The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island, directed by Charles Grosvenor, is the Young Artist Award-winning fifth installment in the popular Land Before Time movie franchise. Originally released direct-to-video in 1997, it was the first film in the series to be directed by Grosvenor, who has consistently directed the movies ever since. It was also the first animated Universal film to use the 1998-present Universal Studios logo at the beginning, but the logo contained cue music instead of the original music by Jerry Goldsmith. It was also Universal's first direct-to-video film to use a Universal Studios logo in the United States and Canada; American and Canadian versions of Universal's previous direct-to-video films contained the 1991-2006 Universal Cartoon Studios logo replacing the 1990-1998 Universal Studios logo.
The plot involves the entire population of the Great Valley leaving the valley after a swarm of locusts devours all of its vegetation. As the herd becomes bitter and argumentative due to famine, Littlefoot and the other main characters set out to find food to keep the herd together. In the process, they become trapped on an island, where they meet an old friend - Chomper, the baby sharptooth from The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure.
The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island was one of the more popular films with the critics, and has received reasonable ratings. Since its first release, it has been released to video, laserdisc and DVD many more times, and has aired on several TV channels for multiple years.
English Voice Cast
This was the first film in which Littlefoot was voiced by Brandon LaCroix, Cera was voiced by Anndi McAfee, Ducky by Aria Noelle Curzon, Grandma Longneck by Miriam Flynn, Chomper by Cannon Young, and Kosh (Mr. Clubtail) and Spike by Jeff Bennett. LaCroix and Young did not resume their roles as Littlefoot and Chomper, respectively, and the only other occasion in which Kosh is voice by Bennett is in the TV episode "The Amazing Threehorn Girl".
- Jeff Bennett as Petrie/Kosh
- Aria Noelle Curzon as Ducky
- Thomas Dekker as Littlefoot (singing voice)
- Rob Paulsen as Spike
- Miriam Flynn as Grandma Longneck
- John Ingle as Cera's Dad
- Brandon LaCroix as Littlefoot
- Tress MacNeille as Mama Swimmer/Mama Flyer
- Kenneth Mars as Grandpa Longneck
- Anndi McAfee as Cera
- Frank Welker as Giganotosaurus/Papa Sharptooth/Mama Sharptooth/Chomper (squeaking)
- Christina Pickles as Elsie
- Cannon Young as Chomper
Japanese voice cast
- Minami Takayama as Littlefoot
- Rica Matsumoto as Cera
- Satomi Kōrogi as Ducky
- Yūji Mitsuya as Petrie
- Sailor King as Spike
- Ikue Ōtani (Pikachu on Pokémon) as Chomper
- George Nakata as Cera's Dad
- Urara Takano as Mama Flyer
Note: The Japanese voice actors are appearing so far.
After a cloud of “Swarming Leaf Gobblers” (locusts) descends upon the Great Valley, devouring all the plants and leaving it a barren wasteland, the inhabitants have no choice but to leave and seek another place where they can survive until the plants in the Great Valley have grown back. However, the swarming leaf gobblers have left a path of devastation behind them, leaving no food for the dinosaurs to find. After wandering for many days through the desolation, the herd quarrels and threatens to separate.
Not willing to let the grownups' decision separate them, Littlefoot, Cera, Ducky, Petrie, and Spike set out on their own to find food for the herd in order to keep it together, on the basis that the adults will follow their children. After a long walk, during which they try to leave a distinct trail for the grownups, they are at the edge of giving up the endeavor as no food is in sight, when they suddenly reach something they have never seen before; the "Big Water" (ocean). Nearby, they discover a verdant island connected to the mainland by a very thin land bridge. While the group is crossing the bridge, they are surprised by an earthquake that nearly drowns them and destroys most of the bridge, trapping them on the island.
Unable to call the attention of their families, who have indeed followed their trail to the beach, the children try using Cera's idea to escape from the island on a floating log (which makes her seasick). However, the attempt fails when a hungry Swimming Sharptooth (resembling a Megalodon) attacks, and the kids barely make it back to the island. They find a spot to sleep for the night, though longing to be with their families brings them a case of insomnia which lasts them most of the night.
The next morning, Littlefoot wakes up and sees the shadow of a Sharptooth. He wakes up the others, and they flee, with the still unseen Sharptooth chasing them. Soon they are cornered, however, the Sharptooth turns out to be Chomper, the baby Sharptooth they hatched in The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure. At first, Chomper wants to introduce his parents to the gang, but the latter refuses to meet them. Chomper's parents find their son (while the gang hides in a nearby bush) and tell him that dinner is ready. Chomper asks if he can invite some friends, but to his silent shock and dismay, they assume that the friends are for dessert. Chomper's father smells a Longneck close at hand (Littlefoot), but Chomper stops him with the alibi of eating Longneck for breakfast and that he burped. Buying the alibi, they tell Chomper to come along with them. Telling them he will not be long, Chomper is left with no other choice but to assist the gang in hiding from his parents.
