The Land Before Time series has churned out a LOT of animation, and all of it — from the original Don Bluth masterpiece to the thirteen Universal sequels to the TV show — is filled with great music.
- The Land Before Time theme, written by James Horner and officially called "If We Hold On Together", is one of the best themes in animated film history. You'd be very, very, very hard pressed to find another song that draws such intense emotions out of people whenever they hear it. It's unforgettable, touching, and incredibly beautiful, and so versatile that it can display different emotions based on the instrument being used.
- There's the rich 'choir version' that's perhaps the most well known iteration from the original movie.
- There's the 'Whispering Winds' version that plays during sad scenes. It's most famously used in the scene where Littlefoot's mother dies.
- There's the sweet 'low string' version that's used in quiet, powerful moments, like when Littlefoot first lays eyes on the Great Valley.
- There's the 'end credits version', sung beautifully by the legendary Diana Ross. There's also a very heartwrenching male version.
- Finally, there's the 'Cera-Ducky Duet' version which Anndi McAfee and Aria Noelle Curzon both confirm they sang.
- The orchestral piece that plays over the beginning when Littlefoot is born, The Great Migration. Childhood in 7:58 minutes.
- The first sequels introduce a lot of themes scored by Michael Tavera that would later become staples through out the rest of the series.
- One is a jubilant, excited flute lick, which is frequently paired with a somber, slightly disappointed horn and string motif.
- One memorable theme that seems to be exclusive only to the earlier sequels is an soft, ominous, 'Dun dun Dun dun Duuuuuun' motif that seems to play whenever danger is near.
- The Great Valley Theme, which is present in many of the sequels.
- Really, all of Tavera's score. It manages to be as moving as Horner's, making it a redeeming quality of the sequels.
Pre-Art Shift Sequels
The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley AdventureThese songs are written by The Roaches.
- "Peaceful Valley" is a jubilant, catchy, and free spirited song; in short, a good first song of the series to be sung by the cast, and a good song to open and end the film with.
- "You Are One of Us Now" is a fast-paced and catchy song, sung as the gang accept baby Chomper.
- "Eggs" is the first villain song in the series and a pretty good one. It has a lively rhythm and does a nice job establishing Ozzie as an obsessive villain and a different kind of threat than sharpteeth. note
The Land Before Time III: The Time of the Great GivingHere, Michelle Brourman and Amanda Mcbroom make their first contribution.
- "When You're Big" is a very memorable villain song that has a simple but killer piano beat with backing horns. Probably the best villain song in the series.
- "Standing Tough" is another villain song, this time for resident Jerkass Mr. Threehorn. It's even featured, believe it or not, in a Guitar Hero game.
- "Kids Like Us" is sung quite well (Scott Mcafee, Littlefoot's voice actor, does his own singing.)
The Land Before Time IV: Journey through the MistsThese songs are written by Leslie Bricusse.
- "Grandma's Lullaby" is a sad song, and very poignant considering who's singing it, one of the only songs in the entire series that MarzGurl, in her review of the sequels, admitted she actually liked.
- "Who Needs You" is pretty funny, and was probably meant more for the parents watching than the kids. The two villains almost seem like a disgruntled sitcom couple, openly expressing their dislike of each other with some legitimately stinging zingers. Given that these two villains spew a lot of classic TV references over the course of the movie, this was probably intentional.
- "It Takes All Sorts" is a strong anti-racism statement which has an unusually rich melody by direct-to-video standards.
The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island
- "Big Water" is another catchy-as-hell song. For better or worse, once you hear it you will never get it out of your head. "Big, big, big, big, wa-ter..." It's had no fewer than two reprises, not including a few songs that share its melody! Also, as MarzGurl points out in her review, it has some very decent visuals. Notably, it's the only song in the sequels that later got reprised in another sequel; several fans jumped for joy when those familiar notes started up in IX.
- "Always There" is one of the best and most beloved songs of the entire series. A longing, vulnerable lullaby with a wonderful piano and violin backing, this song also has a truly beautiful chorus:Always there... Someone you can count on to comfort you... Always there... like a green, green valley, you can come home to.
- The song finishes with a spine-tingling verse from Littlefoot about his mother— the first mention of her since the first movie.
- "Friends For Dinner" is a very amusing divisive song with a catchy steel drum backing. The droning, almost sarcastic tone the kids sing it in and the multiple (and given the time period, impossible) food related puns make it good for a chuckle, albeit perhaps a rather uneasy one. The same can be said for its other rendition from the TV show.
The Land Before Time VI: The Secret of Saurus Rock
- "The Legend of the Lone Dinosaur" is a polarizing song that accurately captures the feel of the Wild West. Admitedly, that isn't what the series is about, and lyrically nothing about the song is actually true, but Michelle and Amanda's gift for melody comes out well, and instrumental, it's quite beautiful (unusual for cowboy songs like this). The same goes for its reprise on the TV show.
- "Bad Luck" is another love-it or hate-it jazzy/western song, that some will find an overall awesome musical moment and others will find obnoxious.
- "On Your Own" is a simple, sad bar song that nails the "lonely saloon" vibe with its piano backing.
