Follow TV Tropes


Characters / The Land Before Time First Film

Go To

Main Character Index | The Gang of Seven | First Film Characters | Sequel Characters | TV Characters

    open/close all folders 

    Mama Longneck
"Dear, sweet, Littlefoot, do you remember the way to the Great Valley?"

Appearances: original film | TV episode "The Legend of the Story Speakers" (ambiguously, in a flashback)

Species: Longneck (Apatosaurus)

Voiced by: Helen Shaver (original film) | Tress MacNeille (TV series)

A wise, maternal Apatosaurus who deeply loved her only son, Littlefoot, and hoped to lead him to the Great Valley where he could grow up in safety. She dies midway through the first film from injuries sustained by Sharptooth. Bron was her husband.

  • Almost Dead Guy: After being badly wounded, she lives long enough to remind Littlefoot of what he must do to reach the Great Valley.
  • Determinator: Even when she's bleeding out from the wounds Sharptooth inflicted on her she still musters up the strength to save Littlefoot and Cera from falling into a fissure along with Sharptooth.
  • Died Happily Ever After: Potentially why her spirit never spoke to or appeared before Littlefoot again after helping him finally find the Great Valley. Her son was now in a land where he could grow up safe and not starve and was back in the care of her own parents whom she knew would care for and raise him well. Ultimately she could rest in peace now that had achieved everything she wanted for her child. However, she does make an "appearance" in the fifth movie as a star that twinkles brighter than the others, reassuring Littlefoot that she's always watching over him.
  • Expy: Of Bambi's mom, from giving birth to a son at the beginning, to dying while rescuing her son from one out get him.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: We never actually see what injuries lead to her death, and considering one of the scenes contains a horrifying shadow shot of Sharptooth biting a chunk of flesh out of her back, it's probably better that we don't. What's more, there actually was film footage made depicting more of the the fight between her and Sharptooth. Considering Don Bluth had this footage burned, it's safe to say that her death was decidedly non-G-rated. Going by the footage of the shadow, Sharptooth wasn't just biting chunks of flesh from her back, he was eating them!
  • Fantastic Racism: It's subtle compared to Cera and Topsy's prejudice. But when Littlefoot asks his mother why he isn't allowed to play with Cera, she merely tells him that different dinosaur species never do anything together and that, "It's always been that way." She herself does not appear to question it or view it as a bad thing, and she reassures Littlefoot that when they reach the Great Valley, he'll have other longnecks to play with instead. That said, she means no malice toward other dinosaur species either, and rescues both Littlefoot and Cera without hesitation.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: It's obvious that she ultimately sacrifices her life to save her son.
  • Mama Bear: Oh yes. She protects her son by fighting off a bloodthirsty Sharptooth while an earthquake is tearing apart the land around her. Even more so in the novel where it's revealed Sharptooth slaughtered the rest of her herd, meaning she knew exactly how dangerous he was.
  • No Name Given: Her name has never been revealed, nor have her parents said it.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Dies protecting Littlefoot from Sharptooth; whatever chance she had to survive was destroyed by the earthquake that followed.

    Grandma and Grandpa Longneck
"The herd is brave, and the Old One is wise."

Appearances: all fourteen films | TV series

Species: Longneck (Apatosaurus)

Grandma voiced by: Linda Gary (II to IV) | Miriam Flynn (V to XIV)

Grandpa voiced by: Bill Erwin (original film) | Kenneth Mars (II to TV series) | Barry Bostwick (XIV)

Two elderly Apatosaurus who helped Mama Longneck raise Littlefoot since he first hatched. When she dies, they take to raising him in the Great Valley. The parents of Mama Longneck, making them Littlefoot's maternal grandparents. They live in the Great Valley with their grandson.

