Tear Jerker / The Land Before Time


Land Before Time is widely recognized as a classic Don Bluth animated film, but it will have the palaeontologists cryingfor more reasons than one.

  • "...Mother?"
  • Littlefoot's mother's death. She fights a LETHAL predator to protect not only her son, but Cera as well. She gets a fatal wound in the process, but still stays on her feet long enough to save them and get them to (relative) safety as an earthquake starts. Then when she had succumbed to her injuries, her last words to her son are to head to the Great Valley and that she'll always be with him. He then watched as she finally died. The kicker? The end of the scene is pulled off with the camera pulling back, so that you can only see the outlines of the two characters against the darkness... you don't even realize she has died until you hear Littlefoot speaking to her and getting no response.
    • Another moment that counts is when Littlefoot sees his shadow cast large on the side of a cliff, and mistakes it for his mother. Because you know she's dead, but he doesn't understand, and he's so sure she's back, he's so happy but you know better and you have to watch him, knowing what's coming...
      • Made even worse when he licks the rock.
    • The scene after Littlefoot meets Rooter. He's wandering aimlessly, and nuzzles his head against the ground while sobbing.
    • The scene where the little pterodactyl tries to cheer Littlefoot up with food and Little Foot just stares dully, not even reacting...
    • The part where Littlefoot's mother appears to him in the form of the clouds. As he tries telling her he tried and failed to find the Great Valley, her form seems to start departing.
      • "Mother? Mother? Don't go mother! Don't go!" Geez...
    • Littlefoot's mother gave him a star-shaped leaf, which he holds on to as a memento of hers. What happens to it? It got CRUSHED by none other than Sharptooth.
    • The song "If We Hold On Together". Also the dialogue that comes before it; "And they all grew up together in the valley, generation upon generation, each passing on to the next. The tale of their ancestor's journey to the valley long ago. "
      • Here's the cover with the kids who played Cera and Ducky, Anndi McAfee and Aria Noelle Curzon respectively, singing it.
  • Petrie's "death" scene, so so much. "Poor, poor Petrie" indeed!
    • However, this is instantly followed by a Funny-slash-Heartwarming moment, when Ducky finds Petrie alright, and she picks him up running off with him, while he's still drenched and confused!
  • The movie is made a thousand times more heart-wrenching when you discover what happened to Ducky's voice actress, Judith Barsi, a few months before the movie was released. (Warning: do not click that link unless you want a bigger Tear Jerker than all these examples combined.) Also, "Yep yep yep" is on her tombstone.
  • The ending to Journey to Big Water (Mo just didn't want to leave his new friends) and the song "No One Has To Be Alone" (especially the end credits version). To some, even scenes from a sequel (or even a song from said sequel) can be tearjearking.
  • "Family" in The Big Freeze.
  • In The Big Freeze, after Spike leaves the valley with a herd of his own kind, his mother and sister are despondent. Ducky's mother goes to her daughter and tries to talk to her about it, and Ducky sadly keeps brushing her off again and again until she snaps at her mother. By that point, while plenty of dialogue applies to Ducky, you realize that Ducky's mother isn't just trying to talk to her about how her daughter feels, especially after she keeps getting brushed off - Ducky's mother is confessing how she feels now that her son has left her for who knows how long.
  • " Always There" from the fifth movie.
  • The final verse of "On Your Own" (From The Secret of Saurus Rock), and the entirety of "Bestest Friends" (From the end of The great Longneck Migration)
    • In fact, the ending of "The Great Longneck Migration". Littlefoot's distress at having to choose between his friends and grandparents, or his long-lost father. His grandparents distress at the thought of losing him, which they try very hard to cover up for his sake. And his final explanation to his father that he just isn't ready to leave his friends and grandparents, despite really wanting to go live with his father.
    • Littlefoot's initial reaction to meeting his dad. Instead of a joyous reunion, Reality Ensues and Littlefoot runs off with tears in his eyes and feelings of betrayal in his brain. Subverted when they talk it over and begin to bond.
  • Rooter comforting Littlefoot after his mother dies - he's initially gruff, but then when he realizes why Littlefoot is really so upset, tells Littlefoot that he'll always miss his mother, but she'll always be a part of him as long as he remembers what she taught him.
    • Particularly the line: "It's nobody's fault." It's such a sweet line in its own right, showing the compassion an old dinosaur has for a heartbroken child (and hints that he's been in Littlefoot's place). However, if you've ever lost someone important, then you'll know how desperately you try to look for someone to blame for their passing, including yourself, and sometimes you really need to hear someone say that to you.
    • But even after that, the fact that he doesn't really try to help Littlefoot at all, but just leaves him there. Excusable, however, due to the fact that he was a character created at the last minute to soften the blow the death scene had.
  • Cera crying after her Humiliation Conga and her remorse for almost getting her friends killed, but still being too proud to admit she had gone the wrong way.
  • Realizing why Hyp has been a jerk after his dad he shows up.
  • Pterano's backstory in VII is pretty harsh. Blinded by arrogance, he accidentally lead a smaller herd into an earthshake/ambush that killed off ALL OF THEM except for him, and he barely managed to escape. (and that's only because he can fly) He's shown watching at least one follower die (the swimmer that falls off the cliff). When he meets back up with the main herd at the Valley, he can only turn his back and cradle his head in his hands in grief and shock. Ouch.
    • To make it worse, take a look at Pterano's expressions and body language in that flashback. He really did try to take control of the situation, and he really wanted to help them. But to put it bluntly, the poor guy just wasn't cut out to be a leader (as Grandpa and Grandma Longneck pointed out after the flashback). The whole situation was just too much for him to handle.
  • You have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by 'Bestest Friends', tackling the implications that a friendship that has lasted ten movies might come to a physical end even if the gang will always be best friends in their hearts.
  • While not a "sad" Tear Jerker in itself, just try listening to If we hold on together, the first film's ending song, without getting at least some tears in your eyes due to just how beautiful it is.
    • For that matter, just try listening to any of the first film's score, with its characteristically-haunting James Horner chord progressions combined with Cherubic Choirs above it all.
  • In the prologue of Journey of the Brave, which recaps the series both for newcomers to the series and longtime viewers, we get a direct mention of Littlefoot's mother - that "the perils of this world had claimed Littlefoot's mother". It may be a form of Never Say "Die", but it's still poignant to be included in the revival of the series after so many years.
  • At the end of Journey Through the Mists, even though he became friend with the heroes, especially Spike, Tickles chooses not to return to the great valley with the dinosaurs, presumably because his main family was still in the valley of mists. Therefore, there's a scene in which they have to part ways.