Dale Winton brings together a selection of clips featuring pop stars, film stars, comedians, sports stars and presenters before they hit the big time.
Runtime: 55 minutes
Before They Were Stars - The Land Before Time - Netflix
The Land Before Time is a 1988 animated adventure drama film directed and produced by Don Bluth and executive produced by Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy, and Frank Marshall. Produced by the American companies Amblin Entertainment and Lucasfilm, and the American-Irish Sullivan Bluth Studios, it features dinosaurs living in the prehistoric times. The plot concerns a young Longneck named Littlefoot who is orphaned when his mother is killed by a Sharptooth. Littlefoot flees famine and upheaval to search for the Great Valley, an area spared from devastation. On his journey, he meets four young companions: Cera the Threehorn, Ducky the Bigmouth, Petrie the Flyer, and Spike the Spiketail. The film explores issues of prejudice between the different species and the hardships they endure in their journey as they are guided by the spirit of Littlefoot's mother and forced to deal with the Sharptooth. This is the only Don Bluth film of the 1980s in which Dom DeLuise did not participate (instead, he starred in Disney's Oliver & Company that same year), and the only film in The Land Before Time series that is not a musical, as well as the only one to be released theatrically worldwide. Released by Universal Pictures on November 18, 1988, the film spawned a franchise with thirteen direct-to-video sequels and a television series as well as merchandise.
Before They Were Stars - Critical response - Netflix
The Land Before Time holds a 70% “fresh” approval rating from review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes from 30 critics with the consensus "Beautifully animated and genuinely endearing, The Land Before Time is sure to please dino-obsessed tykes, even if it's a little too cutesy for older viewers. Metacritic assigned a score of 66, based on reviews by 15 critics, signifying “Generally favorable reviews”. Critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert gave the film “two thumbs up” on a 1988 episode of their television program At the Movies. Siskel found it to be “sweet more than it was scary” and “quite beautiful”, also praising its straightforward story and remarked that he would recommend it to children over Disney's Oliver and Company, released the same day. In his own review for the Chicago Sun-Times, Ebert gave the film three out of four stars, writing “I guess I sort of liked the film, although I wonder why it couldn't have spent more time on natural history and the sense of discovery, and less time on tragedy.” Peter Travers of People magazine felt the movie had an unclear audience, stating “The animation is fine. But the Stu Krieger screenplay contains violence that might be hard on the younger ones, [...] and a never-let-up cuteness that can turn minds of all ages to mush.” Los Angeles Times writer Sheila Benson also stated that the movie's enjoyment was limited to younger viewers, remarking “do dinosaurs really lend themselves to ootsie-cutesiness?” Many reviewers compared The Land Before Time to films from Disney's Golden Age. Steven Rea of the Philadelphia Inquirer said that the movie “looks and sounds as if it came out of the Disney Studios of the '40s or '50s. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing,” calling it “meticulously crafted” but was also “mildly disappoint[ed]” that the dialog wasn't as sophisticated. In her review for the Sun-Sentinel, Candice Russel similarly remarked, “The Land Before Time works by evoking the simple virtues of this art aimed at children, as it was in the beginning when Disney animated Mickey Mouse.” A review from the Motion Picture Guide 1989 Annual notes that the film “has been called a sort of prehistoric Bambi”. David Kehr from the Chicago Tribune similarly felt that the film's title “also refers to the Disney past, but it goes for all the marbles. Its model is nothing less than the life-cycle saga of Bambi, and that Bluth gets even half the way there is proof of a major talent.” Kehr gave the movie three-and-a-half out of four stars, calling it “as handsome and honest an animated feature as any produced since Walt Disney's death; it may even be the best.”
Before They Were Stars - References - Netflix