  • Adults Are Useless: Averted. They are the most level-headed, intelligent characters in the entire series. The only reason they aren't a bigger help is that they have to deal with the rest of the adults.
  • Adult Fear: In the first movie, they were separated from their daughter and grandson during an earthquake. If Littlefoot hadn't made it to the Great Valley on his own, they never would have found out what happened to either of them. The sequels occasionally touch on their fear of losing Littlefoot too.
  • Ascended Extra: In the first film, they only appear in a few scenes at the beginning and end and have no dialogue other than a couple of brief chuckles. In the sequels, they are major supporting characters, with the greatest screen presence of the adults.
  • Battle Couple: There are multiple occasions where they've worked together to fight off an enemy.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The two are the kindlest and gentlest Longnecks in the series... yet both are capable of kicking major Sharptooth ass (and, indeed, do just that in The Great Longneck Migration) and the look on Grandpa Longneck's face as he slides in to save Littlefoot from a Sharptooth is terrifying! Also, if you insult their grandson they will not be happy.
  • Big Good: Of the sequels.
  • Cool Old Guy: Grandpa Longneck can hold his own against a Sharptooth. Not bad for an old dinosaur.
  • Cool Old Lady: Grandma Longneck has been shown to take on a Sharptooth as well.
  • Good Parents: Not only to Littlefoot, but they were also this to their daughter.
  • Happily Married: They're very kind and loving to each other.
  • Mama Bear/Papa Wolf: They are both quite protective of their grandson and will fight off dangerous predators to keep him safe.
  • Nice Guy: Both of them are very kind-hearted.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Mama Longneck was their daughter. Their own grief over her loss is almost never touched on, but there is a moment in the second movie where they tell Littlefoot that he is all they have.
  • Parental Substitute: They've acted as Littlefoot's parents since the first film.
  • Retired Badass: Implied in the fourth movie when Grandpa expresses concern that Grandma is not as strong as she was in their youth. Considering how capable both of them are shown to be, Grandma and Grandpa must have been fierce in their prime, just in case there was any doubt about where their daughter got it from.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Grandpa Longneck is the sensitive to Topps' manly. He's a Nice Guy, a Gentle Giant, quite nurturing toward his grandson, and much more polite and soft-spoken than the tough, aggressive and short-tempered Topps.
  • The Storyteller: In the TV series it's revealed that, when he was young, Grandpa Longneck was very reputable 'Story Speaker', a master of Longneck Oral Tradition storytelling.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Grandpa and Topps.

    Topps / Topsy / Mr. Three Horn
"Come, Cera. Three horns never play with long necks."

Appearances: every film except IV | TV series

Species: Three-horn (Triceratops)

Voiced by: Burke Byrnes (original film) | John Ingle (II to TV series) | George Ball (XIV)

An aggressive male Triceratops with deep seated prejudice against dinosaurs other than his own kind. He's Cera and Tricia's father, and Tria's husband. He lives in the Great Valley with the rest of his family.

  • Anger Born of Worry: In the third movie, he explains that he sometimes yells at Cera out of worry. He realizes that yelling at her does more harm than good.
  • Character Development: His disdain for other species is definitely toned down after the third film, in which he is saved by Grandpa Longneck and comes across a parent as bad as he is.
  • Covered in Mud: In Great Day of the Flyers, thanks to Guido.
  • Death Glare: Pretty much every look he ever gives Wild Arms wishes terrible, terrible things would happen to him, but most notably the first time the two are on screen together. He also gives one to Guido after he causes him to get covered in mud.
  • Divided We Fall: His stubbornness finally gets him and Cera into trouble in Time Of Great Giving, and they end up getting saved by Grandpa Longneck.
  • Everyone Has Standards: He's not exactly the world's greatest dad, but even he's disgusted with how Hyp's father treats his son.
  • Fantastic Racism: He doesn't think highly of dinosaurs other than his kind, and is especially prejudiced against longnecks. Seems to get along with Grandpa Longneck in the sequels well enough, however.
  • Freudian Excuse: The reason why he acts like a grump is for the sake of his family and because his own father was as grumpy as him. The absence of his wife and all of his children besides Cera from the second film onward may also explain it.
  • Grumpy Bear: Is perpetually in a bad mood. Even his daughter states he's always mad.
  • Hero Antagonist: While the bullies are the main antagonists to the children and the drought is the major threat to the Great Valley in Time of the Great Giving, he begins causing problems all on his own when he takes charge of the dinosaurs' limited water supply.
  • Jerkass: His defining trait is his stubborn, unfriendly exterior. He taught Cera her Fantastic Racism in the first film, and he repeatedly caused trouble for all the other grown-ups in the sequels and the series.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He genuinely loves his daughter despite all his other flaws. He also points out to Hyp’s father in The Time Of the Great Giving that yelling at one’s children only hurts them more than helps as he realized with his interactions with his daughter. In Secret of Saurus Rock, he actually felt bad about upsetting Littlefoot by blaming Doc for their recent misfortune in the Great Valley.
  • The Lancer: He's second in authority only to Grandpa in the Great Valley, sometimes sharing the role of leader.
  • Meaningful Name: Like his daughter, his given name is likely derived from his genus name of Triceratops.
  • Mister Descriptor: He's one of the only parents of the gang who's first name has been revealed: Topps. However, no one ever calls him this save for his wife's Affectionate Nickname of 'Topsy', and instead just refer to him by his species.
  • Opposites Attract: He's hard as stone and utterly head over heels for sweet, amicable, candy-pink Tria, both when they were younger and later on in life. In addition, she's the only one who can calm him down.
  • Papa Wolf: While a Grumpy Bear to begin with, nothing makes him angrier than threatening his family.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The manly to Grandpa Longneck's sensitive. He believes in being tough (and sings a whole song about it), is very aggressive, and has a short temper, while Grandpa is a Nice Guy, a Gentle Giant and more nurturing, polite and soft-spoken.
  • Temper-Ceratops: One of the defining examples of a rather unsocial herbivore in fiction. Topps initially firmly holds onto the belief that his kind is incompatible with hanging around and playing with other kinds of dinosaurs, and even after mellowing out somewhat in the later movies, he can still be bossy and temperamental whenever things don't go his way.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: After his Character Development in the third film, his prejudice and his general abrasiveness slowly but surely starts to tone down. Even more evident once Tricia is born.
  • Troll: While he shows admirable acceptance by not treating Chomper like a threat, he still has no qualms telling him blatantly untrue stories just to get a kick of how scared he can make him, nor has any problems openly mocking him for his tiny arms when he knows he's self-conscious about them.
  • Villain Song: Not really a villain, just an antagonist. "Standing Tough" could be considered this in the third film, given what he was doing at the time.
  • Was Too Hard on Her: He realizes he had been this towards Cera after witnessing Hyp's father yell at his son.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He will do anything to protect his family, going to violent lengths. He especially fits this trope in "Time of the Great Giving." While his water plan causes problems, he's legitimately just trying to conserve the valley's water supply.

