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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.

Director:

Don Bluth

Writers:

Stu Krieger (screenplay), Judy Freudberg (story) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,928 ( 279)

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Judith Barsi ... Ducky (voice)
Pat Hingle ... Narrator / Rooter (voice)
Gabriel Damon ... Littlefoot (voice)
Helen Shaver ... Littlefoot's Mother (voice)
Bill Erwin ... Grandfather (voice)
Burke Byrnes ... Daddy Topps (voice)
Candace Hutson ... Cera (voice) (as Candy Hutson)
Will Ryan ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Ireland

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 November 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Land Before Time Began See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,526,025, 20 November 1988

Gross USA:

$48,092,846

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$84,460,846
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Different dinosaur species reflected in the five main characters: Littlefoot is an Apatosaurus; Cera is a Triceratops; Spike is a a Stegosaurus; Petrie is a Pteranodon; and Ducky is Parasaurolophus. See more »

Goofs

The dinosaurs existed in three different periods: Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous. However, all the dinosaurs, as well as other prehistoric animals who appeared in this movie did not all exist in the same period. Triceratops, Parasaurolophus, Pachycephalosaurus, Tyrannosaurus, and Pteranodon were Cretaceous animals, while Apatosaurus (called Brontosaurus here) and Stegosaurus were Jurassic dinosaurs. Meanwhile, Dimetrodon, erroneously portrayed with a snake-like tongue, was actually a mammal-like reptile that lived way before the dinosaurs, more than 100 million years before this movie takes place. 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...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits roll with several backgrounds of the Great Valley at nighttime scrolling by. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sin City (2005) 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

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User Reviews

 
A Don Bluth Masterpiece
4 September 2004 | by Cini34See 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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