The film is set during the time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth and puts them in a terrible time of drought. Food and water is scarce and the herbivores must either migrate to find the potentially mythical Great Valley, or stay and surely perish, all the while, with the relentless "sharp tooth" at their backs, waiting to pounce at any moment.
The story focuses on a baby "long neck" named Littlefoot, voiced by Gabriel Damon, who learns all too soon that all creatures great and small forever live in the balance of the "great circle of life". When tragedy strikes, he is separated from the rest of his family during a gigantic Earthquake.
He must team up with Cera the "three horn", voiced by Candace Hutson, even though they were both told that three horns and long necks should never play together. They soon find that despite their superficial differences, they are very much the same.
The two children set out on a perilous journey to find the Great Valley and meet a group of life-long friends along the way. Ducky the "swimmer", voiced by the late great Judith Barsi, who adopts a baby they witness hatch from an egg as her little brother, despite him being a very different species. He is named Spike, who cannot talk yet, and last, but not least, Petrie the "flyer", voiced by Will Ryan.
The best of friends
They all work together, encouraging each other to use their unique strengths and embrace their differences like no other dinosaurs before them, in order to outsmart the sharp-tooth predators, find food and discover the way to safety.
The film was originally going to have no dialogue whatsoever, which was thankfully scrapped, as the characters, with their voices, are much more relateable and lovable to children and also drive the important messages featured in it.
This film's main story deals primarily with issues of prejudice between the different species of dinosaurs and teaches its viewers that even if someone is different, you can still be friends with them and they deserve to be treated with respect and as an equal to yourself.
I strongly believe that the lessons this film teach its viewers are very important, especially in the world we currently live in, as it could help them to make friends more easily, as well as potentially helping to stop bullying, even before it begins.
This is an absolutely wonderful animated film, which was directed by Don Bluth, who co-produced it with big names, such as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall. It was so highly acclaimed when it was released, many were quoted saying that the film was of such a good quality, it rivaled those released by Disney during the 40's and 50's, which just goes to show how remarkable it was for its time!
The animation itself is beautifully drawn, with adorable main characters, set to stunning and vastly different backgrounds, which are perfectly matched with beautiful orchestral music.
The Land Before Time is a perfect film to watch, for the whole family, no matter what age you are and it is one which many children may remember fondly for the rest of their lives.