooth", and has to be carried, leaving Chomper to lead the way with his nose.
The next day, a disagreement between Littlefoot and Cera on which path to take causes Littlefoot to go ahead alone. A sand cloud (sandstorm) happens and Littlefoot is forced to take shelter inside a cave, where he meets a Pteranodon named Etta who knows his father.
Littlefoot's friends, meanwhile, become caught in it, and they are buried in sand. They soon lose Petrie, who comes across an army of "diggers". They crown him as their leader after he knocked down fruit for them to eat. Littlefoot's friends find him, and are afraid of the diggers at first. Soon Petrie tells them he has to go find Littlefoot with his friends, but tells them not to be sad. The Diggers soon find a new leader in a lone Parasaurolophus. Etta, meanwhile, tells Littlefoot what happened to Bron, and that he may very well be dead. She also says that it was because Bron had rescued Wild Arms that he got into that mess. She sings a song to lead him on his way as they go through the cave looking for a way out.
The rest of the kids soon run into an extremely fast, agile and intimidating Carnotaurus, known as a Horned Sharptooth, which pursues them. The kids briefly evade it somewhat by entering a small cave where it can't reach them. Etta and Littlefoot learn of this attack, who are under said cave. Etta climbs up to the roof after Littlefoot and her hear them, and pushes a rock out of the way and helps the children get away from the sharptooth, asking Cera to give it a push so the others can get through. The Carnotaurus nearly breaks its way through the pillars of rock preventing it from getting into the cave to reach Cera, but she quickly escapes and it roars in frustration.
Etta soon leads Littlefoot and his friends through the cave and they come across an area filled with glowing mushrooms and different colored crystals. They soon fall off a waterfall at the end of the cave, helping them get out and helping them reach the Moving Water. Past here, they finally reach the fire mountain where they find Bron. Littlefoot tells him that they've come to rescue him. It looks hopeless as he is surrounded by lava and his leg is pinned under a large rock. Bron tells Etta to take the children home so they don't get hurt, but Littlefoot refuses to leave his dad behind and his friends agree.
Meanwhile, the grown-ups, plus Chomper and Ruby, come across the Carnotaurus who is still searching for Littlefoot and his friends. Chomper luckily smells it and they are able to hide from it. Wild Arms nearly gives away their position as the sharptooth hears him cowering before the sharptooth is distracted by a flock of Ornithomimus and chases after them. It is not seen again.
Back at the Fire Moutain, Etta and the kids spring into action to save Bron. Cera knock's down a big rock and sends water down onto the Flowing Fire cooling it into rock. They use a tree to pry the rock off Bron's leg. The lava soon comes back, and Littlefoot makes sure Etta and his friends get to safety, but he and Bron are trapped on the large rock they are standing on. Bron then scoops up Littlefoot and bravely jumps over the lava. Right after, the adults, Chomper and Ruby arrive. Reunited with his father and the rest of the herd led by Chomper, the group extol the virtues of working together and finding bravery through companionship.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Felix Avitia as Littlefoot
- Anndi McAfee as Cera, Petrie's Mother and Diggers
- Aria Noelle Curzon as Ducky and Diggers
- Jeff Bennett as Petrie and Diggers
- Rob Paulsen as Spike and Skinny Digger
- Barry Bostwick as Grandpa Longneck
- Miriam Flynn as Grandma Longneck
- George Ball as Daddy Topps
- Issac Brown as Chomper
- Meghan Strange as Ruby and Mama Swimmer
- Tony Amendola as the Narrator
- Reba McEntire as Etta
- Scott Whyte as Bron
- Damon Wayans Jr. as Wild Arms
Songs[edit | edit source]
- Today's The Day
- Hot and Stinky
- Better Off Alone
- Look for the Light
Production[edit | edit source]
The Land Before Time XIV: Journey of the Brave began production in early-to-mid 2014, over six years after The Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends, the most recent film in the franchise at the time, was released. The first information for Journey of the Brave was given via a brief mention of an upcoming installment in the franchise on Yahoo! Finance in November of 2014. The subtitle of the film was not given. In an interview with Aria Curzon, the voice of Ducky, on November 24, 2014, she had said there was another The Land Before Time film coming out.