Post-Art Shift Sequels
The Land Before Time VII: The Stone of Cold Fire
- "Beyond the Mysterious Beyond" and its reprise are cosmic. Notable for its particularly striking chorus harmony. And the fact that it's technically being sung by aliens.
- "Good Inside" A gentle and subdued tune that lulls the listener into thinking about what kind of character uncle Pterano truly is. In spite of his villainous first impression, this song proves that the gang of five still care about him now that they know how he became the way he is.
- "Very Important Creature" is yet another great villain song, this time for Petrie's uncle Pterano, along with his henchmen Rinkus and Sierra. With its powerful instrumentation, melody, and Michael York's surprisingly amazing performance as Pterano, it's quite impressive.
The Land Before Time VIII: The Big Freeze
- "Family": A touching song about Ducky and the gang coming to grips over one of the gang— it's Spike—leaving them, and whether they were actually family or not.
- "The Mad Song", a.k.a. Teach Her Anger the Song, must be heard to be believed.
- "The Lesson" is an enlightening song about how some tell lies or pass off another's stories as their own in order to sound important so that others will notice and admire them. It has moving lyrics and heartwarming performances from the cast, especially Robert Guillaume as the voice of Mr. Thicknose.
The Land Before Time IX: Journey to Big Water
- "Chanson D'Ennui" is a very good song, despite the fact that it's about being bored. The title is French for 'the song of boredom', and marks a major uptick in the production values of the music.
- "Imaginary Friend" is another song that people either love or hate. Aside from being a lot more kiddie than usual, however, the song itself is very well done, with a catchy Caribbean/Calypso vibe and great singing by the main cast.
- "No One Has To Be Alone" is an excellent, smooth tune about the unalienable gifts of life. It uses a warbling flute motif and some great singing on Littlefoot's part. There's a version during the end credits that's sung by Donny Osmond.
The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration
- "Adventuring" is a triumphant song that underlines the main theme of the entire series: going on adventures.
- "Bestest Friends" is one of the best songs in the entire series. It's a heartbreaking but warm assurance to Littlefoot that, should he choose to stay with his father's herd instead of return with them to the valley, the gang will still always be his friends. It has great lyrics, uses a strong piano and violin backing, and Cera gives a particularly stunning high octave vocal performance in some parts. There's also the end credits variant, "Best of Friends", sung by Olivia Newton-John.
- "Me and My Dad" is a bouncy tune with uplifting lyrics and some nice harmonica work that gives it a country-western feel.
The Land Before Time XI: Invasion of the Tinysauruses
- "Creepy Crawlies" is catchy, and its silly lyrics give it a very "campy" feel to the point where it wouldn't have sounded out of place on Rocky Horror Picture Show.
- "Girls and Dads" conjures up images of spotlights and Broadway stages. Mostly awesome just for Cera's singing.
- "If Only" is a lovely duet between Littlefoot and Grandpa longneck with some gorgeous piano.
The Land Before Time XII: The Great Day Of the Flyers
- "Flip, Flap, and Fly" may just be the most epic song in the entire series in terms of scale, as the whole valley gets in on it.
- "Things Change" has awkward lyrics, but Cera's emotional, bitter vocals easily make up for it.
- "One of a Kind". Petrie wishes he could fly around in his own style with no one teasing him or holding him back, while Cera wants to be an only child again since her half-sister Tricia's birth makes her feel neglected. Then Guido reminds them how lucky they are to have families and others that look like them, unlike him since he's alone.
The Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends
- "How Do You Know" is a good tune, despite being in the most maligned of all the Land Before Time films. It sounds a lot like 'God Only Knows' by The Beach Boys, and even has a similar title.
- "Say So" is a relaxing song that sounds quite similar to Bob Marley(particularly "So Much Trouble in the World")with it's steel drums and horns.
- "Yellow Belly Bounce" may be the most simplistic song in terms of lyrics in the whole series, but it makes up for it by being one of the catchiest and most upbeat with its lush tropical instrumentation, which invokes the music of Hawaiian artists like Don Ho.
The Land Before Time XIV: Journey of the Brave
- Not since Diana Ross's rendition of 'If We Hold On Together' has there been such a big name on a Land Before Time song as "Look for the Light" being sung by country superstar Reba McEntire, and it shows. The sharp organ riff and Reba's bluesy delivery make this a very well sung gospel tune.
- "Better Off Alone" is a really good song, too, despite (or perhaps, because of) its bitter, weary tone.
- "Today's the Day" is quite possibly the happiest and most upbeat song in the series with some bouncy piano and harmonica work.
- The title theme is bouncy and memorable, with some great African-spiritual vocals and some good lyrics. It fits the opening animation very well, and musically speaking it's probably the most awesome thing to come out of the TV show.
- Some renditions of "My Remembering" are quite nice, particularly when it's first sung by Ruby. Grandpa's version gets points purely for being sung over an image of Littlefoot's mother as a child.
- "I Feel Mad" gives a surprise foray into rock territory by being backed by electric guitars, which is always awesome.
- "Feel So Happy" is a nice song, but what makes it awesome is that one of its reprises actually got Doc, the Lone Dinosaur of all people, to sing.
- None of the renditions of "Adventuring" hold a candle to the original version from The Great Longneck Migration, but it's still a triumphant tune nonetheless.