The Land Before Time Poster

The Land Before Time (1988)

Animation | Drama 
Rayting:   7.4/10 80367 votes
Country: USA | Ireland
Language: English

An orphaned brontosaurus teams up with other young dinosaurs in order to reunite with their families in a valley.

Movie Trailer

User Reviews

Bon_Jovi_chick 29 August 2002

What do you get when you cross a bunch of dinosurs and Don Bluth?? Answer: this memorable classic!!!

My mum bought me this film when I was 5 or 6 years and I loved it. 13 years on and my mind hasnt changed. I was watching it this morning and there was still that Bluth magic.

In case you dont know, the film is about 5 dinosaurs- a "long neck", a "three horn", a "big mouth", a "flyer" and a "spike tail". Theyre travelling to the Great Valley whilst trying to fight off Sharp tooth.

What makes this film a classic is the way things are named. Its educational to kids on dinosaurs and is done in a childish way. Its brilliant!!!! There are lessons to be learn with friendships.

The sequels dont match up to it but what do you expect?? They werent done by Bluth!!!!

Bluth may not have done as many animation as Disney but each of his films have shown something that Disney cannot do.

Definelty one to own and keep on watching until the end of time!!!!

Helen xxxxx

Cylex 29 August 2001

I've adored this film ever since I first saw it at the cinema in '88. Sweet Littlefoot, Bold Cera, Chatty Ducky, Timid Petrie & Greedy Spike are the cutest dinosaurs ever. Anyone unmoved by their adventures must have a heart of stone. The animation is superb and so is the soundtrack. Each dinosaur has a distinctive personality and you laugh and cry with them throughout. I only wish the film had been longer. The sequels are cute but it is the original that has the most heart. 10/10

G.Spider 1 October 1999

A group of young dinosaurs in a world which is nearing the end of the reign of the mighty reptiles set out to find a legendary valley which is still lush and green.

This is one of the best animation films ever made, as it is moving and entertaining. Not only is it a story of friendship, courage and love, but it also demonstrates childhood friendships which are 'not allowed' due to classism or racism - "Three-horns never play with Longnecks". 'Land Before Time', with its tribe of various dinosaurs plus a pterodactyl, is a story about putting aside so-called 'differences' and striving together in 'united we stand, divided we fall' fashion in order to leave the unlovely wilderness and find a land of freedom and equality (in this case the Great Valley).

An excellent and unmissable adventure which will appeal to anybody of any age.

The sequels sadly did away with the grittyness of this first film and instead turned to TV cartoonishness and pointless songs, but most of them (the boring Part 4 aside) are still very enjoyable. But in the tradition of most series of films, the original is the best.

Growlyted 11 March 2004

Five adorable baby dinosaurs set out on a heartwarming adventure to find their lost families. I fell in love with this at the cinema & I feel it deserves its success in the video market. I own every one but this is by far the best. Each character, determined Littlefoot, obstinate Cera, cheerful Ducky, timid Petrie & ever hungry Spike, is a delight. The story contains laughter, tears, hope & excitement. It is beautifully scored. The end title song, If We Hold On Together, is delightful too. The artwork is cute & full of detail. Don Bluth is a master. The voice casting is perfect. An absolute treasure. 10/10 *****

Cini34 4 September 2004

Don Bluth's masterpiece, The Land Before Time, is a wonderful children's feature with beautiful animation, a great story, adorable characters, and good direction.

As a director, Bluth's use of color and texture in this film is absolutely brilliant. He has this wonderful soft blending of mainly the background colors (usually most notable in the sky), which suggests use of chalk pastels to create this effect. In every film of his that I've seen, he always has great (what I like to call) atmospherics. In this film, you notice it in the blowing of dust/fog, some of the fire effects with the volcanoes (mainly the falling fire sparks), the falling black ash before the characters reach the "mountains that burn," as well as certain water effects.

The vocal cast was really well suited to all their roles. There were a few instances where some of the lines were a bit muffled and hard to understand, but for the most part, the cast did really well with their lines, made them sound natural, and child-like, and managed not to be overly cute and obnoxious as some characters made for children's films inherently are.

The score by James Horner is a wonderful addition to the film's atmosphere and really does a great job setting the mood. Horner always has a way of infusing his scores with a sense of romanticism that is often lacking in today's film composers, and this film is no exception. He makes really good use of his strings section, especially in this period of his work.

To be sure, this film is a masterpiece! All of its excellent qualities are apparent while watching the film, most notably the animation (which is excellent for a late 80s film), the voice cast, the score, the story, and the art direction. Without a doubt, it would be well-deserving of a spot in any animated feature hall of fame.

9 Stars out of 10!

Quinoa1984 20 August 2006

Like other 80s babies, so to speak, if you were born in that era before the Disney movies of the 90s- which did almost reach a mini-renaissance before plummeting towards the end of the decade- you first saw the animated films of Don Bluth more than Disney. This was one of them, and it is a film that, for a certain sort of kid (such as myself) can be watched countless times. It's short, maybe too short as one of its flaws (Bluth didn't retain final cut with Spielberg and Lucas in the background), as it only develops this epic tale of kiddie dinosaurs going through a harsh, dangerous journey to reach the oasis, the Great Valley. There aren't any time for songs, which is a plus, as Bluth gets in more time for some very realistic- for what is available at the time- animation of the environment. The kiddie dinosaurs themselves, Littlefoot the main protagonist (who also loses his mother, in the Bambi and Lion King vein though here even more of a shock to kids as its from nature and not from some other being to grasp), Cera, Petrie, Ducky and Spike, each have their own personalities ranging from heroic to goofy to scared and even stuck-up. This gives something that kids can hang on to, very simple characterizations that change only through the often used but not too tiresome ideal of friendship and group-work, etc etc.

