The Land Before Time (film)

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The Land Before Time is a 1988 American animated adventure film directed and co-produced by Don Bluth (through his Sullivan Bluth Studios), and executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy, and Frank Marshall.

Originally released by Universal Studios and Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, it features anthropomorphic dinosaurs living in a fantasy version of prehistoric Earth.

It is the dawn of time. The time of the dinosaur. Lost and alone, Littlefoot and his friends are about to embark on the journey of a lifetime.


  • [exasperated] My name is not Flathead. My name is [enunciating] LIT-TLE-FOOT!
  • [to Cera, angry in serious tears] Go on! Go the wrong way! We never wanted you with us, anyway!
  • We did it! We did it together!
  • [to Petrie] But you are flyer, not a faller.
  • Come on, Cera, The Sharptooth is dead. He fell down into the big underground.


  • [repeated line] Hee!
  • My father told me that flatheads had very small brains.
  • I found it! Hee!
  • Threehorns should never play with longnecks!
  • [laughing her head off, then to Littlefoot, Ducky, Petrie, and Spike] You 4 look so ridiculous!
  • I can get my OWN green food! [attempts to hit a tree, but no treestars come down, so Littlefoot helpfully drops some for her, and then, thinking that her own idea works, Cera eats the treestars] You see, I can take care of myself; all by myself. I'm not afraid to be alone, I know my way to go, AND.... I'm not afraid of the Sharptooth.... and I hope that he doesn't eat any of you!


  • [repeated line] Yep, yep, yep!
  • Don't step on a crack, or you'll fall and break your back. [laughs, stomach growls] My stomach is talking.
  • Petrie, don't feel sad. It's alright. Many things can't fly, like rocks, trees, sticks, Spike....
  • Spike, don't stop! We must stay together!
  • You are a spiketail.... so, we will call you Spike!
  • [trying to coax Spike out of his egg] You should come out. You should 'cuz you are late. Yes, you are. Yep, yep, yep!


  • [amazed at the treestar Littlefoot received from his mother] Ooh. Mother present. Very important. [rolling up the treestar and holding it like a rifle] I stay here, keep safe. No let nobodies touch! [begins marching back and forth on Littlefoot's head]
  • [to Littlefoot] You've got a nice flat head, Flathead.
  • [trying to smell for green food] I smell, I smell, I sme-e-e-ell.... hmm.... Ducky.
  • [inside the tar pit] Cera, I fell off! Oh, Cera! Ducky! Spike! HEEEEEEEEEEELP!!!
  • [as Littlefoot, Ducky and Spike save him from the tar pit] Flathead! Ducky! Spike! Oh, Petrie so happy!


  • Some of the young seemed born without fear. Yet.... even hatching could be dangerous.
  • One herd had only a single baby: their last hope for the future. And they called him.... Littlefoot. All that remained of his herd was his mother, his grandmother, and his grandfather. He knew them by sight, by scent, and by their love. He knew they would be together, always.
  • At first, Littlefoot could only think about his mother. He hardly noticed his hunger and forgot about the Great Valley and that he must somehow reach it.
  • Then, Littlefoot knew for certain that he was alone, and that though the Great Valley was far away, and the journey there was perilous, he would have to find his way, or the chain of life would be broken.
  • So, the 5 hungry dinosaurs set off for the Great Valley. There had never been such a herd before: a Longneck, a Threehorn, a Swimmer, a Flyer, and a Spiketail, all together, all knowing that if they lost their way, they would starve--or find themselves in the Sharptooth's shadow.


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.... was the time of the dinosaurs.
Triceratops: Come on!
Narrator: Now, the dinosaurs were of 2 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 leaves began to die. The mighty beasts who appeared to rule earth were ruled, in truth, by the leaf. Desperate for food, some dinosaur herds stuck out toward the west, searching for their Great Valley--a land still lush and green. It was a journey toward life. It was a march of many dangers. Sharpteeth stalked the herds, waiting to seize any who strayed. The leaf-eaters stopped only to hatch their young.