Felix Avitia (the new voice of Littlefoot) had posted small amounts of info onto his Facebook and Instagram accounts across the bulk of 2014, though the film's existence was otherwise not well known among the community until late that year, when Ruben Avitia (Felix's father) posted an Instagram photo on Pinterest, involving Felix in the middle of a recording session with Jeff Bennett and Aria Curzon. During this time, the film's title was The Land Before Time XIV: Journey of the Heart.
In late July of 2015, an early trailer for the film was added to Rotten Tomatoes, confirming various details, including the announcement of a new character voiced by Reba McEntire, a change of the film's subtitle to read Journey of the Brave, and the return of Chomper and Ruby. It is unknown how the video managed to find itself on the site, though it is possible that it was the result of a leak. The trailer was properly released in December 2015 with the DVD release of Minions. In early November of 2015, production on the film was finished, and a wrap party was held. Some details, including the voice actors of Chomper and Grandma Longneck, were confirmed, alongside the release of a few low-quality screen-captures of the film.
In December of 2015, even more content for the film was discovered and unleashed, including a DVD cover, the confirmation of a long rumored new character, the reveal of 3 new songs alongside 'Look for the Light', and the final confirmation of Davis Doi as the film's director. 
Deleted scenes[edit | edit source]
On January 1, 2019, storyboard artist Llyn Hunter revealed that the Featherhead Sharptooth chase was originally going to be longer. This was the first ever confirmation of deleted scenes in The Land Before Time films other than the original. During production, the chase contained a sequence where Littlefoot and Ducky climbed into "an old ribcage" (which ended up "bouncing down a hill like a barrel") in order to escape the two Yutyrannus (strangely identified by Hunter as Allosaurus) that were pursuing them. According to Hunter, there were numerous versions of this sequence, but in the end the whole thing was cut from the film, as well as "many like that" (implying there were many more scenes cut during production that are currently not known about).
Nice to know there are LBT fans out there. It's a bit difficult to go into detail on the story end of the production. With most feature films in animation, there are tons of changes from the beginning to the ending of the project. Often there are entire sequences that are worked on for many months then totally rejected. For example I did one sequence were Littefoot and Ducky run into an old ribcage to escape from the Allosauruses and it goes bouncing down a hill like a barrel. I and several of the other storyboard artists working on that sequence did numerous versions of it (how many I can't even guess - but quite a number). In the end it was totally cut. There are many like that. In features Storyboard artists are often used to produce the original visual ideas, then once they are introduced into a rough animatic the director and producer decide whether or not they are working in the overall story for the film. The basic through line of - "Littlefoot and company go in search of his father and save his life" - never changes, but the events to get there and the number of them alter dramatically throughout the process.
As to what other scenes I had a hand in, probably a fifth of them before the entire film was completed. This is because as the film was continued to be polished each storyboard artist on staff would work on whatever scene needed changes as they became available. Since in animation the artists actually create the work, it can sometimes be almost an assembly line process. We all have to be able to draw backgrounds, props, and all the characters in the movie and act them out so that the animators can take a scene or sequence at a time and hook it all together and make a comprehensive film. On this film there were about 10 initial board artists and 5 staff (who were a part of that initial 10) who worked on the film.
As to future Land Before Time films, I'm sure there will be more, but I'm not sure when. Universal/MCA makes a great deal of money on them with little outlay. The problem is always that animation is always the step child in entertainment, live action will always be green-lit before animation. Most producers would prefer to be in charge of a live action project because of the larger budgets and status. Oddly enough, animation usually makes good money in the long run, but those in charge don't get the credit for it - the marketing departments do. Also, animation artists are temporary workers. We rarely work for a studio for longer than the extent of the project. When the studio is done with the project, they are done with the artists. They lay us off and just hire up a new batch when they are ready for the new picture, so the likelihood that I or anyone else that worked on this production will work on the next is not high.
