Review: ‘The Land Before Time IV: Journey Through the Mists’

Produced, directed by Roy Allen Smith. Co-producer, Zahra Dowlatabadi.

Produced, directed by Roy Allen Smith. Co-producer, Zahra Dowlatabadi.

Animation (color), Nelson Shin; editor, Warren Taylor. MPAA rating: G. Running time: 74 MIN.

Voices: Candace Hutson (Cera), Heather Hogan (Ducky), Rob Paulsen (Spike), Jeff Bennett (Petrie/Icky), Tress MacNellie (Dil), Scott McAfee (Littlefoot), Charles Durning (Archie), Juliana Hansen (Ali).

This third made-for-video sequel to the 1988 animated feature should prove to be a popular Christmas stocking-stuffer. Pic is a bit too slow and sweet to hold the interest of children who have moved on to more raucous cartoon fare, but any child still young enough to think Barney is cool will be enchanted by these equally cuddly dinosaurs.

Littlefoot (voiced by Scott McAfee), a scrappy brontosaurus, once again finds danger and adventure when he leaves his idyllic valley home to explore unfamiliar territory. This time, he’s looking for a flower that can cure his ailing grandfather. As usual, he is aided by such friends as Cera (Candace Hutson), a willful triceratops, and Ducky (Heather Hogan), an exuberant anatosaurus. Two villains are new to the mix: Dil (Tress MacNellie), a ravenous alligator, and Icky (Jeff Bennett), a greedy bird of indeterminate species.

As with its predecessors, this latest “Land Before Time” story emphasizes tolerance, cooperation and inter-species harmony. The animation won’t cause many sleepless nights at the Disney factory. Even so, it’s far superior to what children see in most Saturday morning cartoon shows. Musical soundtrack emphasizes the original “Land Before Time” theme (“If We Hold on Together”) composed by James Horner.

The Land Before Time IV: Journey Through the Mists

Production

An MCA Universal Home Video release of a Universal Cartoon Studios production.
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