"It's nobody's fault. The great circle of life has begun. But see, not all of us arrive together at the end."

Appearances: original film | X (ambiguous mention)

Species: unidentified (Scolosaurus)

Voiced by: Pat Hingle

  • Artistic License – Paleontology: He's based on an outdated portrayal of Scolosaurus, having a horn on his nose and two spiky prongs on his small tail club. We now know the real animal was an Ankylosaurid mostly similar to Euoplocephalus, with the exception of longer horns facing downwards.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Bony ones, at that, they highlight his old age.
  • Call-Back: Possibly one in movie ten. Bron tells Littlefoot that he learned of his mother's death from a passing dinosaur not long after the Great Earthshake, and that this dinosaur also mentioned that Littlefoot survived. Given the timing, this dinosaur was likely Rooter.
  • Cool Old Guy: While initially crotchety at Little Foot for disturbing his nap, the old dinosaur proves to be benevolent and wholesome in his interactions with the young sauropod.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: Rooter's biggest impact in the series is helping soften the blow of Mama Longneck's death— both for Littlefoot and the younger audience— by confirming to Littlefoot that his mother will always be with him, and that the pain he feels right now will lessen in time.
  • Guttural Growler: Speaks with a very coarse, gruff voice.
  • Informed Species: As stated above, he looks nothing like a real Scolosaurus.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: When he first runs into the crying Littlefoot, he treats him with gruff indifference. When he realizes the boy has just lost his mother, he immediately softens and opts to help him as much as he can.

    Mama Swimmer

Appearances: all fourteen films | TV series

Species: Swimmer (unspecified hadrosaur)

Voiced by: Tress MacNeille (II to TV series) | Meghan Strange (XIV)

The biological mother of Ducky and the adoptive mother of Spike. She's an adult of some standing in the Great Valley and commonly seen in meetings at the rock circle.

  • A Day in the Limelight: Got some more attention in "The Big Freeze".
  • Good Parents: All too happy to adopt Spike and is very loving to all of her kids (and there's like thirteen of them!)
  • Mama Bear: Won't stand for any harm coming to her kids. Seriously, this mother dives under ice and risks her life to save Spike.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: She and her husband have this color scheme in the finale of the first film. She's given a more realistic green color from the second film onward.
  • Think of the Children!: In her earlier appearances, Mama Swimmer tended to be this. She seems to give some thought to Mr. Threehorn's claim that, Littlefoot is a bad influence in "Time of the Great Giving" as she calls Ducky and Spike away from him. Later on, she takes a more complex approach to this trope when she truly considers whether Spike would be happier with his own kind rather than with her in "The Big Freeze".