In the long run, it is always a pleasure to be part of a franchise that has such staying power as LBT, I get to consider myself as one of the thousands that have had a hand in its continuation and creation. It is also wonderful that so many millions of people continue to enjoy it. I would suggest if you do wish to see another, send snail mail requests to Universal Animation. Something in paper with a physical stamp on it can have a lot of power as a vote of what you would like to see from them.
All the best to you and the other fans,
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- This is the first appearances of Wild Arms and Etta.
- This is the first film that Chomper appears in but his parents do not.
- Even though Bron and his entire herd appear in the film, Shorty is completely absent and is not mentioned by any of the characters at any point throughout its runtime, although it is possible he came with the herd and was just not seen in the movie.
- It is revealed in the movie that since the events of the tenth movie, Bron has come to visit Littlefoot every year at the beginning of Spring. Depending on what order the episodes of the television series fit in chronologically, this implies that the film takes place either one year or two years after the events of "The Big Longneck Test" TV episode.
- Chomper and Ruby appear as secondary characters. This marks the first film that Ruby is featured in a movie and the third in which Chomper appears.
- In fact, it is also the first Land Before Time film to be presumably set after the events of the television series.
- This is the third The Land Before Time film whose title starts with "Journey". Coincidentally, the first was The Land Before Time IV: Journey Through the Mists and the second was The Land Before Time IX: Journey to Big Water.
- The significant real life time gap between The Wisdom of Friends and Journey of the Brave marks the largest amount of time between Land Before Time movies in the series, even larger than the gap between The Land Before Time and The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure. The largest timeline gap in The Land Before Time canon occurs in the original film, between when they hatch, and when they are next seen.
- The film was originally titled Journey of the Heart. It is unknown why the film was retitled, though the discovery of the film's production amongst fans may have contributed.
- This is the first Land Before Time film to have an original widescreen Region 1 DVD release.
- This is the first film in the series to be directed by Davis Doi, and the first written by Cliff Ruby and Elana Lesser.
- This is the first film in which Barry Bostwick voices Grandpa Longneck and George Ball voices Daddy Topps. It is also the first Land Before Time film in which Petrie's mother and Ducky's mother are voiced by Anndi McAfee (the voice of Cera) and Meghan Strange (the voice of Ruby) rather than long-time voice actor Tress MacNeille, who previously voiced them in most of the sequels.
- This is the second Land Before Time film to have four songs instead of the usual three, the first being The Land Before Time IX: Journey to Big Water.
- This is the first Land Before Time film to use more Hanna-Barbera sound effects (including the big whistle zing out sound effect) as well as one sound effect originally from golden-aged Disney cartoons, since some cartoon sound effects were used in some previous films.
- The film's opening makes a reference to the film Fantasia, with a Stegosaurus fighting a Tyrannosaurus rex. This marks the first time wherein adult individuals from the two individual genera fight in the franchise.
- A notable achievement in this The Land Before Time film is attempting to make introduced dinosaurs significantly more scientifically accurate than prior, such as adding a full coat of feathers to Wild Arms and the Yutyrannus, and extensive bodily armor to the Carnotaurus. Due to these additions, Journey of the Brave can be considered the most scientifically accurate film in the franchise to date (even more-so than Universal's other dinosaur film at the time, Jurassic World, which depicted scaly Velociraptor that were larger than a man and had pronated wrists).
- The Sharptooth seen in the opening narration closely resembles the Cool Gray Sharptooth from The Great Longneck Migration, and may actually be one this sharptooth.
- The 2013 Universal Pictures logo at the beginning uses the 1997 Universal Pictures theme (composed by the late Jerry Goldsmith) rather than the 2012 Universal Pictures theme (rearranged by Brian Tyler). This is highly unusual for a recent Universal Pictures film.
