Just In
for Snowballed Lies

3/12/2020 c1 20The Rhombus
This story certainly has a lot to take in, both as a character study of Mr. Thicknose and an analysis of the power and dangers of words. Words made in haste and with venom can truly cause untold damage no matter the underlying intentions, though the same can be said of making false claims in the belief that the ends will justify the means. In the end one dinosaur's attempt to keep his dignity resulted in an undignified lie... and with it the unraveling of both his self-worth and life.

I quite enjoy the first part of the story as it showcases that Arbor was a very unique child. Gifted with intelligence and curiosity, but not the freedom to risk everything for his curiosity, he is relegated to picking the brains of those around him. This is where we get to see an old, familiar face with no shortage of knowledge and wisdom himself: Rooter. The resulting advice does indeed have a lasting impact on Arbor (just like it did for a certain longneck well in the future).

Then, with the passing of Arbor's mother years later, we finally get the passing on of one identity and the taking on of another. Now Arbor has become his role, so to speak. He is Mr. Thicknose, the teacher. But as we then see in the second part of the tale this intertwining of self-identity with his role also has a heavy cost. For a decision made in the moment to prop up his reputation actually sets him up for his tragic fall; and with the loss of his dignity as the "know it all" he has very little to fall back on. In the end Ducky's harsh words finally deal the finishing blow as Mr. Thicknose gives up. In the end Ducky, Mr. Threehorn, and Mr. Thicknose all get to experience the power of words firsthand.

At the risk of not doing this story justice, I must conclude by saying that this is easily one of the most powerful character studies submitted for a prompt challenge in the last year. Yes, it focuses on one character; and, yes, it ends tragically. However, it is one of the most powerful character studies that I can remember. We all must be careful in keeping true to ourselves, and to not let our pretenses become our reality. For when we allow ourselves to "become the mask" so to speak, we diminish ourselves in the process, and set ourselves up for a fall. It is best to be humble and, if we are to take meaning from our roles or work in life, to also put it in its proper context; and to never resort to false pretensions to back up our self-image. In canon Mr. Thicknose had a second chance, whereas here he did not, but in either case his story provides us with a powerful lesson.

Thank you very much for sharing this story with us. :)
3/7/2020 c1 8Anagnos
If I were to describe this story with a few words in place of changing the entire structure of the feedback into a explicitly detailed version that would take a long time, I would say that it not only managed to surpass my expectations, but brought forth something I never expected to encounter in the Land Before Time universe, much less on this scale; sheer heartfelt emotion within the protagonist, Mr. Thicknose. The chronicle of accurate representation in the canon addresses the mundane issue what we haven’t seen of him – a chance to learn more about him as a character.

While the first sequences were linear extent in space that could’ve worked out had it been slightly abbreviated to save time, it showed us a genuine moment to see how he would evolve throughout the story. At first glance, we see him as a curious, albeit frightened child eager to learn more about the world and how it functions, become overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge he has to accumulate in his young mind. This enthusiasm, while mostly appreciated part of exploration, almost ends up him in trouble with other denizens. The lesson to always remain level-headed while in the presence of the more vindictive individuals, is one that stuck with him. Which, in a way, makes it known in detail of his timid demeanor around Topps in particular.

Many stories include their ups and downs for the protagonist to tackle, and it wasn’t excluded here; the way Rooter was tied to the story, was not only a brilliant maneuver on your part, but a sudden feeling of astonishment flowing through your very veins once he made his appearance known to the audience. We could already surmise him to be a wise dinosaur from his brief discussion with Littlefoot about the Circle of Life, but this truly took his character into another level. But just as Arbor found something to rejoice about, his mother unexpectedly falls ill and later dies off-screen, foreshadowing that the cruelness hiding amidst the passion, was about to show itself.

Mr. Thicknose’s actions, while cannot be defended, start to eventually pile up until it blows up in his face. Once this is underway, you can’t help but start to feel bad for him and observe the situation from his perspective; here is an individual whom spend decades adjusting his knowledge of the world, ultimately in vain, as he forgot the most important lesson of all: never let the circumstances in life change who you truly are at heart. But this offers a rather intriguing question; does he deserve to be held accountable for the rest of his life? In my opinion, no. His willpower to push through the basic instict to crawl into a ball showed just how much it has affected his life up until this point, and is fully prepared to take responsibility for his actions, even if his pride is hellbent to halt that.

In a terrible show of misfortune, he ends up dying alone and miserable, considering himself lowest of the low and not worth the praise of achieving something great one day. His loss is already felt when his knowledge of the world is now lost with him, and the valley, whether they realize it or not, are now forced to confront this undesired future they helped to set in motion. This has been one of the finest fictional stories I’ve read, but I still had my personal issues with it; considering how long it was, it would’ve been better to separate the story into chapters. The second issue I had with it was mentioned earlier – the continuous barrage of excessive details within the narrative divided the attention away from the story, and by extension, made it longer than necessary.

January seems to be the month for unrecognized characters to take the pedestal. First Pterano, then Guido and now Mr. Thicknose. I couldn’t be more ecstatic that we’ve seen such amazing stories this year, and I hope to see this flow continue.
3/5/2020 c1 26Keijo6
Now this was a great story, Owls! This is easily the deepest look we’ve taken into Mr. Thicknose’s character and I’d say you’ve done a great job in that while also establishing some basis for why he acted the way he did. Indeed, you made it all blend together quite perfectly which is far from an easy feat. It wasn’t shown to the viewer but it seems there were a lot of deep character conflicts during Big Freeze which is another proof of what the films could have been with a bit more effort.

The start of the fic was an unusual look into the character’s childhood and it’s more than clear Arbor wasn’t the most usual child. His drive for knowledge and respect is rather clear here and it isn’t that difficult to see how Arbor changed into Mr. Thicknose over the years. His portrayal as a child is believable and it was quite great to see Rooter, another heavily overlooked character, tied to this tale. That guy just has the habit of coming out of nowhere and giving someone advice they remember for the rest of their lives.

As for the latter part, it has a very similar feeling to the original Five Stages of Grief with an intense fixation on Mr. Thicknose’s struggles with himself and with everyone else around him. It was nice to see the old scenes narrated from mainly his point of view as it created amazing insight into how those events tied into his life as a whole. His realization of his own failures and Ducky’s outburst at him only made the reader feel more deeply more him even if we know he hadn’t acted perfectly himself.

One small issue I had with this story is its structure. It feels a bit odd to have the first half as a flashback and the second half as retellings of the eighth film with a few shorter sequences in between. That structure makes the film’s focus seem a bit disoriented even if it wasn’t bothering in any meaningful sense. Also, the “You are a wise child, Arbor…”- line was used a bit too much.

Other than that, great job as always! I’ve said it before but you can make characters feel more interesting and complete than any other LBT author and this story is one of your finest examples in that regard! Despite the things I mentioned, this story was a spectacular read and a good addition to your already impressive list of stories.

Twitter . Help . Sign Up . Cookies . Privacy . Terms of Service