    Mama Flyer

Appearances: all fourteen films | TV series

Species: Flyer (Pteranodon)

Voiced by: Tress MacNeille (II to TV series) | Anndi McAfee (XIV)

Petrie's mother. She's an adult of some standing in the Great Valley and commonly seen in meetings at the rock circle.

  • Good Parents: Especially noticeable in "Stone of Cold Fire", where she makes sure to set a better example for her children than Pterano.
  • Mama Bear: Notice a pattern here? She flew through what was essentially a hurricane to find her missing son!
  • Open-Minded Parent: Especially noticeable in "The Great Day of the Fliers". She loves her son for who he is— quirks and all— and is supportive of him even when he doesn't seem to be doing well in his flying demonstrations.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Played with; she's set up to have something like this with Pterano, but she has enough faith in him to know that he won't let any harm come to Ducky. She still doesn't think too highly of him, though...
  • Straight Man: Aside from Littlefoot's Grandparents, she's usually the most level-headed voice among the Valley's adults, and is less prone to wild accusations that tend to get thrown around whenever the Valley is facing a crisis.


Appearances: original film

Species: Sharptooth (Tyrannosaurus rex)

A vicious, relentless Tyrannosaurus who acts as the primary antagonist of the first film. He's responsible for the death of Littlefoot's mother. He's supposedly killed by Littlefoot and his friends after they drop a rock on him, knocking him into a deep water hole.