Despite all his efforts to hide his friends, make them feel comfortable, and provide them with green food (plants), Cera bears and openly displays a great distrust for Chomper for the fact that he is a Sharptooth. This grieves Chomper, who then departs. Littlefoot follows to apologize, but they are interrupted by Chomper's mother. She nuzzles her son gently, ignoring Littlefoot (whom she presumes is prey). Littlefoot is amazed that Sharpteeth are capable of generating or experiencing love.
Unaware of Chomper, his parents, or the main characters, another Sharptooth (resembling a Giganotosaurus) has been living on the island. He surprises the children in their hiding place, chases them out, and ends at the edge of a cliff above the ocean, where he has the children trapped. At this moment Chomper shows up, to defend the others, and is soon followed by his parents, who begin a fierce fight with the foreign Sharptooth. The fight ends when he is knocked over the edge of the cliff by Chomper’s father. While falling, he sweeps Chomper off the cliff and into the ocean. Seeing this, and not wanting to forsake his friend, Littlefoot plunges into the water to save Chomper.
Both are rescued by a friendly Plesiosaur (resembling an Elasmosaurus) named Elsie, who sets the two of them ashore. The main characters are at first worried that Chomper's parents will eat them, but the sharpteeth are thankful for the rescue of their son, and therefore promise that they will do them no harm. Even under the Sharpteeth's protection, Littlefoot and the others miss their families and are anxious to get back home. Overhearing their trouble, Elsie proposes to carry Littlefoot and the others back across the Big Water, an offer they gladly accept despite Chomper’s disappointment over their departure.
After a bit of reunion between the herd and the main characters, the adults show them that they have found a lush, green place at the shore, where they may live until the Great Valley is regrown, at which time they shall return home.
Six years after the first video release of The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island, Richard Scheib of the Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review Database said that the songs, especially "Big Water", were good, but the plot was underdone. He also thought the idea of Chomper's friendship with the herbivores and the fact that Littlefoot had just saved his life, being enough to convince his parents not to eat them, was a little strange. Michael Scheinfeld on Disney Family.com said that this was by far the best of the Land Before Time installments; saying its plot was engaging, and its animation was above average for a direct-to-video film. He also praised the return of the character Chomper, in the film. At the end of his review on the tenth film, The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration, James Plath of Reel.com mentioned that The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island, together with The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration, The Land Before Time III: The Time of the Great Giving, The Land Before Time VII: The Stone of Cold Fire, and The Land Before Time VIII: The Big Freeze had the most engaging plots, songs and messages of all the films in the series, and would therefore likely be the ones that children would want to watch most frequently.
The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island has a current rating of 5.8 out of 10 stars, based on 1,923 votes from the users at IMDB.com. It has a rating of 5/5 in the Movies dept. at the NY Times.com, based on one vote. At Amazon.com, it's current rating, based on nineteen customer reviews, is four stars out of five. It is rated at two and a half stars out of five at Mooviees.com, from one vote.
International content ratings
In 2002, voice actress Aria Noelle Curzon won the Young Artist Award for Outstanding Young Voice-Over, for her role as Ducky in The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island. The award was also for voicing the character in The Land Before Time VI: The Secret of Saurus Rock, The Land Before Time VII: The Stone of Cold Fire, and The Land Before Time VIII: The Big Freeze.
The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island was originally released to VHS and laserdisc on December 9th, 1997. On December 1st, the next year, it was released on both devices again, in Universal Family Features; this marked the movie's final laserdisc release. It was re-issued solely on VHS on December 4th, 2001, and was issued on DVD for the first time on April 1st, 2003. Its second DVD release and final VHS release was in the 4 Movie Dino Pack (Volume 2) and 9 Movie Dino Pack, on December 2nd, 2003. Its most recent DVD release was on February 1st, 2005, in 2 Great Movies Featuring Chomper.
The film aired on HBO Family for the first time ever on January 2nd, 2009. It also aired on HBO for the first time ever on January 4th, 2009, following The Land Before Time III: The Time of the Great Giving.
