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

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Released 15-Sep-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Family Main Menu Audio & Animation
Scene Selection Audio
Game-Ducky's Deep Sea Discovery
Game-Cera Goes Home
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 71:30
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Charles Grosvenor
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring John Ingle
Thomas Dekker
Anndi McAfee
Aria Noelle Curzon
Rob Paulsen
Jeff Bennett
Jim Cummings
Case ?
RPI $24.95 Music James Horner
Michael Tavera


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    The Land Before Time series of films has to be one of the most successful series ever produced. Each movie seems to have just the right combination of characters, story, colour, movement and music so that younger children just love them. Journey To Big Water is the ninth in the series and it has lost none of the charm of the previous films.

    While adults will not be particularly entertained, they will be happy with the life lessons that are built into each movie. Through the story, the various characters learn about the consequences of certain actions and attitudes. The music is very simple but the kids just seem to love the songs that are dotted through the film.

    All the regular characters are in this film, Little Foot, Cera, Spike, Petrie and Ducky. They are joined by the guest star for this film, Mo. MO is something like a prehistoric dolphin, albeit a very brightly coloured dolphin. Extensive rains have created a flood and MO, who normally lives in the big water (the ocean) has been washed inland. He is discovered by Little Foot and they become friends. The gang decide to help MO find his way back to the big water. Along the way they meet major trouble in the form of a very large aquatic meat-eating dinosaur. Eventuality they make it to the big water and we have yet another happy ending.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     I would be very surprised if this was not a direct from digital transfer as it is a very good one and completely free of any artefacts.

    Presented at what is probably its original direct-to-video 1.33:1 aspect ratio, it is of course not 16x9 enhanced.

    The image is very sharp and the shadow detail is as drawn. There is no low level noise at all.

    The colours are vibrant, bright and multi-hued - perfect for the kiddies. They are also free of any noise.

    There are no MPEG artefacts present and a complete absence of any film to video or film artefacts seems to add weight to the proposition that this came straight from the computer that rendered it.

    The lack of subtitles is a problem - not all Australians can hear clearly and some of them are children.

    This is a single layered disc.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     There is a single Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack on this disc, although it does not really use 2.1 of those channels.

    Dialogue quality is excellent as is the audio sync.

    The music is directed at the kiddies with simple melodies and words. While you won't be whistling these tunes, the kiddies do seem to like them.

    There was very little activity from the surrounds - there was some ambience, but little else. I was a little surprised that none of the music made it into the surrounds as this is usually the first thing to go there.

    The subwoofer was quiet for the night which is a shame, as there were a few occasions where it would have added some depth to the soundtrack and physically backed up scenes like the big earthquake.



Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The centre section of this 1.33:1 menu plays a series of scenes from the movie with the menu items down the left hand side. The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0.

Game: Ducky's Deep Sea Discovery.

    A very simple game where you use the course keys to select a series of items in an underwater scene. Pressing Enter will reveal what is behind the item. The object is to find the missing eggs. Not very exciting and no skill required.

Game: Cera Goes Home

    This little game is much better than the first. You are presented with a very simple maze with Cera at one end and her father at the other. The object is to move Cera along the correct path using the cursor keys. A little bit of fun for those about four years old.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    This would give us a clear R1 winner.

Summary

    These movies seem to have an almost unlimited re-watch potential for younger kids. When the first film came out, only VHS was available and after a few months it looked very sad indeed due to the number of runs that it suffered in our house.

    The video is very nice.

    The audio is good.

    The extras are simple; one good and one not so good.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Terry McCracken (read my bio)
Tuesday, November 11, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDSkyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output
DisplaySony 1252q CRT Projector, Screen Technics matte white screen 16:9 (223cm). Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SR800
SpeakersB&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)

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