These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: In a particularly horrifying interpretation of the film. Click if you want to never be able to watch this movie again The earthquake near the beginning was a result of the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event, AKA the extinction of the dinosaurs. Meaning everyone was Dead All Along. The film is their journey through purgatory towards heaven, represented by the Great Valley. The dinosaur that comforts Littlefoot directly after his mother's death is an angel trying to get him to overcome his anger over his mother's death, for which he blames both her and (secretly) himself. The lava field is where Cera overcomes her sin of excessive pride, and where the rest of the group learns that there are no "shortcuts" to heaven, and that they must go on the path set for them, and have faith in it, or they'll never get there. The Sharptooth is representative of the kids' fear of their own mortality, and by killing him, they have finally let go of all of their earthly attachments, aside from Littlefoot, who still has guilt for the death of his mother. When he finally accepts her death, he finds the Great Valley, along with everyone else, where the rest of their families are waiting for them in the afterlife.
First Installment Wins: The original film is considered to be an excellent piece of work, even for adults... the musical sequels on the other hand tend to be quite disliked. Still, they have scores of fans and an entire forum, so they must have done something right.
Harsher in Hindsight: All of the scenes that Ducky is in danger becomes significantly more dark after her voice actress in the first film ended up killed by her father. And "Yep yep yep" is on her tombstone.
The Scrappy: Petrie, initially. Since his flanderization in the sequels, he bizarrely seems to have been received better, possibly simply due to being a reflection to what many think of the films.
"Cera was too proud to admit (s)he'd gone the wrong way."
Additionally, ask people what gender Littlefoot is and you'll be surprised at how the answer varies. They drew girl eyelashes on Littlefoot. It doesn't help at all.
Ducky has to be the most obvious example; she can come off as a very expressive boy rather than a TomboyishGenki Girl.
What an Idiot: So Cera was really crazy enough to lead the others through an area with active volcanoes, rivers of lava, tar pits, all with only a little land to move around in when minutes earlier she complained to Littlefoot that his path was harder?
It's actually possible that Cera was going the right way seeing as Littlefoot's mother said they had to go through "mountains that burn".
It appears that the Littlefoot and Cera got turned around during their fight. The scene starts with Littlefoot pep-talking the group up a mountain, suggesting the Great Valley may be on the other side. Finding a barren wasteland valley at the top, Cera decides she's had enough and starts back down, preferring the easy way. Littlefoot stops her, she insults his mom, fight ensues and they roll down the mountain into the valley. After the fight Cera storms off down the valley, while Littlefoot starts climbing back up the mountain they just crossed.
Also, to be fair, Cera had no idea that any of those terrors were on her path.
Littlefoot's mother said to go "past the mountains that burn." While this wording could still mean going through them, it could also mean that they would go by them. Littlefoot was going the right way the whole time, and his path was consistently difficult without being life-threatening (most of the time), while Cera's choice seemed easier at first but wound up being far worse overall.
Consider also that Cera's big character flaw is her pride. Even when it's abundantly clear that she's made a mistake, they're likely going the wrong way and that her 'easier' way is in fact much harder, turning back is unthinkable for her because it means admitting that she was wrong.
The Woobie: All of the main cast, except Spike, get to be this at some point in the original. But especially Littlefoot.
Acceptable Target: It seems since the MarzGurl reviews of the sequels, they've become a popular subject of mass ridicule. Regardless, a large fanbase for the sequel films does exist.
Accidental Aesop: "The Great Log Running Game" from the TV series teaches us that if something is difficult, you're stupid to keep working at it. You'll just end up hurting yourself.
Awesome Music: Believe it or not, some songs in this series aren't just stomachable, but enjoyable! The touching "No One Has To Be Alone" is a good example. There are several big tearjerkers, most notably "Always There", and at one point Cera's dad gets a rock song.
Said rock song, "Tough" is about the need to persevere no matter what and is pretty much Mr. Threehorn's "I Am" Song.
"When You're Big". Hyp, Nod and Mutt are like the dinosaur equivalent of a boy band. Trying to get it out of your head is futile!
