The Land Before Time

Before there was Ice Age there was The Land Before Time. Released in 1988 then again sometime in the early 90s by McDonald’s which is how I got a copy of it, the original The Land Before Time is a classic film dealing with the ever present modern day political issue of young dinosaurs.

the land before time

(I like that the T-Rex appears to be singing off a mountain with one knee higher than the other)

The film takes places near the end of the Cretaceous Period which means nothing to anyone. The main character is Littlefoot, a long-neck dinosaur more Biblically referred to as a “penis-necked did not existers.” He’s sweet, adventurous, and a bit of a mama’s boy. When his mother is attacked by a T-Rex nicknamed Sharptooth, she suffers neck and back injuries. Littlefoot is left alone in the world after she dies from those injuries. I can’t help but think I wish I had a cool nickname like Sharptooth. He was the only character who couldn’t talk. He probably didn’t even know what a badass he was.

An earthquake happens and it separates many of the dinosaurs from each other as the earth opens up. Littlefoot is separated from the rest of the dinosaurs in his pack, herd, or gaggle. I’m not sure what a gang of dinosaurs is called. He eventually meets up with a stubborn triceratops name Cera, no relation to Michael. I think that’s a little strange she’s the one that gets to be named Cera. It’s like when males are named Guy. It’s not right for someone to be called what they are. Like when I was 4 no one bothered to learn my name and I was just “the fat kid.”

Littlefoot and Cera set off on an adventure trying to find an oasis described to Littlefoot by his dying mother. Along the way they make new dinosaur friends. There’s Ducky who never shuts up and is even called by the long-necks a “Big-Mouth.” She has an adorable voice and her biggest worry is making sure everyone else is happy. This is how you will know Ducky was not my father. They also meet Petrie, a pterodactyl, and they are there for the birth of Spike. Remember, dinosaurs come from eggs so there was no gross birthing scene. Wouldn’t it be weird if people came out of eggs? I guess we sort of do. Huh, never realized it until now.

land before time

(From left to right then to the bottom: Spike, Petrie, Littlefoot, Cera, Ducky, a ghost that only I can see and you cannot because I have the sixth sense)

In many ways The Land Before Time was the dinosaur version of The Brave Little Toaster. They even have the same amount of words in the titles and each word starts with the same letter. It’s too coincidental not to somehow be Illuminati associated.

The gang of dinosaurs has to use their strengths to help each other. Cera remains reluctant to truly become part of the group for a while, but comes around when she is needed most. At times this movie can be incredibly heartbreaking dealing with death and the eventual extinction of an entire species. Dinosaur movies are terribly depressing for me because it’s almost like saying no matter whether they survive or not, their legacy will not continue on. When humans are wiped out by whatever kills us, our legacies too will be lost forever. Did you feel a chill run up or down your spine?


(Sharptooth going in for a frog splash. That’s going to really be killer on his knees)

This film spawned a countless number of sequels to the point where my friend’s dad said something along the lines of “If they keep making these movies we’re going to have to watch them all die.” There was even a short-lived television show based on the series. From the Wikipedia page I found this terribly disturbing, “A 2007 television series was released in North America. It follows the style of the sequels in terms of the morality and the musical numbers (with some of the songs being shortened, reworked versions of songs from the sequels).” Okay now that I read it again I don’t find it disturbing. I thought instead of morality it was mortality which meant there was a lot of death in the movies. I need to look at things closer.

14 thoughts on “The Land Before Time

  1. I liked the one about the opium flowers they had to get to save Littlefoots grand…pa? I forget which grandparent. That’s what they were, right? And treestars were supposed to be like pot or something. There were some real druggie euphemisms.

    I felt bad for Littlefoot when the sexy female long neck had to leave and didn’t hook up with him at all.

    I also loved Chomper as a kid. I had a stuffed Chomper. Dunno where it is now.

  2. “Wouldn’t it be weird if people came out of eggs? I guess we sort of do. Huh, never realized it until now.” <—Thanks, I'm gonna use that one on bigger idiots than myself.

    I loved watching TLBT VHS tapes with my brother. Although I can't remember much specifics, I can still remember that feeling like you're at the edge of your seat and wishing with all your heart that nobody dies or falls into that boiling lava. Those were the days we actually agree to be civil and sit next to each other without hair-grabbing/elbowing.

  3. My only question is, where are all the damn humans? How do they expect us to believe a dinosaur movie that didn’t include Newman being a douche or The Fly saving the weird looking chick from all the David Lynch movies? Totally unrealistic.

    Now if you want some believable storytelling, just check out Theodore Rex ( It’s like a history lesson come to life.

  4. “The film takes places near the end of the Cretaceous Period which means nothing to anyone.” so true. “This is how you will know Ducky was not my father.” hahaha so good.
    This was a great piece! The only thing I remember about this movie was Littlefoot eating a delicious looking leaf. Like it had water droplets on it and it looked so yum. Also I remember being babysat by someone that I didn’t like and they put this movie on and it was stormy out and I just wasn’t feeling the vibe. Bad memories.

    • It’s so perfect that we have different tastes in these different shows/movies we cover. The Land Before Time was always one I thought about positively. A person’s mood can definitely affect the outcome though. I watched Louis CK’s latest special and thought it was terrible. I was also in a bad mood at the time so who knows? But I’m not watching it again.

  5. Trying to catch up here…
    I wanted to love this movie but my oldest girl child (aka Beauty) couldn’t watch it. Seriously! She watched maybe half of it ONE time and had nightmares for a week! This is the same child who cried alligator tears when I wouldn’t let her watch Congo for the 3rd time. She was 3!!! The scary ape creature thingy’s in Congo didn’t bother her a bit but Littlefoot and Ducky? Nightmares! Go figure… To this day (she’s 19 now) she STILL refuses to watch any of the TLBT movies.

  6. I still remember watching this when I was 4.(I,m 11 now) I never got to watch every single one,`cause my mom had trouble finding them all,but I spent the last month watching all 13 of the original ones that my mom downloaded.
    I’m sure that if it weren’t for my older sisters,I wouldn’t have found out how lovely TLBT is.
    I’m very sad for my friends `cause they have no idea what TLBT is…


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s