- This is the second time Ducky has newly-hatched siblings; the first being The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure (in which Ducky's additional siblings hatched during the end credits).
- When the film's trailer was leaked in July of 2015, some viewers interpreted Petrie's line after the song Today's the Day from "Special day!" to "Treasure Day!" (as the word "special" was overlapped by another character). However, when the film itself was released, the DVD captions worded the line as "Special day!". The overlapping issue was also resolved for the final film.
- Some fans believe that Journey of the Brave was originally supposed to be the final film in the Land Before Time series, due to the 2-year gap between XIV and XV. It is unknown whether or not this is the case.
- This is the second Land Before Time film to include the MPAA logo in the end credits after the original The Land Before Time.
- One of the film's producers suggests that Guido and Ali may appear in this movie, but they didn't.
- Tria and Tricia are absent in this film.
Reception[edit | edit source]
Hannah Wilkes of the blog Rotoscopers remarked, "In all honesty, I wasn’t expecting to be blown away by Journey of the Brave [...] but it was much better than I expected," complimenting the movie's "satisfying animation" and "appealing visual style". While the reviewer felt that Reba MacEntire's performance was the musical highlight of the movie, the remainder of the songs were "not nearly as enjoyable," but ultimately remarked that the film will "absolutely entertain kids." Elizabeth Learned from TheCelebrityCafe likewise stated that "After fourteen movies, the films still encompass the heart and friendship that lies in the storylines featured," and that "Fans of Littlefoot and friends will love this movie."
Fan Reception[edit | edit source]
From the initial, accidental confirmation of the film's existence, Journey of the Brave was a highly anticipated release among fans of the series. Many fans have welcomed the new director, hoping for a better film than the perceived disappointment of The Wisdom of Friends.
Once the Journey of the Brave was released, reception was quite mixed; though additions such as the character of Etta have generally been praised, alongside the presence of Chomper and Ruby, references to previous films, and the song 'Look for the Light', aspects of the film such as Topps and Grandpa Longneck's new voice actors and the character of Wild Arms have been much more divisive, and other aspects, such as the 'Hot and Stinky' song, the absence of Shorty, and the ending (which is often seen as rushed), are generally seen as negatives.
The sharpteeth were also praised by fans as being more scientifically accurate and giving them better senses of smell and hearing. The Carnotaurus was also praised for its intimidating appearance, but was criticized for its lack of screen time. Also, the lack of the character interactions with the Sharpteeth was another negative.
Despite its mixed reception, Journey of the Brave is still generally seen as a better film than the near-universally panned thirteenth installment.
Quotes[edit | edit source]
- Littlefoot: It will be OK. Everything looks scary to you!
- Littlefoot: Would you go near Spike smelling like that?
- Petrie: Petrie not go near Petrie smelling like that!
- Cera: Nothing makes me tired like almost getting eaten by Sharpteeth.
- Chomper: We should go too.
- Ruby: Yes, but let's not let them know we're going too.
- Chomper: I don't know what you mean. We're not here.
- Cera: Nice going, Littlefoot.
- Littlefoot: Me? I told you not to come up there.
- Cera: None of this woundn't have happened if we went to the Long Valley like I said.
- Littlefoot: If we went on instead of STOPPING last night, I'd be with my dad!
- Cera: You wouldn't be ANYWHERE if it weren't for you!
- Littlefoot: You?! You're just slowing me down! (looks at his friends) You all are! I'd be better off alone!
- Cera: You want to be alone? That's fine!
- Littlefoot: FINE!
- (They storm off and the rest of the dinosaurs go with her.)
- Littlefoot: If water is coming in the cave, you know what that means?
- Etta: It's wet?
- Narrator: Littlefoot had found his father. And he found something else, too. Something he wasn't looking for. The realization that he and his friends would always be together till the end of their days in the Land Before Time.