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The Land Before Time XIII: The Great Day of the Flyers is a 2006 American direct-to-video animated film and is the twelfth film in the Land Before Time series. It was released on February 27, 2007 by Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

Plot

Petrie is having a difficult time preparing for "The Day of the Flyers", an important day for all of the flying residents of the Great Valley, when all of the young flyers must participate in a very precise flying exhibition to prove that they are ready to fly with the adults. Always a nervous flyer, Petrie has even more trouble flying with his siblings in precise group formations — he's more of an independent, free-style flier. At the same time, a strange newcomer to the Great Valley has Littlefoot and his friends trying to help figure out just exactly what he is. Named Guido, a Feathered Flyer, he's the strangest looking creature any of the Great Valley creatures has ever seen, especially since he's covered with feathers, and has never seen another like himself. Cera is having her own troubles, as her grumpy father and his new mate, Tria, get ready to welcome a hatchling to the family.

All of these issues come together on the night before "The Day of the Flyers," when Guido starts to figure out what he is, inadvertently leading all of the gang on a perilous adventure into the Mysterious Beyond. They encountered a Spinosaurus which gives chase and tried to eat them. But Petrie, Guido, and the others defeat the Spinosaurus and they returned to the Great Valley.

Voice cast

  • Nick Price as Littlefoot
  • Anndi McAfee as Cera
  • Aria Curzon as Ducky
  • Jeff Bennett as Petrie/Petrie's Sibling #2
  • Rob Paulsen as Spike/Guido/Kosh
  • Tress MacNeille as Petrie's Mother
  • John Ingle as Topsy/Narrator
  • Camryn Manheim as Tria
  • Kenneth Mars as Grandpa Longneck/Parasaurolophus
  • Nika Futterman as Petrie's Sibling #1/Tricia
  • Susan Blu as Petrie's Sibling #3

Production

The project was announced on August 8, 2005 along with The Land Before Time TV series. It was the first sequel in the series to be filmed in widescreen and the first to be filmed in the high-definition format, although the Region 1 DVD was in full screen (cropping the left and right of the image), though not pan and scan as the camera stays directly in the center of the image. Like other television shows filmed in high-definition (such as American Idol, Father of the Pride, Curious George, and Out of Jimmy's Head) and other films filmed in high-definition (such as The Proud Family Movie, Tom and Jerry: The Fast and the Furry, Scooby-Doo! in Where's My Mummy?, and High School Musical), the monitor the animation team would have worked from would have 16:9 and 4:3 safe areas so that the full screen version would not crop off too much of any important visual elements (such as characters). However, the previous film The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration was matted to anamorphic widescreen on DVD in Israel.

This film was originally subtitled The Day of the Flyers, but the word "great" was added to the subtitle, due to the Flip, Flap and Fly music video mentioning the current subtitle.

This was the first time the Universal Studios website notes this film as a "tween film".

The same production team remains, with Charles Grosvenor as director and producer. It was produced by Universal Animation Studios and distributed by Universal Studios Home Entertainment. It was the first film in the series to use the 2006-present Universal Animation Studios logo.

This was the second film in the series to contain slow-motion after The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration; as Littlefoot jumps off the falling tree, he is very slow until he lands on the cliff.

Skip Jones, who is credited for character animation, also animated the characters in the original Land Before Time around 19 years earlier. Most of the animation in this film is by the Wang Film and Cuckoo's Nest studios in Taiwan (the animators for the most recent sequels), so only a small portion of his work is seen.

Music

The music score was composed by Michael Tavera and Kyle Kenneth Batter with additional music composed by Billy Martin. This was the second film in the series without James Horner's original score from the first film (the first was The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration), and every film after this does not reuse his score. Michael Tavera's older themes from the previous sequels can still be heard in this film.

This was the sixth time Spike sings; his lips can be seen moving when the rest of the gang sings One of a Kind. It was also the first film in the series to end with the ending music from The Land Before Time VII: The Stone of Cold Fire since The Land Before Time IX: Journey to Big Water.

Songs

The songs were written by Michele Brourman and Amanda McBroom.

  • One of a Kind
  • Things Change
  • Flip, Flap and Fly (an instrumental version can be heard in the end credits)

Flip, Flap and Fly music video preview

To help promote the film's release, the three-minute Flip, Flap and Fly music video was shown in theaters during early screenings of Curious George and later screenings of The Chronicles of Narnia. It can be seen on the Curious George and PollyWorld DVDs as one of the opening previews. It was never included on the film's disc. The final version of the sequence seems to be a bit different from the music video by using alternate scenes, such as ones that didn't make it to the video, for example, the shot that reveals that the little green flyer was the egg that got lost throughout the song. Also, the music video included some shots that were not in the film. Instead, the whole Flip, Flap and Fly scene just ends with all flyers flying in a formation.

Cultural References

  • The title for the song "Flip, Flap and Fly" is a parody of the song "Flip, Flop and Fly" from Aardman's 2000 film Chicken Run.
  • Tap-dancing feet of an egg during the song "Flip, Flap and Fly" are similar to the 2006 film Happy Feet.

Trivia

  • This is the first appearances of Tricia and Guido.
  • This is the only film that Nick Price voices Littlefoot.
  • Petrie's Siblings have a big role in this film for the first time.
  • Grandma Longneck and Mama Swimmer appear but have no speaking roles.
  • Ducky mentions that she has an aunt who sleep swims.
  • This is the third film in the series to show a reappearing guest character, the first two being The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island, which features Chomper as a major character, and The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration, in which Mo made a cameo appearance during Adventuring.
  • Mo, Big Daddy and the other Tinysauruses make cameos in the "Flip, Flap and Fly" number.
  • This was not the first appearance of a feathered animal; the first two were Ichy the Ichthyornis, from The Land Before Time IV: Journey through the Mists, and the green Archaeopteryx, seen in The Land Before Time VII: The Stone of Cold Fire, although it was the first appearance of Guido, a Microraptor.
  • This film reveals Petrie is afraid of flying through Sky Puffies.
  • This is the last film in which Kenneth Mars voiced Grandpa Longneck, as the character did not have a speaking role in The Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends and the actor died of pancreatic cancer in 2011.
  • It was originally rumored that Pterano along with his henchmen Rinkus (a Rhamphorhynchus) and Sierra (a Cearadactylus) were going to appear again. However the idea was apparently dropped, if ever considered.
  • This was the second film in the series to contain slow-motion; as Littlefoot jumps off the falling tree, he is very slow until he lands on the cliff.
  • Adult Stegosauruses didn't appear in this movie, the same thing with the 2007 movie The Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends.
  • This film was the last one to use numeric titles, as 13 and 14 don't have XIII or XIV in the titles.
  • This is the first Land Before Time film to be produced in widescreen. This does not count the theatrically-released original film, which was produced in an open matte ratio.

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