The Land Before Time VII: The Stone of Cold Fire

The Land Before Time VII: The Stone of Cold Fire (2000)
Universal Home Video
Cast: Michael York
Extras: Theatrical Trailers, DVD-ROM Content

If you have small children running amok in your household then you’re no doubt familiar with this particular kind of movie. You know, the DVDs that never seems to leave the player and that you’re forced to watch at least once a day for four months straight. Well, joining that select group is ’The Land BeforeTime VII: The Stone of Cold Fire’ which is – wait for it – the seventh animated film in the ’Land Before Time’ series.

Once again featuring that lovable quintet of prepubescent dinosaurs — Littlefoot, Cera, Ducky, Petrie, and Spike — ’The Stone of Cold Fire’ revolves around the appearance in the sky of a mysterious glowing stone that crashes into the top of Three-Horn mountain. Little Petrie’s roguish Uncle Pterano (a pterodactyl if you haven’t guessed) sets off with his gang — and a kidnapped Ducky — to find the stone and gain its power for himself. While the adult dinosaurs argue over the best course of action, our intrepid, pint-sized heroes set off on their own to rescue their friend. Their ensuing adventures entail all sorts of thrills, chills, and even a few song and dance numbers. Woo-hoo!

Now no one whose age has advanced very far into the double digits will find this story particularly enthralling. But the movie sure seems to strike a chord with the wee ones and they are likely to enjoy this little gem immensely. It’s actually less grating than many films of this type and Michael York’s over-the-top performance as Uncle Pterano is just campy enough to elicit a few chuckles from the jaded oldsters as well. After your tenth or so viewing you will more than likely find yourself uttering a few choice ’Pteranoisms’ yourself.

’The Stone of Cold Fire’ is a straight to video release and appears in its original full frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1. While much of the animation is quite crude, CGI is used to subtle effect in a few places and the picture itself is actually quite solid. Colors are as garish as one might expect and the image is uniformly sharp with no evidence of heavy-handed edge enhancement. The transfer is pristine as well with no nicks or blemishes whatsoever.

Sound comes in your choice of English or French Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes. While not aggressive by any means, there are numerous subtle surround effects and even a bit of deep bass. Dialogue is very clear and centered and the musical score is nicely integrated as well.

Extras on the disc include a few trailers for other Universal family films — including the original ’Land Before Time’ — and a surprisingly well-done DVD-ROM component. ’The Land Before Time Preschool Adventure’ offers up a nice variety of fun and educational games for the kiddies and is more fully-featured than many other such DVD-ROM add-ons.

If you have small kids who are well into their dinosaur stage then this disc is really a no-brainer. ’The Land Before Time VII: The Stone of Cold Fire’ is a nice little film that’ll give them their fill of the scaly critters without the dark and scary scenes so prevalent in other dinosaur movies. The video and audio quality are surprisingly good and the DVD-ROM game is a nice bonus. Highly recommended for the 7-and-under set and those who are forced to obey their every command.