Making the Grades
In the continuing saga of Littlefoot and pals, the young dinos have finally set aside frolicking in the Great Valley and are attending school! Their teacher, Mr. Thicknose, the oldest and most knowledgeable dinosaur, finds their classroom antics to be disrespectful and especially resents Littlefoot's unintentional challenge to his authority.
At home, Ducky is dealing with some sibling rivalry because she finds Spike's loud sleep rumbles and huge appetite annoying. Not knowing how to deal with these emotions, she listens to the advice of her quick-tempered friend Cera, and learns to vent these frustrations. Feeling his sister's icy rejection, and noticing the differences between himself and his adoptive family, Spike eagerly visits some of his own kind, a company of a traveling spiketails.
But all are distracted and amazed when white sparkles from the sky blanket the valley--and the inevitable snowball fights begin. However, as temperatures continue to fall, the now chilly dinosaurs discover that their source of green food is diminishing. The animals hastily blame Mr. Thicknose (who is supposed to know everything) for not having warned them to store food.
The spiketails depart in search of greener pastures, and invite Spike to go with them. Ducky is crushed that her brother has chosen to leave and regrets having given him the cold shoulder. So, in true Land Before Time style, the plucky dino sets out alone into the frozen landscape to bring him back. It's not long before Littlefoot and the rest of the gang perceive the danger of the situation.
Having learned some lessons from previous episodes about wandering into the Mysterious Beyond on their own, the self-appointed search party is accompanied by Mr. Thicknose. Trying to redeem himself in the eyes of the community, the teacher agrees to provide his guidance and protection. Yet his failure to alert the children's parents of their intentions may prove older is not necessarily wiser.
Packed with a little more plot than past series installments, The Big Freeze still manages to squeeze in lessons of tolerance, forgiveness, families, love, and honesty. Although parents may easily forecast the sunny outcomes, youngsters are bound to enjoy this frosty caper.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Land Before Time VIII: The Big Freeze.
Talk about the movie with your family…
The Land Before Time series often portrays the perky young dinosaurs as knowing best and discredits the adults with childish attitudes or behavior. How do you feel about this portrayal? What impact did you feel Mr. Thicknose’s startling confession had on that message? How can children in today’s society learn respect and gain appreciation for their elders?