"Yes, imaginary friends are wonderful friends..."
Ensemble Dark Horse: Plenty, depending on who you ask. Some of the more common ones include Pterano, Hyp, Mo and Guido.
The Rainbow-Faces are a species of this, which may be due to them being magical aliens.
Probably the most popular two would be the first two major guest character: Chomper (see Breakout Character) and Ali, whom, judging from the narrative at the end of the fourth movie, was apparently intended to be the first guest character to be brought back for another movie (although this never happened, and she only reappeared for the TV series).
Pterano is a favorite among fans as well, thanks to being a Tragic Villain.
Guido from movie 12.
Evil Is Cool: Hyp and Pterano, two of the most enjoyable characters of the series, who each get their own very catchy Villain Song, and turn out to be much more sympathetic than they first seem.
Friendly Fandoms: The fandom seems to be in good terms with the bronies, as well as fans of almost everything dinosaur-related.
Fanfic Fuel: What will happen to the gang of five when they grow up and become adults is a very common theme discussed in the fandom.
Ignore ALL the sequels. They're all results of turning a beloved movie into a Cash Cow Franchise anyway.
Accept the original and the first sequel only. No heart after that.
Accept the movies up to IV and ignore the rest. In The Mysterious Island, they got a new director and started using brighter colors.
Accept the movies up to VII. Films V-VII each have their good points, and interesting guest characters, but VII would be the last film to have no non-conspicuous computer graphics.
Accept the movies up to X. We see Ducky and Spike's relationship get some interesting attention in VIII, we get a reprise of the best song from V in IX, and in X we finally meet Littlefoot's dad. But after this, the movies are more sitcom-like in nature, with multiple gag plots, characters like Cera's dad acting wildly out of character, and more explicit morals than people claim the first 9 sequels have.
Accept ALL the sequels. The Land Before Time is The Land Before Time, no matter what it is.
Accept ALL the sequels and the TV series.
Or any variation of the above.
Fan-Preferred Couple: Littlefoot/Ali and Littlefoot/Cera are both pretty popular, as is Ducky/Petrie.
Flanderization: Petrie started out as a Lovable Coward, and continued to be this for a while. Unfortunately, around the fourth sequel he underwent a severe Vocal Evolution and became much more annoying. But it's probably with the seventh film, where he spends so much of in denial that his uncle is Obviously Evil (albeit Affably Evil), that he really become a potential scrappy. He also became much more superstitious over time, as evidenced in the TV episode "The Canyon of Shiny Stones", where he doesn't want to fly over a volcano because he thinks it doesn't like flyers and he'll make it mad if he flies over it.
Harsher in Hindsight: Journey into the Mists has Grandpa Longneck suffering from a terminal illness, which results in Littlefoot and the others going into the Valley of the Mists beyond the Great Valley in order to find the proper cure for his ailment. Grandpa Longneck was played by Kenneth Mars, who later died from pancreatic cancer in 2011.
Memetic Mutation: The "Phonofoot" meme is an image of Littlefoot with a phonograph over his head while saying "And it flew real low", a sound clip from The Stone of Cold Fire.
Moral Event Horizon: In the climax of The Great Valley Adventure, Ozzie suddenly does this when he tries to kill both Littlefoot and Chomper by throwing them off the wall between the Great Valley and the Mysterious Beyond. Luckily, Chomper's parents come in to "save the day".
The Scrappy: Again, it varies from person to person. But in particular, the Yellow Bellies from the final movie, The Wisdom of Friends, are widely hated.
The Problem with Licensed Games: Most video games based on the franchise are widely disliked because they have poor gameplay, hideous graphics and generic plots.
Vocal Evolution: Pretty much everyone. Littlefoot's became much higher and cheerful in the fifth sequel, to the point that he became something of a Cheerful Child. Cera's voice slightly lower in the second film as a result of her original voice actor being older; by the fifth one, she had been replaced, and sounded practically like a teenager. Ducky had one between the fifth and sixth sequels, as a result of Ariana Noelle Curzon undergoing one. And Petrie inexecplicably had his aforementioned one starting in the fourth sequel.