Ducky: [giggles; as a newborn] Mama.
Ducky's Mother: Hmm.

Littlefoot: When will we get there?
Littlefoot's Mother: The bright circle will pass over us many times, and we must follow it each day until it touches the ground.
Littlefoot: Have you ever seen the Great Valley?
Littlefoot's Mother: No.
Littlefoot: Well then, how do you know it's really there?
Littlefoot's Mother: Some things you see with your eyes, others you see with your heart.
Littlefoot: I don't understand, Mother.
Littlefoot's Mother: You will, my son. You will.

Topsy: Come, Cera! Threehorns never play with longnecks!
[Cera blows raspberries at Littlefoot. Then, her father scowls and growls at Littlefoot in the spite that his comment is that threehorns must not play with longnecks; meaning that threehorns and longnecks do not mix.]
Cera: [parrots her father's words] Threehorns never play with longnecks!

Cera: You again? Go away! That's my hopper!

Littlefoot: [he gasps for rumble the Sharptooth appears]
Cera: Sharptooth!
Sharptooth: ROAR!!!!
Cera: Help!
Littlefoot: Mother! Help!

Cera: DADDY!!!! [runs off a bit, but a cliff is cut in half] AAAH!!!! AAAH!!!!
Narrator: In this time of the clashing of continents, a great earthquake split the land. Herds were divided. Families were cut in 2. Littlefoot was separated from his grandparents.
[The earthquake comes to complete stop, and a little of the top breaks off].
Topsy: [calling out to his daughter] Cera!
Cera: Mama! Daddy!
Narrator: Cera was on one side of the divide; her parents were on the other.
[Night falls and rain starts falling.]
Littlefoot: [looking for his mother] Mother! [no answer; he calls out again] Mother! [still no answer; he jumps over a small gap] Mother, where are you?
Littlefoot's Mother: Oh.
Littlefoot: [sees his mother who is injured from the fight] Mother! Mother?
Littlefoot's Mother: Oh.
Littlefoot: Please get up.
Littlefoot's Mother: [weakly] I'm....! I am not sure if I can, Littlefoot.
Littlefoot: Yes, you can. Get up.
[She tries to get up as her son asks. But a few seconds later, she falls back down due to her injuries.]
Littlefoot's Mother: [asks Littlefoot if he remembered the way to the Great Valley] Dear, sweet Littlefoot? Do you remember...? ...the way to the Great Valley?
Littlefoot: [sniffs; cries] I guess so. But how do I know if you are going to be with me?
Littlefoot's Mother: [mentions about her spirit when she is with Littlefoot just as camera slowly zooms out; then she smiles] I'll be with you. Even if you can't see me.
Littlefoot: [confused; cries] What do you mean I can't see you? I can always see you.
[Before her death, Littlefoot's mother reminds Littlefoot about how to reach the Great Valley, then dies shortly. At and by that, his mother uses the last of her permanently remaining strength of telling Littlefoot about the Great Valley, then she dies.]
Littlefoot's Mother: [with her last spoken words] Littlefoot, let your heart guide you. [uses the last of her strength] It whispers, so listen closely. [dies shortly]
Littlefoot: [voice breaks into serious tears as his mother dies] Mother? Mother?

Rooter: Hey! What's going on here? [hears Littlefoot crying] What's your problem? You're not hurt. [he wants to know why Littlefoot is crying]
Littlefoot: [tearfully; in serious anger] It's not fair! She should have knew better. That was Sharptooth. It is all her fault.
Rooter: (All her fault?) All whose fault?
Littlefoot: [tearfully answers Rooter's question] Mother's!
Rooter: [but soon understands why Littlefoot is crying] Oh. I see. I see.
Littlefoot: Why did I wander so far from home?
Rooter: Oh, it's not your fault. It's not your mother's fault, either. Now, you pay attention to ol' Rooter. It is nobody's fault. The Great Circle of Life has begun. But you see, not all of us arrive together at the end.
Littlefoot: What'll I do? I am going to miss her so much.
Rooter: [tells Littlefoot that his mother is always going to be with him even though Littlefoot is going to miss her] And you might always miss her. But she'll always be with you, as long as you remember the things she taught you. In a way, you'll never be apart, for you are still part of each other.
Littlefoot: My tummy hurts.
Rooter: Well, that, too, should go in time, little fella. Only in time. [departs]