- Disney Channel (1998-2004)
- Toon Disney (1998-2004)
- Cartoon Network (2000-2001, 2004-2008)
- HBO Family (2009-2010)
- HBO (2009-2010)
References in media
- The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island is referenced in the book, Movie Clips for Kids: Faith Building Video Devotions, a book about using clips from videos to teach children about the Bible. The scene in which Littlefoot risks his own life to save Chomper from drowning was likened to the scenario in which the good Samaritan rescues the Jewish man who had been beaten and robbed. Both sequences feature people helping those in need, whether they be from an enemy camp or not. The movie is referenced again in Movie Clips for Kids: The Sequel, in which the scene where Elsie returns the stranded children to the mainland, where their herd awaits them, is compared to the Parting of the Red Sea, when God allowed Moses to part the sea so that the Hebrews could safely pass.
- The Desert
- Whispering Winds
- Sharptooth and the Earthquake
- The Cave
- The Longnecks Story
- The Attack
- Big Water (Intro)
- Swimming Sharptooth
- Danger Approaches (Michael Taver version/Reprise)
- The Fire
- Friends For Dinner (Intro)
- Sharptooth Encounter (Reprise
- Always There (Instrumental)
- Storybook Ending
It was released on DVD again on September 28, 1999.
- This is the second appearance of Chomper and his parents. While this film was Mama and Papa Sharptooth's last appearance to-date, Chomper would eventually become one of the main characters in the TV series.
- This film uses subtitles for the Sharpteeth whenever they speak in their native language. The only other instance to-date, in which this is done, is the TV episode "Escape from the Mysterious Beyond".
- This is the first of two in the film series to show blood explicitly (the original The Land Before Time did include a brief view of Sharptooth shredding Littlefoot's Mother's skin off in shadow form, but with no explicit gore; scenes featuring blood in injury may have been cut). In this case, during the fight between the plated Sharptooth and Chomper's parents, blood is drawn from the snout of Papa Sharptooth and seconds later the plated Sharptooth claws at Mama Sharptooth's thigh, slashing her painfully. The second appearance was in the next film, where the Lone Dinosaur had what is blood where the Meanest Ever Sharptooth attacked him on the face, leaving his telltale scar.
- The song "Always There" is noted as being the first mention of Littlefoot's mother since the original film, as well as one of the few moments in the sequels where Littlefoot appears to mourn her (as opposed to simply remembering her or referring back to her)
- Chomper is shown to be able to speak fluent "leaf-eater" language (heard as English to the viewer) in this film. How the character is able to speak it so well, when he only spent a very short time with Littlefoot the others after his birth (and why they are not surprised by his ability to speak the language) has never been explained.
- Some European releases of the film did not include the subtitles translating Chomper's conversations with his parents (apart from in closed captioning).
- At the beginning of the film, a Sharptooth with the same coloring scheme as Mama Sharptooth is seen, apparently making a meal out of two Corythosaurus. It is uncertain whether or not this Sharptooth and Mama Sharptooth are one and the same. Incidentally, a dark green Sharptooth resembling Papa Sharptooth was seen at the beginning of The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure, the Sharptooth family's first appearance.
- This is the third film in which Ducky is shown crying. She cries twice.
- This is the second film in which Grandma Longneck cries.
- During the song sequences of "Big Water", Littlefoot sings "We wish the sun would fly up", even though the characters usually refer to the sun as the "bright circle". Similarly, despite the fact that the sea is referred to as "big water" in the films, Cera refers to it as a sea in the song "Friends For Dinner". Elsie then calls it the sea in the scene when she takes the children home. Also Cera's father has a line, "What do you expect them to do? Rise up out of the ocean?"
- In this film, Chomper has long, three-fingered hands which he uses to grab things with. However, in The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure, he has the usual short, two-clawed hands the Sharpteeth are drawn with. This is mostly to give him more anthromorphic animation when grabbing things as seen during the song "Friends For Dinner".
- When the children are on the island, they see that the land path they crossed to get there is gone, so they have no way of getting back. Then when they try to figure out how to get back, a little bit of the path and some rocks, which weren't there before, suddenly appear. Then when they sail back on the log about half of the path is restored.
- When the herd sees the dead duckbill's skeleton the shot changes to a view from above, and the duckbill's footprints are visible. If he'd decomposed down to nothing but a skeleton, he would have had to have been dead for a long time; his tracks would have disappeared by that point. In addition, his footprints show only two fingers while the bones on the skeleton have three fingers.
- As they look at the skeleton, Grandpa Longneck says "Don't you see..." while Topps is standing next to him. In the next shot Topps is standing by Grandpa Longneck's tail, and in the shot after that he is right next to the skeleton.
- When the children go onto the cliff to avoid being splashed by the huge wave, there are many brown rocks near the edge of the cliff where they are standing. The shot then changes to an overhead view, and one gray rock is the only rock anywhere near the edge.
