Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Sharptooth Tyrannosaurus

Sharptooth is the main antagonist in the 1988 Don Bluth film, The Land Before Time. It is unlikely that Sharptooth is his real name, as it is also the name of his species; in production art, he is simply labeled "Tyrannosaurus Rex." Though he is the main villain, it should be noted that Sharptooth's motives are somewhat understandable, as he (like the protagonists) is likely starving and desperate for food and sustenance, making his hunt for Littlefoot and company more of a "kill or be killed" type story versus a traditional battle of Good vs. Evil. Some believe the T-Rex wanted revenge on Littlefoot and his friends, as they damaged his right eye. His vocal effects were provided by Frank Welker. Sharptooth appears 4 times in the film. Sharptooth first appears when he approaches Littlefoot and Cera, who are playing together in a swamp. Sharptooth, who is probably hungry, chases them into a thicket of thorns. He plods through the thorns after them, and leans down through the thorns to catch Littlefoot. The young Sauropod tries to run but gets caught on a vine. As Sharptooth nears him, he escapes and the thorn-covered vines snap back at Sharptooth's face, severely injuring his right eye and causing him to bellow out in pain. Furious, Sharptooth stands up and resumes his pursuit of the two children, only for Littlefoot's Mother to intercept him. In the ensuing fight, Sharptooth is hit several times with her tail, which doesn't really have any effect on him. Eventually, the menace succeeds in jumping onto the large Sauropod's back and tears off some of her flesh. He also slashes her neck as well. She manages to dislodge him and knock him back again, but as the herbivores attempt to escape, a massive earthquake strikes the area. Quickly recovering, Sharptooth charges in the direction of Littlefoot and Cera again, partially trying to dispose of the two youngsters and partly in an attempt to save his own life from the raging earthquake. In their panic, the children are flipped onto Sharptooth's foot, and at that moment the quake tears the ground beneath them apart, and Sharptooth slides down the slope with his would-be prey on his back. As the children yell for help, Littlefoot's Mother comes to the rescue; she grabs the children and knocks Sharptooth off the edge, sending him falling into the chasm below. Littlefoot's Mother dies later that night, probably due to severe infections from the wounds on her back inflicted by Sharptooth. Later, after falling into the "Big Underground" herself, Cera finds Sharptooth's apparently dead body. Cera rams his head repeatedly until he suddenly awakes, having only been knocked out. It is revealed that Sharptooth survived from falling into the chasm. The young Triceratops quickly flees in terror as the beast rises behind her. Shortly afterwards, she meets up with Littlefoot and his new friends; Ducky, a Bigmouth, and Petrie, a Flyer. Cera explains her encounter with Sharptooth, but exaggerates it, making it sound as if she bravely fought him. While Ducky and Petrie believe Cera immediately, Littlefoot is convinced that Sharptooth has been killed. He holds this belief until, one morning, the fearsome beast himself ambushes the gang (by then including a Spiketil named Spike). The children barely manage to escape Sharptooth though a small hole in a rock wall, which Sharptooth tries to squeeze through while snapping and clawing at the children, but he is too big to fit through and they escape. The next day, a humiliated Cera left the group after they escaped a volcanic region she herself lead them into. Littlefoot, Ducky, Petrie, and Spike happen to see Sharptooth nearby while they are swimming in a deep lake. Littlefoot, guessing that Sharptooth can't swim, comes up with a plan to get rid of him for good. Baiting him with Ducky, they set their plan into motion. Sharptooth chases Ducky to the lake, while Petrie stands on a nearby ledge waiting to give a signal to Littlefoot and Spike, who are waiting to push a huge boulder off of a ledge onto Sharptooth. However, even after Sharptooth accidentally helps Petrie master his flight abilities, the plan is seemingly doomed to fail until Cera returns and helps push the boulder down onto Sharptooth. In a final act of rage and desperation, Sharptooth takes Petrie down with him as he plunges into the lake sinking to the bottom. After moments, the remaining children start to walk away sadly, believing Petrie to be dead. However the flyer manages to surface and fly back to his friends, and they all rejoice.

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