Ducky: You should not eat talking trees. Nope, nope, nope!
Petrie: Blrblrblrb! Whoa! Waaaaaaaaaaaoooooooooh!
Littlefoot: [sees Petrie on his face and lets out a startling scream] Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
[Littlefoot screams, accidentally letting go of the branch, sending a screaming Petrie through the air. Ducky goes over to check on him.]
Ducky: Who are you, huh?
Petrie: My--My name Petrie.
Ducky: Petrie, huh? Funny name.

Narrator: Littlefoot had been wrong about the Sharptooth, but the others followed. Their only hope was to reach the Great Valley, and Littlefoot alone knew the way.

Littlefoot: Oh, you can't quit now. What if the Great Valley's just over the top of these rocks?
Narrator: Though they were sore-stumped and tired, Littlefoot urged them on. He'd never seen the Great Valley, but his heart told him they were close. Surely, at the top, they'd behold it finally....

Cera: [shouting at Littlefoot after reaching a top of a cliff, where he thought the Great Valley might be; then she tells Littlefoot that he must be crazy] THIS IS YOUR GREAT VALLEY?!?! YOU'RE CRAZY!!!!
[Cera, finally having enough of the world, she decides to go her own way.]
Cera: I'm leaving.
Littlefoot: Cera, we have to keep following the bright circle!
Cera: I'm taking the easy way for once!
Littlefoot: But it's the WRONG WAY!
Cera: Who says?
Littlefoot: My mother!
Cera: Then, she was just a stupid longneck, too!
[Littlefoot gasps. He gasps because Cera would ever say something like that about his mother.]
Littlefoot: [enraged; and to Cera after she insulted his mother] TAKE THAT BACK!
Cera: NEVER!
Littlefoot: TAKE IT BACK!!!!
Cera: NO!!!!

Narrator: Cera was still too proud to admit that she'd gone the wrong way.

Littlefoot: [about the Sharptooth; as he and his friends are in the lake] Let's get rid of him once and for all.
Ducky: What will we do?
Littlefoot: Look, we'll coax him to the deep end of the pond. He can't swim with those scrawny arms. Me and Spike will go up and push that big rock on top of his head, and then he'll fall off into the water!

Littlefoot's Mother: [to Littlefoot, in cloud form and ghost appearance] Littlefoot....!
Littlefoot: Mother!
Littlefoot's Mother: [as a cloud and ghost] Littlefoot....?
Littlefoot: I have tried to do what you told me. But it is just too heard. Great. Now, I am never going to find the Great Valley.
[The cloud which has been his mother's ghost appearance begins to fall apart.]
Littlefoot: Mother....? Mother....? [tries to run after the cloud as it's falling apart] DON'T GO, MOTHER!!!! DON'T GO!!!!
Narrator: The Great Valley was all they dreamed it would be--a land of green, of leaves, and life. There were waterfalls, grassy meadows, enough tree-stars to feast on forever, and, grazing upon them, their families.

Narrator: And Littlefoot found his grandmother and grandfather at last. They were the same loving faces he looked into on the day of his birth.

[last lines; before the end of the film]
Cera: [calls to Littlefoot] Littlefoot! Come on, I'll race ya!
Narrator: And they all grew up together in the valley.
[The children Littlefoot, Cera, Petrie, Ducky, and Spike arrive to the top of a hill, then come together in a big group hug.]
Narrator: [last lines] Generation upon generation, each passing on to the next, the tale of their ancestors' journey to the Valley, long ago.


About The Land Before Time (film)[edit]

  • On the Land Before Time, George (Lucas) and Steven (Spielberg) were more concerned about causing nightmares for children than getting a G rating.

External links[edit]

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