The Land Before Time VIII: The Big Freeze

The Land Before Time VIII: The Big Freeze (2001)
Universal Home Video
Cast: Robert Guillaume
Extras: Remote Control Guide, Games, Sing-alongs, Character Bios

The eighth entry in ’The Land Before Time’ series, finds the familiar characters dealing with the effects of the coming Ice Age. Ducky (voiced by Aria Noelle Curzon), Littlefoot (voiced by Thomas Dekker), Cera (voiced by Anndi McAfee), Petrie (voice by Jeff Bennett), and Spike (voiced by Rob Paulsen), are all relaxing in their beloved Great Valley, attending lectures by Mr. Thicknose (voiced by Robert Guillaume). Everyone is very surprised when snow begins to fall, something which has never happened in the Valley. A passing herd of Stegosaurus’ convinces Spike to join them in their journey South, to evade the icy weather. Concerned for their friend, Ducky, Littlefoot, Cera, and Petrie decides to follow Spike’s trail and rescue their friend from what may be a very dangerous situation.

This was my first foree into ’The Land Before Time’ and things were a bit confusing at first, as the film assumes that the viewer has seen at least one of the other movies, so therefore spends no time introducing the characters. But, soon I figured out who-was-who and things made much more sense. ’The Land Before Time: The Big Freeze’ is a great film for younger viewers, as the film offers mild action and presents a positive lesson concerning friendship and dedication. However, adults may find the material dull and benign. ’The Big Freeze’ features three all-new songs, plus samples from the original score by James Horner.

’The Land Before Time: The Big Freeze’ lurches onto DVD courtesy of Universal Home Video. The film is presented in a full-frame format. The image is extremely sharp and clear, showing no noticeable faults. The colors are very rich and true, as the colorful hides of the characters contrast well with the white snow. The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel audio track is surprisingly good, offering stellar surround sound effects and a very deep bass (check out Chapter 12 for an example). Actually, younger children may find the subwoofer more frightening than the film.

This DVD is loaded with goodies for the younger crowd. There puzzles, sing-alongs, and a set-top game. More interesting are the two tutorials included here. The first guides the viewer through the use of the DVD player remoted control and allows one to practice using the remote to highlight and select pictures of animals. The other tutorial, entitled ’I can put this in my computer?’ gives information on how to access the DVD-Rom material included on the disc. Apparently, Universal knows their demographic very well!