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


Don Bluth


Stu Krieger (screenplay), Judy Freudberg (story) | 1 more credit »
3,930 ( 139)
2 nominations. See more awards »





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)


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 and the evil predator Sharptooth as they learn to work together in order to survive. Written by Scott Lane <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A new adventure is born. See more »


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Littlefoot was originally going to be called 'Thunderfoot', but a triceratops from a children's book already had that name. See more »


The wound of Littlefoot's mother changes location, from her back to her neck. The sharptooth she fought clearly bit her back instead of her neck. See more »


[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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Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

The VHS includes a Pizza Hut commercial before the movie itself starts, despite the film's shortest running time. See more »


Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 James Horner Scores (2015) See more »


If We Hold On Together
Music and Words by James Horner and Will Jennings
Produced by Peter Asher
Performed by Diana Ross
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User Reviews

One of the best animated films.
1 October 1999 | by G.SpiderSee all my reviews

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.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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USA | Ireland



Release Date:

18 November 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Land Before Time Began See more »


Box Office


$12,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,526,025, 20 November 1988

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo | DTS-Stereo (1995 Re-Release)| DTS (1995 Re-Release)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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