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Lessons from "The Land Before Time"

Today I had the opportunity to reminisce about Annie’s childhood. The real Annie not the porcupine one. The grandson and I had a movie day, with popcorn in hand, we snuggled on the couch, wrapped in blankets, watching one of Annie’s favorite movies when she was Roland’s age; "The Land Before Time."

As we enjoyed our popcorn, I couldn't help but reflect on the valuable lessons woven into the storyline about friendship, courage, and perseverance. The diverse group of characters in the film, including the feisty Cera, cooperated together to overcome obstacles. Cera, who until today I thought was “Sarah," is the character I levitated too. Her spirited independence and determination to hide her vulnerabilities has always struck a chord with me.

Cera's constant struggle to adhere to her father's strict belief that "three-horns never play with longnecks" is both amusing and poignant. Her father's narrow-minded perspective, which views dinosaurs from other species as inferior or dangerous, sadly reflects a form of bigotry that influences Cera's own attitudes.

It's a sobering reminder of how unconscious bias can be learned, even from those we love. However, as the story unfolds, Cera undergoes a transformative journey, learning to overcome her prejudices and embrace the diversity of her world. Her evolution serves as a powerful lesson in empathy and open-mindedness, reminding us of the importance of fostering meaningful relationships across different backgrounds.

In revisiting "The Land Before Time" with my grandson, I was reminded once again of the enduring significance of these timeless lessons. It's a reminder that empathy and understanding can transcend boundaries and enrich our lives in unexpected ways. This might be a movie everyone should rewatch.

Bluth, Don. The Land Before Time. Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, 1988.

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