- In the shot where the children are shocked by Topps's statement that each herd is on its own, their shadows do not move with them; Petrie lacks a shadow entirely.
- When the group gets thrown off the log and back to the island, they land in the sand and get a lot of it on their faces. When the shot changes, they only have a bit on them.
- When the children are in the hiding place, singing "Friends For Dinner", at first there is no water in sight, but suddenly Littlefoot steps in some right beside the place where he was standing.
- Grandma Longneck's neck is beige throughout the movie, but when she and her husband have a chat about Littlefoot's disappearance, her neck is suddenly a somewhat glowing dark green.
- During the song "Friends for Dinner," Ducky's voice is heard instead of Littlefoot's while the latter is singing.
- When Chomper's parents make their first appearance, it appears as if his mother is the first to arrive, based on the light green coloring, but after a close-up shot of the individual, a wider shot revelaing the second parent is shown, and the coloring of the first individual is that of Chomper's father (a dark green coloration), with Chomper's mother arriving second. After Chomper requests to bring his friends to dinner, his parents accept, with the prospect of more food, and turn around, where yet again, the color scheme/placement of the parents switches.
- As the group chase the lone treestar, Spike grabs onto Petrie from mid-air twice. The second time this occurs, the dialogue of Spike grabbing Petrie's foot and Petrie shouting "Spike, stop it!" aren't synced to the animation.
- As the Gang of Five attempt to sleep on the island, they mistake two inanimate objects for the shadows of Sharpteeth. As the group sigh in relief afterwards, Ducky is seen on Spike's right side, near his head. In the next scene, she is shown shifting around, trying to get into a comfortable position, but next to Spike's stomach.
- When Ducky thanks Littlefoot for catching her after falling from the Flying Sharptooth's nest, Littlefoot's back is colored like Spike's.
- In this film, Chomper and his family, as well as the Plated Sharptooth are living on an island. In reality, it is unlikely that two predators as large as Tyrannosaurus, together with a baby, or a Giganotosaurus would be able to find enough prey to sustain themselves on a small island (this is even stated by Chomper, saying there is not much to eat). However, the island is connected to the mainland before the main characters arrive, and does not become a true island until the earthquake breaks and washes most of the land path away.
- At the beginning of this movie, Littlefoot states that Cera is the oldest in the group of five. In the original movie, however, it is not Cera but Ducky who is seen hatching first.
- When the main characters are crossing the ocean on a log, Ducky is frequently attacked by an undected Pickhandle barracuda, but there is no fossil records of Barracudas or any close relative having evolved yet during the Mesozoic Age.
- One-off characters:
- Species debuts:
- Cera: (On the last treestar in a particular tree) I think it should go to, say, the oldest!
- Littlefoot: But that's you!
- Cera: I know!
:Kosh: (Eating the treestar the children had hoped to eat) Mornin' kids! Nice day for a treestar!
- Littlefoot: (Glumly) Morning, Mr. Clubtail. Glad you liked it.
:Grandpa Longneck: As you can see, the duckbill was heading this way when it died. There's obviously no food in that direction, so we must change course.
- Topps: Everyone knows how stupid Duckbills are! (Mrs. Swimmer snorts) This poor fool probably wandered in circles for days; which is exactly what'll happen to us if we don't keep going in a straight line!
- Grandpa Longneck: Still, I think that -
- Topps: Listen here, Longneck! I, for one, have had it with this "I'm taller, so that makes me better than you" attitude of yours!
:Ducky: I am going to miss Littlefoot, Cera, and Petrie, Spike. Yep, yep, yep! (Spike nods in agreement. Ducky cries)
- Petrie: (Popping up over the edge of the nest) But Petrie no miss Ducky! Me no miss Spike neither!
- Ducky: (Offended) Then I will not miss you either! Hmph!
- Petrie: It alright! Littlefoot have plan! Come on!
:Chomper: (On his parents) Come on! I want you to meet them!
- Littlefoot: Wait! Uh, Chomper? I don't think that's such a good idea.
- Chomper: Aw, why not? I know they'll like you!
- Cera: How? Rare, medium, or well done?
:Papa Sharptooth: (To his wife; watching Chomper gather food for the main characters) Sometimes I worry about that boy!
:Mama Sharptooth: (In Sharptooth language) Don't worry, you're safe with us.
- Littlefoot: What did she say?
- Chomper: She says "Don't worry, you're safe with them".
- Papa Sharptooth: (Sniffing the children) Anything that smells like that couldn't taste very good, anyway!
- Littlefoot: What did he say?
- Chomper: He, uh, he says "Yeah, the same goes for him"!
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