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The Land Before Time (TV series)

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Landbeforetimeopening

The Land Before Time title, seen at the end of the intro to each episode.

The Land Before Time is an North American animated television series, based on characters from The Land Before Time American film series created by Judy Freudberg and Tony Geiss. It is currently in production at Universal Animation Studios and Amblin Entertainment (Amblin produced the first film), and premiered on YTV in Canada on January 5, 2007 for a test. The show officially premiered on Cartoon Network in the United States on March 5, 2007 (although the first episode debuted on the 4th) after the DVD release of The Land Before Time XII: The Great Day of the Flyers. It aired on Boomerang in the United Kingdom on April 16, 2007. The first season has begun airing on Cartoon Network India, with its premiere on April 7, 2008. The show has neither aired on Cartoon Network in the United States nor on YTV in Canada for months since March 2008. It is currently being run on Cartoonito at 5:25 A.M. every day.[1]

It is made as traditionally animated by using digital ink & paint with computer animated backgrounds, which the past sequels from The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration onwards have used. The main antagonists in the series are Red Claw, a Tyrannosaurus Rex, and Screech and Thud, two Utahraptors. The TV series takes place after the events of The Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends.


Voice Actors

English Voice Cast

Japanese Voice Cast

Production

In 2005, Universal Studios announced its plan to launch a Land Before Time series, beginning with 26 episodes, featuring most of the characters from the movies, as well as introducing a few new ones.[2] The animation would combine two dimensional and three dimensional backgrounds.[2][3][4] This television series marked the first project from Universal Studios Home Entertainment's new family entertainment label.[2] Craig Cornblau, president of USHE, mentioned that the new series was to fulfill a "huge consumer demand for high-quality, family-friendly content both on television and the home entertainment arena."[4]

Universal Studios stated that the series, set to air in the first half of the year 2007, would debut on Cartoon Network.[2] Glen Ross, who was hired in March 2005 to launch Universal Studios Home Entertainment Family Prods., said that the choice to have the series air first on Cartoon Network had been made on two basis: One, the network was well-noted for its good quality programming, and two, most of the movies in the film series had played on the network many times, so it was believed a good place to start.[2]

The episodes were planned to be released on DVD after the series had aired.[2]

Reception

Michael D. Schaffer of the Philadelphia Inquirer said that the animation in the series, although below the animation of the original 1988 The Land Before Time movie, was above-average for modern television. Although he praised the theme song, saying it had a "bouncy, almost calypso beat", he was less pleased with the songs "Adventuring" and "Talking Big". He finally described the series as "bland, inoffensive stuff", and appropriate viewing for very young audiences.[5]

Music

  • The songs are written by Michele Brourman (music) and Ford Riley (lyrics).
  • All of the songs sung in the TV series (with the exception of Adventuring, Friends for Dinner, Big Water, and The Legend of the Lone Dinosaur) are unnamed, and the names above are approximations.
  • All of the songs are generally very short, and only span roughly 1 minute.
  • Every episode of the TV series has exactly two songs in it.
  • Many of the song's melodies are reused in other episodes with different singers/lyrics (a la Nerima Daikon Brothers). The songs Talking Big (with a different absolute pitch), Fix Your Tooth, Do Anything, My Reality, Sniff Him Out, and Sky Color Stones are all melodically the same with different lyrics, as are Remembering, Everything Will Be Okay, What To Do, Be Quiet Now, and Follow Me (with a different absolute pitch). Also, I Feel Mad, We Need a Plan, Must Believe, Made a Mistake, Hide My Stones, Me Need New Home (with a different absolute pitch), We Must Be Brave, and Is It True She Lied are all melodically the same with different lyrics. My Way is melodically the same as Oops-Eeps. It's Good to Be Home is melodically the same as Feel So Happy. Good Times, Good Friends shares its melody with Please Be Careful. The songs Hidden Runner, Big Longneck Test, and Don't Be Scared are melodically the same as Big Water from the film The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island. Similarly, Above the Mysterious Above and The Amazing Threehorn Girl (with a different absolute pitch) are melodically the same as Beyond the Mysterious Beyond from the film The Land Before Time VII: The Stone of Cold Fire. The Legend of the Lone Dinosaur from the film The Land Before Time VI: The Secret of Saurus Rock shares its original melody with Up in the Sky.
  • The only film songs played in the TV series that never share their melodies are Adventuring from The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration and Friends for Dinner from The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island. Adventuring is also the only repeating song played in the TV series that never shares its melody.
  • The song Adventuring is taken from the film The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration. Friends for Dinner and Big Water are also taken from the film The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island. The Legend of the Lone Dinosaur is also taken from the film The Land Before Time VI: The Secret of Saurus Rock.
  • In the episode Days of Rising Waters, the song Feel So Happy is played with a different absolute pitch than other versions of the song.
  • In the episode The Missing Fast-Water Adventure, the song Remembering is played with a different absolute pitch than other versions of the song.

Theme song

The theme song is performed by the South African choir Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The Theme is written by Roc Gagliese, Steve D'Angelo, and Terry Tompkins of The Eggplant. The music score is by Cory Lerios.

Episodes

Main Article: List of The Land Before Time episodes

The series has currently run for only one season, which consists of twenty-six episodes. There has no mention of a second season in production, as of yet.

Trivia

  • Chomper has been slightly modified in the TV series. He is now more purple and his teeth are positioned differently.
  • Max Burkholder, the current voice of Chomper, also voices Roo on My Friends Tigger & Pooh.
  • In the Japanese version of the TV series, Chomper's voice is provided by Ikue Otani, the voice of Pikachu on Pokémon.

References

  1. Cartoonito at Tv Listings.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Thomas K. Arnold: "Uni decides it's 'Time' for TV". The Hollywood Reporter.com; August 9th, 2005. [1] Retrieved on October 9th, 2005.
  3. UPI Newstrack, 'Land Before Time' becomes weekly cartoon. (August 8th, 2005.) Retrieved on January 14th, 2009.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Doug Desjardins, DSN Retailing Today. "Land Before Time" coming to TV in 2007.(Universal Studios Inc.'s deal with Cartoon Network to create an animated TV series )(Brief Article). (August 22nd, 2005.) Retrieved on January 14th, 2009.
  5. Michael D. Schaffer, Philadelphia Inquirer. Two wildly different cartoons make their TV debuts. (March 9th, 2007.) Retrieved on January 14th, 2009.


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