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The Land Before Time (1988)

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

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(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
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2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Ducky (voice)
...
Narrator / Rooter (voice)
...
Littlefoot (voice)
...
...
Grandfather (voice)
...
Daddy Topps (voice)
...
Cera (voice) (as Candy Hutson)
...
Petrie (voice)
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Storyline

An orphaned brontosaurus named Littlefoot sets off in search of the legendary Great Valley. A land of lush vegetation where the dinosaurs can thrive and live in peace. Along the way he meets four other young dinosaurs, each one a different species, and they encounter several obstacles as they learn to work together in order to survive. Written by Scott Lane <rslane@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From the creators of An American Tail See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

18 November 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Land Before Time Began  »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,500,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$48,092,846 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's narrator also performed the voice for Rooter. This may have been to underscore the fact that both characters were very wise and insightful. See more »

Goofs

There is no such dinosaur as a brontosaurus. What happened was the skeleton of an Apatosaurus got mixed with the skull of an Camarasaurus and was misidentified. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Once upon this same earth, beneath this same sun, long before you, before the ape and the elephant, as well; before the wolf, the bison, the whale, before the mammoth and the mastodon, in the time of the dinosaurs. Now the dinosaurs were of two kinds. Some had flat teeth, and ate the leaves of trees, and some had sharp teeth for eating meat, and they preyed upon the leaf-eaters. Then it happened that the trees began to die. The mighty beasts who appeared to rule the earth, were, in...
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Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: We Wish You a Turtle Christmas (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

If We Hold On Together
Music and Words by James Horner and Will Jennings
Produced by Peter Asher
Performed by Diana Ross
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Don Bluth Masterpiece
4 September 2004 | by (Mainframe) – See all my reviews

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!


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