Trivia / The Land Before Time

Original film:

  • Author Existence Failure: Judith Barsi, the young actress who played Ducky in the original film (and she also played Anne-Marie in All Dogs Go to Heaven), was murdered along with her mother by her father in a Murder-Suicide a few months before this movie was released in theaters.
  • Creator Backlash: While he by no means dislikes the film, Don Bluth credits it with kickstarting his weaker output, as it was his first major exposure to Executive Meddling.
  • Dueling Movies: With Oliver & Company. Just like Bluth's previous film, this one won, and became the highest grossing animated movie of all time... until 1989 that is. note 
  • Executive Meddling: The film was originally Darker and Edgier, but many scenes were deleted because they were "too scary for kids". This explains the film's very short running time.
    • It should be noted that for older viewers, it would have simply made the film better. Which is why fans are trying desperately to track down these scenes.
  • Fan Nickname: To avoid confusion between this character and sharpteeth as a whole, fans often refer to the film's antagonist as 'The Original Sharptooth' or simply 'The Sharptooth'.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Again, nineteen full minutes of completed animation was cut at the last minute after it was deemed too intense for younger audiences. Some have claimed that bits and pieces of this footage made it into broadcast versions and theatrical trailers. Don Bluth himself claims to have a personal copy of the film reel with the whole thing, though no word on whether or not it will ever see the light of day.
  • Missing Episode: The eleven minutes of cut footage that are either languishing in a vault somewhere or have been destroyed.
  • Money, Dear Boy: In his book "The Art Of Animation," Don Bluth admitted that the film's massive financial success can partially be attributed to the 19-minute cut-out.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: The instrumental "If We Hold On Together" score was re-used in the live action film Lorenzo's Oil and as the Real Song Theme Tune for a Japanese TV show.
  • Science Marches On: A very interesting example; studies done long after the film's release revealed that ceratopsian dinosaurs may have been opportunistic omnivores; in other words, Triceratops like Cera may well have been willing to eat meat in real life as well as plants!
    • Then again, she did look at a fly while smacking her lips then seemed to try to bite it in the original film...
  • What Could Have Been: A total of nineteen minutes of footage was cut due to Executive Meddling, though Don admitted removing the more horrific scenes contributed to the film's success. Additionally, the film's second half was not as Don originally intended. In the original version, Littlefoot finds the Great Valley after he goes off alone and the others go with Cera. He realizes that he has to go find the others because they won't find it on their own, and goes back after them, finding them in the volcano. The Sharptooth scene then happens and he leads them to the valley. This can be detected in the final film. In the scene where Littlefoot is telling his mother he'll never find the Great Valley because it's too hard, the rock they pushed onto Sharptooth is still there in the foreground; and the scene where he looks over the Great Valley shows him standing alone and is closely followed by a shot of Littlefoot and the others sliding to a stop with Petrie perched on his head.
    • There is also a deleted scene where the group finds an oasis, but the two groups of dinosaurs already there get discriminatory and say that only Ducky can drink.
      • These elements still appear in the children's book released with the film.
    • The scene where Sharptooth lands on the back of Littlefoot's mother was originally fully visible, but it was changed to shadow. The scene where Sharptooth is pushed under by the big rock had a scene where Sharptooth was seen looking up to the water, but it was also deemed too scary. Fans have gone out of their way to find all these scenes. Hopefully they'll be found in the future...
    • Old Rooter didn't appear in the original script, but was added to soften the blow of the death of Littlefoot's mother.
    • The original film trailer has another apparently deleted bit from the final scene with Littlefoot saying "now we'll always be together!".
    • Reportedly the full, uncut version has aired in several foreign countries.


  • Actor Allusion: Rinkus, Pterano's Bumbling Sidekick with the cockney accent, is pink. Guess who voices him. Same goes for Strut, the Bumbling Sidekick to Ozzy, who also has a cockney accent.
  • Celebrity Voice Actor: Plenty
    • Kenneth Mars plays Grandpa Longneck in II-XIII, Barry Bostwick took over the role for XIV.
    • Kris Kristofferson plays Doc in IV.
    • Michael York plays Pterano in VII.
    • Bernadette Peters has a minor role as Sue in X.
    • Kiefer Sutherland plays Bron in X.
    • Cuba Gooding Jr. and Sandra Oh play Loofa and Doofa in XIII.
    • Reba McEntire plays Etta in XIV.
    • Damon Wayans, Jr. plays Wild Arms in XIV.
  • Creator Backlash: While he had no involvement with them, Don Bluth dismissed the sequels offhand as "Cookie cutter thing(s)" in an interview. In another interview, he said;
    "—with Land Before Time, of course it did make money—it made a lot of money. And so all the sequels, they just said, "Let's create a franchise here, let's create something that goes on and on and on." And each one of them have made money, because basically the children who watch it just see the little characters they love and so they're not discerning about whether it looks great or it's a great story or anything."
  • Franchise Killer: Wisdom of Friends ensured that no more Land Before Time sequels would be made for another nine years. The TV series is stillborned. Finally averted, though, as Journey of the Brave was released in 2016, and it is available on Netflix alongside the original film.
  • Money, Dear Boy: Definitely why Universal Animation kept churning these things out; you could argue it's what gave them the budget for better projects, like Earthworm Jim and The New Woody Woodpecker Show (Exosquad doesn't count, as it A: beegan airing in 1993, before the first sequel came out, and B: had a toyline to back it up).
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Littlefoot's voice kept changing at certain points in the franchise: from movies I-II, IV-V, and from movies IX-XIV. Thomas Dekker kept the role the longest (singing in V, full-time from VI-IX).
    • Candace Huttson kept her role as Cera from the original movie, up until movie IV. Past that point, Anndi McAffee took the role.
    • Due to the large gap in release between XIII and XIV, Grandpa Longneck and Daddy Tops lost their original actors, requiring new ones.
    • Also in movie XIV, oddly enough, the moms of Petrie and Ducky had the aforementioned Anndi McAffee and Meghan Strange note  respectively fill in for Tress MacNeille.
  • Science Marches On: Averted. Loofa and Doofa don't bear even a remote resemblance to what Beipeiaosaurus actually looked like.
    • Technically speaking, the Yellow Bellies resemble generic therizinosaurs. Very, very cartooninised therizinosaurs. When they were concepted, there wasn't a lot of Beipiaosaurus material to go by, so their appearance wasn't so offensively backwards.
  • Sequel Gap: Given how infamous the franchise became for its numerous sequels, it's pretty easy to forget that the time between the original film (1988) and the second one, The Great Valley Adventure (1994), was actually fairly long, at six years.
    • Then after the thirteenth film, The Wisdom of Friends (2007), it would be nine years before the fourteenth film, Journey of the Brave (2016), would be released.
  • Talking to Himself: Not only did John Ingle provide the voice of Cera's father in the sequels and the TV series, but he was also the narrator for the sequels as well.
  • What Could Have Been: Had she not died so suddenly, Judith Barsi stated that she would have liked to voice Ducky for the sequels because it was her favorite character she did.
  • Working Title: The fourteenth film was originally titled Journey of the Heart. However when the trailer debuted, it had been renamed to Journey of the Brave.

TV Series: