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25th Anniversery Director's Cut of Don Bluth's "The Land Before Time"

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When Don Bluth created the animated film, "The Land Before Time", Steven Spielberg and George Lucas deemed some scenes too violent or "emotionally scarring" for a G-rated audience. They demanded that Don Bluth cut and edit some scenes out to make it more appropriate. The film did indeed go from PG to G, but ultimately, the cuts took away from the substance of the film. All together, 11 or more minutes were cut from the final product.

The 20th Anniversy DVD is edited farther yet, too make it even more suitable for children. That's fine and everything, but why not let people see what Don Bluth originally intended for people, including children, to see? In this day and age, G-rated films have just as much if not more violence than the PG version of "The Land Before Time" would have had. Emotional or not, the cuts would have added depth to the film. It would have added to the harrowing drama, which already exists in the versions we all know. And that's just the thing: it's not as if cutting out a few Sharptooth scenes would have really added all that much to the level at which the film "scars" emotionally.

Scenes that were cut out:

The Sharptooth attacking Littlefoot's mother; it was shown only in shadows insteadDucky inticing Spike with berry's to join them, shortly after he is hatchedThe gang stumbles upon an oasis filled with food and water, and is inhabitated by "Big-Mouths". Because the kids (except for Ducky) are "different" from themselves, they don't allow the kids to eat with them. This scene expands upon the themes of anti-racism portrayed throughout the film. The scenes of the kids battling the Sharptooth are significantly shortened. Sequences in which the kids are under severe stress/peril were cut out in order to prevent psychological trauma to kids, according to Spielberg at least. In the scene where Ducky acts as bait to lure the Sharptooth... instead of screaming, in the original footage, she actually makes faces at the Sharptooth. Once the Sharptooth notices her, her face changes to an expression of horror. This shot actually remained in the trailers, but was cut from the film itself, again being considered too "scary" for children. The soundtrack was re-recorded, and the sequences in which the children, namely Cera, are screaming were softened so the screams weren't too startling for children. The original ending was that Littlefoot, after seperating with the rest of the gang, finds the Great Valley by himself. But instead of entering the Great Valley, he actually turns back to go save his friends from the Sharptooth. This sequence may have been the longest to be removed from the film. Don Bluth stated that he originally wanted the film to be 35 minutes longer than it actually was, and this alternate climax may have made up the bulk of that timeframe.

Even as it is already, the film is powerful, moving, and very emotional. Not to mention violent. So c'mon Steven Spielberg, let the world witness history, and see the film as it was meant to be seen. I canunderstand wanting to protect children, but it's ben 25 years. People can definately handle it. They could have easily handled it then! It's not as ifany of the scenes described above would have pushed the filmover the top, as far as violence and"emotional scarring" goes.

In 2014, Universal Studios should release a 25th Anniversery Director's Cut of "The Land Before Time". It does not have to be child-oriented in it's advertising. The people who grew up with this movie are adults now, and itwill of course mean alot to them! This is a movie children and adults cherish alike.It's not going to "scar" any children; not anymore than the next PG family film will. Anyways, if parents want their kids to see the original G-rated version, then they have every ability to stick with the VHS, or the 20th Anniversy DVD. This classic needs to be done justice, especially since it was bastardized by the barrage of terrible Disney-style sequels. This is history people; this is for the love of great cinema!


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