Some of these scenes, the sillier ones, do end up making it more of a movie that holds more for the kids than the adults. That years later it doesn't lose much of its power visually, however, is a real credit to Bluth and his team, who along with An American Tail here make children's movies that know what they are, but make them in brilliant uses of the medium. The Tyrannasorus Rex- Sharptooth- is an immensely imposing presence with it saying never a word, as if it was pulled right out of the sequence from Fantasia. The design of the film is also extremely well laid, in a kind of dying world that like all fairy tales becomes all the more compelling in relation to what is the final paradise-type goal. It could almost be said that it might be much for wee little ones (younger than 5) could take, but it really wasn't as I remember it from first seeing it. It balances its look with its characters, making it a near-classic film of its time. Alternately cute and violent, poetic and kitschy.

ridley_64 7 March 2002

I remember first seeing this movie in the theatres!!!! I loved it and I have had it on video for quite some time now. I am older and realise how good this movie is and what it truly means! It's such ashame when great movies like these get destroyed by pointless, stupid sequels which are so childish. This movie has it all! A tale about dinosaurs, friendship, love & family, adventure, hope, and a tale about life itself. You may not physically cry but your heart will.

Ericho 17 February 2003

You heard me! Not even through the eight sequels, could they surpass the enjoyment of this one! The story is just classic. It's Don Bluth's finest work, I must say. It's ironically the only movie in the LBT series that was made for theaters! Pretty cool, huh?

I couldn't believe when I read how this movie was only like 70 minutes long. It seems like a long time, since it's so good. You've got cool dinosaur characters, going alone on a journey to the Great Valley. I think it's entertaining the way they have different names for the dinosaur species. Like "Sharp-tooth" for a T. Rex, or "Three-Horns" for a Stegosauraus or "Long-Neck" for Brontosauraus. My favorite character is Peetree, who is pretty cute. Too bad about Judith Barsi dying. That actually makes it interesting because now I know all the times in the sequels she was voiced by a different person than this time. I hope I'll see this movie more often. It seems like forever since I've seen it.

But then came the sequels. Part 4 was very nice(the best sequel yet), and Parts 2 and 3 were good, but after 4, let's face it. The movies are repetive and dull, just doing the same things its proceeders did. Why haven't they just made a TV show instead of all these sequels? Now, THAT would be something I'd like to see. This classic gets a 9/10

KittyKat-8 26 June 1999

As many Disney fans may know, there are two(maybe more, I'm not sure)animated movies that came out in 1988, and they are:Oliver and Company and Land Before Time. Oliver and Company was a big flop, I've heard. Land Before Time is a lot better. My point is, just because a Disney movie and a non-Disney movie come out around the same time, it doesn't mean the Disney movie will necessarily be better. We found that out with LBT. Most of the sequels sucked, but the first one will always be a classic. About the only sequels I recommend are the 2nd one, the 4th one and the sing-along. Those are the only ones I personally liked.(Well, I haven't seen the 6th one, so if it's good or not you'll just have to find out yourself.) Well, I love The Land Before Time, and I love Littlefoot. He'll always be my favorite character. Well, I guess I've talked too long. Thanks.

gfunkboy 8 October 2000

Never has a film ever touched my heart as much as A Land Before Time. Watching these five young dinosaurs search the world for the Great Valley is just heart warming. First of all, the character of Little Foot is so sad. His mother is killed in the "big shake" and he is separated from his grandparents. He meets up with Ducky, Sarah, Petrie, and Spike to lead them across the Earth to get to the Great Valley where all of the dinosaurs are at. The scene where Little Foot sees his own shadow and thinks it's his mother is especially sad. I recommend this movie to every human being alive. This movie deserved an oscar for best movie, sound track, actor, actress, supporting actor,supporting actress,director,producer,independent film, special effects and for best costumes. Why it didn't win any is mind melting.

bts1984 17 December 2010

One of my favorite childhood movies. I remember how much this movie made me happy as a kid, brings me very happy memories. I remember as if it was yesterday how happy I'd get whenever they aired this on television every Christmas on RTP Madeira (our TV channel). I never failed to watch it whenever they aired it.

It is a marvel. I'm not a big fan of Don Bluth's cinema, but this one is a masterpiece. Classic and timeless. Without a doubt, it's the best thing this guy ever did.

'The Land Before Time' is epic, solid, touching, delightful and very artistic. The artwork is wonderful and super colorful. The story is great. Animation is terrific. The movie has immense charm, it's one of the most perfect movies ever made, done with heart and soul. Will go down in history not only as one of the greatest animated masterpieces but also as one of the all time greats in general. No question about that.

The 5 main characters are enjoyable, even with their different personalities. Ducky is the cutest, most innocent and most endearing, plus she's got a really adorable voice (Judith Barsi's cute voice) which is in perfect harmony with her innocence. Cera is very stubborn and has got a short temper, but it's her strong personality what makes her another favorite. Therefore, for different reasons, Ducky and Cera are my two favorites.

In conclusion, it's a generally innocent little movie, being only a little dark in a few scenes with Sharptooth, the vicious and giant dinosaur (couldn't be other than a T-Rex). Aside Sharptooth, the dinosaurs are portrayed as generally friendly and adorable creatures, being the exact opposite of 'Jurassic Park' on that matter.

Title in Portugal: 'Em Busca do Vale Encantado'.

Movie Scene

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