To me it feels like the last dying gaps of that darker style/formula late '70s-'80s feature animation was known for, which seemed to just evaporate shortly after The Little Mermaid became a smash hit.
I think some of Bluth's early '90s stuff might still has some of that but I don't feel like watching bad movies to check.>>116078239>it's not hard to see the budget cuts since American Tail and Land Before Time
Originally Bluth had a three feature deal with Spielburg, but this third film never happened.
I'm gonna guess this was because he wasn't very satisfied with how Land Before Time turned out. If you've ever wondered why the film is only 69 minutes long, it's because over 10 minutes of expensive, fully finished animation was cut out.