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The Land Before Time IX: Journey to Big Water (2002)

Little foot befriends with a mysterious, fun-loving dolphin-like creature named Mo, who is trapped in "new water" caused by heavy rain. The gang then goes on an adventure to the "big water" to bring Mo home.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Narrator / Cera's Dad (voice)
...
Miriam Flynn ...
Diplodocus Mom / Grandma Longneck (voice)
...
Littlefoot (voice)
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Cera (voice)
...
Ducky (voice)
...
Spike / Mo (voice)
...
...
Petrie (voice)
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Storyline

When heavy rains create a mysterious "new water", Littlefoot sets off to explore the Great Valley. He quickly becomes friends with Mo, a prank-playing dolphin-like creature who can't find his way back to the Big Water. Littlefoot and his pals come to the rescue and prove the value of courage, friendship, and diversity. Written by Rodned

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G | See all certifications »
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10 December 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Land Before Time: Journey to Big Water  »

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Trivia

This is the last film to have Littlefoot voiced by Thomas Dekker, due to his voice deepening after the film's production. From then on, Littlefoot would have a different voice actor per film. See more »

Quotes

Cera: I don't think that's my tummy...
[the ground erupts]
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User Reviews

 
While not a patch on the wonderful original, it's one of the better later sequels
28 April 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Generally, 'The Land Before Time' sequels are not so bad, though none of them come close to the near-perfection of the charming and poignant original film. Of the sequels, from personal opinion 'Wisdom of Friends' was the only bad one, the rest range from slightly mediocre to pretty decent.

'Journey to Big Water' has problems, but generally it's one of the better later sequels (made around a point where the franchise was starting to feel over-milked after the eighth instalment or so). In fact, perhaps one of the better entries in the series.

On the most part, with the exception of some rushed-looking character designs, awkward movements and plastic-looking trees (for example), the animation is decent. There are some lovely vibrant colours, the backgrounds and sceneries are detailed, the underwater scenes are very beautifully animated and the storm and nature effects are some of the most vivid of the series. The music score fits nicely, with its share of whimsical parts, sinister parts and energetic parts, all lush in instrumentation and clever in orchestration.

The story may be predictable and episodic, but it's paced breezily, has real cuteness and charm without laying it too thick with the sentimentality and sugar, the conflict does have some genuine tension and the messaging and values (important ones that anybody can identify with) don't feel forced or heavy-handed. The characters are a mixed bag, Mo is adorable (almost as much as Chomper) and the sharptooth swimmer is suitably antagonistic. Ducky and Spike never fail to bring a smile to my face, both are cute and amusing.

However, the adult dinosaur characters are underwritten and have little in their material of worth. Petrie is a little annoying at times, Littlefoot is sometimes likable but bland in other parts while Cera is an annoying (sometimes to the point of being insufferable) brat. The voice work is also mixed, John Ingle's distinguished narrator and Kenneth Mars' distinguished Grandpa stand out in the adults, while the best voice work overall comes from Aria Noelle Curzon and Rob Paulson as Ducky and Mo. Thomas Dekker varies in confidence as the voice of Littlefoot, sometimes sincere but he struggles being natural in the weaker material, while Jeff Bennett and Anndi McAfee over-compensate, especially McAfee.

'Journey to Big Water's' biggest weaknesses are the dialogue and the songs, criticisms that are true for most of the sequels actually. The dialogue too often doesn't sound very natural, with the humorous parts coming over as corny and the emotional parts mawkish too often, though both have their moments. The songs are not just forgettable and unnecessary (not to mention very badly sung), but the lyrics are likely to have even the most tolerant of children squirming in their chairs in embarrassment, "Imaginary Friend" is particularly hard to sit through.

Overall, not great but decent. One of the better sequels. 6/10 Bethany Cox


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