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Heartwarming / Dinosaur

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"One down."
  • Bruton sacrificing himself to save Aladar from the carnotaurs after remembering what happened to the scout from earlier who got killed when they were both attacked.
  • All the dinosaurs who managed to make it to the nesting grounds. When Aladar smiles at everyone and says "Welcome home", that hammers the heartwarming part home.
  • Neera managing to stop Kron from killing Aladar and goes with him to the right path to the nesting grounds. The herd sees them and follows their new leader, leaving Kron behind.
  • The courtship scene, before everything goes to hell. The music, the palpable happiness, the rush from the swinging lemurs while the adults not courting watch from below...
  • Aladar's methods for dealing with Kron's tyranny are, up until the last desperate moment, nonviolent ones. When he hears the older dinosaurs are being driven too hard, he asks in a kind, friendly manner for the pace to be slowed. And when Kron intends to leave his friends to be killed to slow the carnotaurs down, the audience expects Aladar to charge him. Instead, he races up to Kron and... turns to face the herd itself. Until he has no other choice he tries to appeal to people's better nature. Plio raised him right.
    Aladar: HOLD IT! That could be you back there! Or You!"
    • Even when he does finally confront Kron directly, Aladar still tries to do it without a fight. He only fights when Kron attacks him for usurping his authority.
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  • Aladar really isn't the stereotypical courageous young fantasy-adventure hero. Right from the very beginning, his courage is... quieter. Aladar is a protector, a comforter, a peacemaker, and a nurturer. He sums it up himself.
    Aladar: Look, Neera. We look out for each other, we all stand a chance of making it to your Nesting Grounds.
    Neera: *mirthless laugh* You sound so sure.
    Aladar: I'm not! ...But it's all I know.
  • Any time Plio is being maternal—quietly telling Bruton that he can survive if he doesn't give up, adopting Aladar and raising him to be the man—well, iguanodon—he becomes, and of course her relationship with her daughter Suri. She may be a tiny lemur in a world ruled by gigantic dinosaurs, but Plio's actions always speak volumes about how good she is.
    Suri: ...They're all... gone.
    Plio: Shh. I'm here.
    • Plio giving medication to the weakened Bruton, despite the rude way he had treated her and her family ("little parasites").
    • When Eema is ready to die at the lake bed when it appears there's no water, Plio tries to comfort her with a hand on her face, even as tiny as her hand is.
  • Yar, at the very beginning, couldn't kill a helpless infant even though his mind told him he had to. Points go to Plio, as well, for having complete faith in her father's good heart. She's not concerned for a moment that he might really do it.
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  • Suri and her 'little Aladars', making sure the frightened babies got water. After they succeed in getting the little ones water by convincing them to use teamwork, Aladar turns to Suri and congratulates her.
  • Everything about Aladar finding water, but perhaps especially the way he planted himself beside Eema—temporarily too weak to stand—to protect her from being trampled. And on that note, the fact that he saved the entire herd simply because he took the time to stop and try to care for a fallen older dinosaur, and that let him realize that the water table was just a foot or so below the dry lakebed; and his first act after figuring it out is to immediately share the knowledge with the others. Neera's slow, thoughtful pan between Aladar and her brother (who's violently driving any and all comers away from the single water hole Aladar had time to dig, until he's had his fill) says everything.
    "That's right, keep pushing and shoving! That's very helpful!"
  • When Aladar, Baylene, and Zini have found water, the misfits gather around the small pool forming, even Eema, who moments ago had collapsed in despair. Aladar then waits until everyone else has begun drinking from the pool, smiling happily as his family gets some much needed water.
  • It's subtle and likely unintentional, but when the straggler group sleeps, Aladar and Baylene on the outsides form the shape of a rough heart.
  • Baylene revealing how much Aladar's respect for the stragglers meant to her when he finally loses hope after struggling and struggling to reach a dead end.
    Aladar: It's gone. We're not meant to survive.
    Baylene: (livid) Oh yes we were! We're here, aren't we?! And how dare you waste that good fortune by simply giving up! For shame! Shame on you, shame on you! And the worst of it allowed an old fool like me to believe I was needed. That I still had a purpose. And do you know what? You were right. And I'm going to go on believing it! I, for one, am not willing to die here!"
    • Then Baylene proceeds to rear up on her hind legs and begin smashing into the dead end to bring it down, with her strength being just the push needed to budge the rocky wall. To hell with paleontological accuracy, this display of courage and loyalty was worth it.
    • She's joined by Eema, who begins smashing into the wall with her frill, as well as Url, who hobbles over to try to pull out a small rock himself. Aladar is soon inspired to get back into it.
      • The novelization expands on this.
        Narration: Maybe Kron was right. The strong would survive. And currently his friends weren't quite strong enough to do this. But all of them together? They would survive.
  • Neera slowly learning how to hope again. After watching her nursery of orphans die off over the course of the movie—from a huge crowd in the beginning to just a single pair of brothers by the end—she goes back and helps to save the very last ones. You can hear in her voice that she's finally realizing maybe things don't have to be as brutal and heartless as Kron has always preached. Maybe showing mercy and caring for the weak really is worth it.
    "It's okay, little ones. We're going to make it."
    • The fact that the first 'little Aladar' was willing to be left behind by the herd rather than leave his weaker brother to die. He was desperately trying to push the fallen baby back onto his feet even as everyone around him ignored his cries for help. And then Neera came back.
  • Baylene, Eema and Url warm very quickly to Aladar and his family. During the crossing, Eema even allows them to ride on her neck, protected from the sun by the shade made by her frill. Baylene also allows them to ride her and even climb to the top of her head. It's really quite sweet that they allow these tiny aliens, for all they know, to ride them and try to protect them.
  • A bit of Fridge Logic with the Carnotaurs. Even though there's hardly any food to go around, with just the occasional straggler or carcass to keep them from starving to death, the Carnotaurs don't ever turn on one another. They're probably a mated pair, and they really do care about each other and stick together when things get tough.
    • This turns into a Tear Jerker, though. The only time we ever see them fight is when they're facing off with Bruton in the cave, but seconds later, they're buried alive and one of them is killed, leaving its mate with no opportunity to make things better between them. The survivor's chilling roar after it excavates itself isn't just the villain being scary; it's the sound of an agonized creature vowing revenge. Then, it attacks the whole herd at once, which none of the predators in the movie were dumb enough to attempt before. It's gone mad with grief and regret. This would have been a very different movie from the point of view of the antagonists...
  • In a deleted scene, Neera tries defending the orphaned baby Iguanodon from a pack of raptors until Kron arrives to save them. Despite angrily telling her that he won't rescue her and the orphans next time they fall back, he does seem to care a good deal about his sister.
  • Despite having abandoned him for Aladar, when she sees the Carnotaur heading for the lone Kron, Neera immediately doubles back to save her brother. She's too late to save Kron from getting mauled, but you can see the pure awe on his face as he watches her fight the beast to try to save him, and it's the last thing he sees before his death. Thicker Than Water indeed.