Reasons why this was my favourite film as a child:
Male and female protagonists can be friends without promise of romance.
Arguments among friends which are overcome by working together. Then they don’t rub in that one made a mistake, they just move on from it.
A single parent family becomes a no parent family, then grandparents do a great job of raising the kid.
Accepting loss, and dealing with it in a realistic way. Moving through anger, denial, hope, grief, and acceptance.
Seeing that foolish actions can have serious consequences.
Compassion in some of its gentlest and most subtle forms. The berry, protecting the tree star, sleeping in a group for warmth and reassurance.
‘We never do anything together’ - bridging the gap between species, genders, and ages. Proving that no matter what they look like, kids are kids, and they can be friends.
Actual personalities and flaws. Cera is stubborn and proud, Ducky uses her childish humour and liveliness to hide her pain from losing her siblings, Spike is a baby, but fond enough of his companions to find bravery, Petrie is defensive and self important to compensate for his inability to fly, and his fear. Littlefoot takes the role of the leader because he cherishes the lives of others, and knows the stinging loss they’re all feeling.
Also because it breaks my heart every fricken time.