  • Adaptation Expansion: In the movie it's unclear whether Sharptooth is a Non-Malicious Monster or not. The book shows some events from his perspective, and gives him an arrogant, vain, and vindictive personality on top of his predatory instincts.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the movie, he's mostly portrayed as an instinctive force of nature, albeit with more personality than one might expect. The novelization, however, depicts him as being like a prehistoric Serial Killer.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Is he a sadistic, vengeful murderer, or just a predator desperate for food? Throughout the movie, it remains up in the air. But that's only the movie incarnation; in regards to the novelization's version of him, it's absolutely clear that yes, he's a downright evil monster who kills for the hell of it, and whose antagonism with the children is based purely on vindictive, narcissistic, psychopathic spite.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Littlefoot after he killed his mother. Even before that Sharptooth was already angry at him for having him blinded in one eye.
  • Ax-Crazy: Is noticeably unhinged and needlessly violent even for a Tyrannosaurus. In the novelization, this is even more evident as instead of a simple predator, he is a vengeful, spiteful and sadistic Serial Killer in the skin of a dinosaur.
  • The Berserker: His face is always locked in one single expression; pure, unadulterated, pissed-off rage.
  • Big Bad: Considered this in the first film.
  • Carnivore Confusion: He is a T. rex hunting sentient baby dinosaurs.
  • Death Glare: Shoots Petrie a murderous glare after the pterosaur hits him with a pebble.
  • The Dreaded: When even baby dinosaurs know your name, you're this. The book mentions he'd been following the herds for some time, preying on stragglers and building a reputation. Also, when Littlefoot's mother intervenes, she orders Littlefoot to run. This is notable because baby animals usually stay near their parents during such instances (such as Wildebeest and Bison), and the chances that Littlefoot could run into another hazard without her presence. It also indicates Littlefoot's mother knew she would likely lose the fight, and that no other hazard in the area was as dangerous as Sharptooth.
  • Disney Villain Death: Falls off a cliff into a lake and drowns. However, unlike most, his is an intentional one on the part of the heroes, though given the situation, it's hard to blame them.
  • Eaten Alive: Possibly what he was doing to Littlefoot's mother during the fight.
  • Expy: Of the hunter from Bambi to a degree. Both kill the main character's mother in an attempt to kill the main character himself, enter the plot rather abruptly and out of nowhere, have little screen time, and are The Voiceless.
  • Eye Awaken: When Cera uses his seemingly dead body to practise headbutting, his eye snaps open and stares at her, revealing he's still alive. Note that this is the eye that was stabbed with a thorn and was supposed to have been blinded.(Alternatively, the injury may have simply caused his eyelids to swell to the extent he could only occasionally open his eye, since he is also seen opening it towards the end of the movie.)
  • Eye Scream: Littlefoot accidentally stabs him in the eye with a thorn while trying to escape, supposedly blinding him in that eye. The illustrations in the book and original cut of the film showed it bleeding afterwards.
  • For the Evulz: Unlike most predators, he seems to kill other dinosaurs entirely because he wants to, not because he needs to.
  • Handicapped Badass: The novelization reveals he was blinded in his right eye when Littlefoot accidentally stabbed it with a thorn. Despite this, he apparently is still capable of seeing things around him perfectly fine.
  • The Heavy: Most of the events in the first film would not have happened had it not been for him.
  • Hero Killer: Sharptooth not only survives being bashed into cliffs and falling into a ravine, but mortally wounds Littlefoot's mother - who, granted, puts up one heck of a fight - and almost kills the main group several times.
  • Implacable Man: One of the most notable in western animation. Borders on slasher villain territory.
  • It's Personal: He hates Littlefoot because he accidentally blinded him on one of his eyes. He also hates Cera for headbutting him when he was unconscious. It's heavily implied that THIS and his hatred are the reasons why he is going to such extremes to kill dinosaurs that would be of little food value to him. This goes both ways, as he killed Littlefoot's mother, and other members of his herd in the novelization.
  • Kill It with Water: Meets his end when the heroes use a rock to topple him into a lake. Due to having stubby arms, he can't swim and drowns.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Oh yes. The movie is initially very light in its tone. Then he shows up and kills Littlefoot's mother. Anytime he does appear on screen for the rest of the movie the levity stops. Part of what made the sequels Lighter and Softer is that they didn't have any villains nearly as dark him.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Ridiculously tough for a big Tyrannosaurus, but if pissed off enough, he lunges so incredibly fast he can't control that speed; he dives over and plows through everything, just barely missing the heroes. He can even leap to great heights and distances, soaring over Littlefoot's mother, and leaping from bottom to top of a very tall cliff in seconds.
  • Made of Iron: His stamina and strength were ridiculous enough, but he survived falling into a deep trench without any actual injury and can smash large rocks with his head with no pain involved.
  • Narcissist: The novel mentions that Sharptooth was extremely arrogant and vain, to the point where Cera headbutting him - which didn't hurt him in the slightest - pissed him off, and Littlefoot inadvertently stabbing his right eye with a thorn sparked a deep, intense grudge.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: Definitely averted; one of the things that made Sharptooth so incredibly terrifying was that he didn't just kill for food, he also killed for pleasure and more often, because he was ticked off. However this is confirmed only in the novel. In the movie, vicious and scary as he is, he could be just a predator who is trying to not starve, thus following his survival instinct.
  • Not Quite Dead: Is seemingly killed when he falls off a cliff fighting Little Foot's mother. Cera finds out later on he survived and is ticked off!
  • Predators Are Mean: An extremely brutal killing machine who is not even against eating children. In the book he's even worse as he also has a sadistic streak going beyond ordinary predators standards.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Especially if you're a hatchling.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In the book version, the reason he relentlessly pursues the protagonists is because when Littlefoot fled from him he sent a thorn flying into his right eye, half-blinding him. In most scenes of the film he has his right eye closed, which supports this.
  • Scary Teeth: His name should make it already clear.
  • Serial Killer: What he's basically portrayed as in the novalization. As opposed to killing just because he needs to eat like most predators, he kills because he enjoys it.
  • The Sociopath: A violent, sadistic, prideful monster that kills for sport. At least, this is how he's portrayed in the novel.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Is killed by drowning. Justified: his little arms aren't exactly built for swimming. Also, it's hard to swim when a massive boulder was just dropped on your chest.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Is dead set on killing the group. Justifed as only a few other dinosaurs are seen during the film, so they may just be the only thing to eat. He also wants revenge on Littlefoot for injuring his right eye and Cera for headbutting him when he was unconscious.
  • Taking You with Me: Bites down on Petrie's tail as he falls into the water, hinting that he is petty and vengeful as he is in the novel rather than merely predatory.
  • Tyrannosaurus rex: Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Unstoppable Rage: He's in a psychotic fury for every moment of screen time. And it is terrifying.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: For an innocent-looking movie about baby dinosaurs trying to find paradise, it can get quite intense whenever he's onscreen.
  • The Voiceless: Like almost every theropod in the series, he communicates solely with snarls, roars, growls and hisses.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Most definitely, as he literally spends his entire onscreen time trying to kill the five main characters, who happen to be baby dinosaurs.
  • You Killed My Father: Killed Littlefoot's mother.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: