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Fridge / The Land Before Time

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As a Fridge subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

Fridge Brilliance
  • Why do Ducky and Petrie's speech patterns sound like borderline baby-talk while Littlefoot, Cera and Spike (presumably) talk normally? Because they are of different types of dinosaur. Ducky, unlike the other three is a bipedal dinosaur, so her dialogue is more childish but still pretty understandable. Petrie is further removed being a 'flyer', primarily a flying dinosaur in a group of land-dwellers, so his dialogue would be more strange and out-there. For those of you who say this makes no sense in terms of realistic language barriers, keep in mind that the movie is already farfetched for having all of these species alive at once anyway, and that this addresses the issue of different dino-languages while still being able to be enjoyed by younger viewers. As for there parents and other dinosaurs, all of those cases are in the sequels and may not be what Bluth intended. The only adults to speak in the first movie were Littlefoot's mother, Cera's father and Rooter, all fellow quadrupeds.
    • I'd hate to edit someone else's addition, but as a nerd it annoys me to death; flying dinosaurs?
    • If you want to get technical, Littlefoot's species is actually more closely related to Chomper's than to any of the other main cast. He's a lizard hipped dinosaur like Chomper and the rest are bird hipped dinosaurs (except Petrie obviously, who isn't a dinosaur).
      • Actually, I thought they were intended to be the youngest ones, explaining why they sound borderline like babies.
      • OP: Unless the births were shown out of order, because Ducky is the first to be born on screen. Also, again, none of these dinosaurs even lived at the same time, so the movie clearly isn't bound by the laws of actual science.
      • Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus, Pteranodon and Saurolophus lived at the same time.
      • No, they didn't. They're all Late Cretaceous, but Pteranodon existed during the Campanian epoch whereas the other three were Maastrichtian (translation, Pteranodon went extinct nearly 20 million years before any of those dinosaurs existed).
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    • It could also be a metaphor for children who are still learning how to properly speak English while fitting in with a new circle of friends.
  • Why is Spike immediately accepted and adopted into Ducky's family at the end of the first movie, despite how most adult dinosaurs we see at the beginning firmly believe they should all keep to their own kind? Because her family doesn't hold any such racist attitudes. When Ducky first meets Littlefoot, she cheerfully greets him and doesn't seem at all aware that they're not "supposed" to talk to each other for being different. She's also notably the only (talking) member of the group who doesn't make any racist comments about the others. (Even Petrie makes a well-meaning "flathead" comment to Littlefoot.) It's likely that her parents never taught her any Fantastic Racism because they don't feel it themselves, so it makes sense that they would instantly accept an orphaned baby spike-tail that she brought home.
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  • Fridge-Heartwarming and/or Tear Jerker: Littlefoot sees his tree-star as the only memento of his late mother, since there were so few of them in the Great Beyond. Now that he and his friends live in the Great Valley, every he eats his fill of tree-stars, he'll always remember her.
  • Pterano from the 7th movie. His mood flip-flops all over the place from scene to scene, he's prone to little outbursts of anger (namely towards his lackeys when they mess up/push his buttons), is mostly incredibly averse to violence (save for little dope slaps on Rinkus and Sierra, again), never mentions or acknowledges the massacre he led his followers into, and appears to have a full-fledged flashback when Ducky is in danger of falling off the mountain. Any of these symptoms sound familiar? They should. Pterano potentially has PTSD.
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  • Also from the 7th movie the Stone of Cold Fire itself. How did the Rainbow Faces know that the flying rock wasn't a Stone of Cold Fire? Because the flame was blue! Blue fire is hot while cold fire is red. If the stone was really a Stone of Cold Fire it would be blood red in a sorcerous manner. Aliens like the Rainbow Faces would know that!
  • The series became Lighter and Softer after the first film...which makes perfect sense when you consider the characters now live in a virtual paradise with lots of food and no predators!
    • Taking this one further, the only times the sequels ever edge into Darker and Edgier is when the heroes leave said paradise.
      • Except in Invasion of the Tinysaurs, which plays on Topsy's and the other older dinosaurs' deep-set racism; turning them into the predators.
    • Another factor is Sharptooth, the exceptionally psychotic and explicitly murderous T-Rex that in the novel was hunting the herds and picking off their members for fun, was killed off, eliminating the biggest threat to the characters.
  • Petrie surviving being dragged into the sea by the Sharptooth could be explained by the fact that Pteranodons were surprisingly skilled swimmers.
  • If all of the original gang's families were going to the Great Valley, how come only Little Foot's mother told him about it and how to get there? Because he's the only one without siblings to play with. We see in the opening and ending that Ducky, Cera, and Petrie all had many siblings to play with (Spike's parents are MIA), so their parents probably let them play and be kids rather than worrying them with talk of food and travel. Little Foot had no siblings to play with, and was furthermore one in a herd of four. Since he only had his mother and grandparents to hang out with, she told him where he was going.
  • Why did Rhett make up those stories to begin with? Let's think about Ali for a moment. She helped Little Foot and Co. brave the dangers of a Belly Dragger and a Flying Sharptooth just to get some night flowers to heal Little Foot's grandfather... all without the help of grownups. Rhett wanted to impress Ali with his own tales!
  • Probably unintentional, but the fact that so many of the sequels open in outer space takes on new meaning in the 7th movie, considering the Rainbow Beaks are implied to be aliens.
  • Also probably unintentional, but with the exception of Ali and her herd, all the supporting characters in "Journey Through The Mists" are animals from lineages that would survive past the age of the dinosaurs—Tickles is a mammal. Archie is a turtle. The villains, Ichy and Dil, are a bird (avian dinosaur) and a crocodilian respectively. Albeit none from species that surived the KT event (Tickles is ambiguous enough as he is about what kind of mammal group he belongs too, but Archelon, Ichthyornis and Deinosuchus all belong to groups that died horribly alongside the non-avian dinosaurs).

  • May not be fridge, since i have realized this as a child, but consider the fact that they're dinosaurs. Dinosaurs are extinct. That means that no matter how long the series goes, how many sequels are made, and how many times they defeat the sharpteeth, these characters are Doomed Protagonists.
    • Actually, at the end of the first movie, the narrator stated that their descendants would talk about their journey. So Littlefoot and his friends won't die of whatever caused the dinosaurs to go extinct.
    • Many contemporary animals are directly descended from dinosaurs. The Great Valley company slowly evolved over millennia into the lizards and birds we know today.
      • Except, no, lizards aren't descended from dinosaurs, and the protagonists aren't the type of dinosaurs from which birds descend: Dinosaurs can be divided between ornischian and saurischian dinosaurs, and saurischian dinosaurs can be further divided into theropod and sauropod dinosaurs. Birds are theropods, whereas Littlefoot is a sauropod, Cera, Ducky, and Spike are ornischians, and Petrie isn't even a dinosaur at all. Chomper and Ruby are theropods, but as a tyrannosaur and an oviraptor, their ancestors split from the lineage that lead to birds many millions of years before the Late Cretaceous, when the movies are (vaguely) meant to take place. Any descendants the protagonists have will be wiped out by the asteroid.
    • Furthermore, you all realize that dinosaurs were around for over 160 million years right? The chances that our protagonists are living close enough to the end of such an immense timespan to witness their own extinction event are infinitesimally small. You might just as well call it Fridge Horror that humans will inevitably go extinct eventually and therefore any story with human characters features Doomed Protagonists. In all likelihood, the gang and their descendants for millions of years to come will be just fine.
  • The Pachycephalosaurs. The alleged portrayal of these dinosaurs as "carnivores" in the film is often regarded as a research flub, but it's actually a case of Fridge Brilliance and Fridge Horror. There is a deleted scene from the film (which was included in the novelization) where Littlefoot and his friends meet a herd of Pachecyphalosaurs (identified as "Crown Heads") who refuse to share their food with them because they're not of their kind. This establishes the Crown Heads as herbivores and as racists. This is where the Fridge Horror comes in; the Crown Heads that attack Cera were most likely not motivated by hunger, but by racial hatred. They were terrorizing her For the Evulz, as seen when they loom over her menacingly when they have her surrounded just to savour her fear, instead of immediately tearing her to peices as a pack of starving predators would do in this situation.
    • They may have even been the same Crown Heads, since Cera insulted them in the aforementioned deleted scene, and may have gone after her for payback.
    • Actually evidence has been found of some herbivores resorting to eating some meat during times when food was scarce.
  • Take a look at Everybody Is Jesus in Purgatory in the YMMV section or the WMG section for even more Fridge Horror.
  • Remember the "water" in III? Everybody drank some of that. Some of them drank a lot of that. That wasn't water. It was tar. Tar is extremely toxic if ingested.
    • I don't remember anyone other than Hip drinking from the tar pit. Little Foot recognized it for what it was immediately. Little Foot and pals should be fine. Hip, not so much.
      • Actually, this movie had a fairly realistic depiction of how tar pits work and Hyp is going to be fine. Tar is quite dense, so water simply sits on top of it. Animals go to drink the water and, sometimes, wade in to cool off, not realizing there's a tar pit underneath until it's too late.
  • In the original film, a big part of Cera's character is that she wants to get back to her family, noting her sisters in particular. At the end, we only see her with her father while her mother and sisters are nowhere to be seen and never appear in the sequels. Topsy's grouchiness and overprotectiveness makes a lot more sense now.
    • "Invasion of the Tinysauruses" never touches on this topic, despite dealing with the issue of Topsy taking a new mate. But in a way, this is our strongest indicator that Cera's biological mother and siblings are alive...neither she nor her father do any mourning whatsoever.
      • Or they just mourned offscreen because the sequels are Lighter and Softer and the issue wasn't dealt with in the original either.
      • Alternately, at least one of Cera's siblings can be inferred to still be alive, due to the introduction of her twin nieces in Secret of Saurus Rock.
      • Cera's siblings shown in the first film were the same age as her, hatching at the same time, and Cera is obviously nowhere near old enough to have children of her own in Saurus Rock, so her clutchmates wouldn't be either. This implies that she has a much older sibling, who was probably a teenager or even a young adult at the time of the original movie.
  • Is Chomper gonna lose his ability to speak with the gang when he grows up, given that NO adult Sharptooth in the entire franchise, can speak English, and just growl?
    • Or, it could be that it's like a second language- he knows Herbivore Language because he learned it at a young age, and practices speaking both Carnivore and Herbivore. It's unlikely that other sharptooths of other varieties learned to speak the language of their prey.
      • Not a second language— a mother tongue. Studies show that the brains of babies who are adopted into a different country actually register both languages as mothertongues, even if they were too young to learn their original language. Herbivore was the first language Chomper's brain learned to recognize, and Carnivore was the language he grew up in. He may have had to practice Herbivore by himself, but he's actually raised bilingual. Wait...How did he learn to speak Herbivore so fluently? How many of his friends have been eaten by his parents? Was he experienced in hiding his friends by the time Littlefoot & co found his island?
  • In the first film, the kids are separated from their parents because of an earthquake. Petrie's mum can fly. But then some modern day birds abandon their nests if the offspring won't survive. And considering she had other kids and Petrie didn't learn to fly until near the end of the film...
    • Petrie does seem to have siblings his age in later films, though as he is young they might be a new clutch that is similar in size due to their close age.
    • Overall this conclusion is a bit of a stretch, given that birds are only distantly related to pterosaurs and wouldn't necessarily have shared behaviours. Chances are his mother looked for him after the earthquake and just couldn't find him.
  • In the first film, Littlefoot talks to a elderly dinosaur after his mother dies and said dinosaur gives some words of wisdom to help him go on. He then proceeds to wander away, leaving a freshly orphaned child all alone to fend for himself. Is it because Littlefoot is a different species, or does he just not want to deal with the "burden" of helping Littlefoot in any meaningful way other then giving advice, such as raising him? Maybe he knew food is scarce, and didn't want to share any food he might come across and so decided to leave Littlefoot to die?
    • Or, think of it this way. Rooter is an old dinosaur, traveling (or, when we meet him, sleeping) alone in a barren wilderness with carnivorous dinosaurs on the prowl. Seriously, he's nowhere remotely near any other herds, and the narrator made a point of explaining that the sharp toothed dinosaurs like to pick off loners. He didn't leave Littlefoot to die, he left Littlefoot so the poor kid wouldn't have to see HIM die. Seeing as Littlefoot had already experienced the traumatic death of his mother, this is understandable.
  • The cave that Ducky lures Sharptooth out of at the climax of the movie is the cave that leads to the Great Valley. When the kids notice him, he's sniffing around a castle-looking rock formation. After Sharptooth is vanquished and Littlefoot's mother appears in the clouds, she directs him to the same castle-looking rock formation. The pond where Sharptooth drowned is still seen in the background, so they're still in the same location. If they hadn't hatched their plan when they did, there would potentially have been a Great Valley massacre.
    • No there wouldn’t. Most predators will back off when faced with a large herd. Tyrannosaurus and other theropods were no exception.
    • This is actually Ascended Fridge Horror in the novelization: yes, Sharptooth found the entrance, and yes he fully intended to go on a murderous rampage in there. Sharptooth is also smart enough to pick off members of a herd one by one.
  • When Spike dropped a rock on Chomper's mother, she could very well have been killed.
  • One must wonder what Chomper's future will be like. Even if he retains his herbivore language and remains friends with the gang, what will he eat? Surely an adult Tyrannosaurus couldn't live off of insects alone without the risk of starvation.
    • Fish possibly, as it's shown there are fairly large ones and while not able to swim, he could hunt in shallows, which many large dinosaurs such as Spinosaurus actually did.

  • Why is ducky named "ducky"? The movie never shows birds existing at the same time as the dinosaurs. Although in retrospect it becomes accidental Fridge Brilliance as the earliest waterfowl already existed when Ducky's species was alive.
    • It's a kid's movie, not a palaeontology lecture. It's just playing on the fact that the kind of dinosaur that Ducky is had a mouth like a duck's bill.
    • It could also be playing on the use of the word "ducky" to mean things are fine, i.e., "everything's just ducky."
    • Maybe her name just happens to sound like the word "ducky" and she is not named after ducks at all in-universe.
    • Maybe In-Universe she's named after a species of duck-like bird from the Late Cretaceous, like Vegavis or Polarornis, and the movie calling her "Ducky" is just Translation Convention.
  • Cera's father kind of owes Littlefoot an apology. If he'd noticed Cera had wandered off sooner, either they both could have been rounded home before the Sharptooth ever showed, or could have helped protect the kids - maybe the Sharptooth wouldn't have wanted to take on two adult dinosaurs and Littlefoot would have a mother.
  • What is up with the fourth episode of the series? Cera asks if Petrie has ever been to the smoking mountain, to which he replies that no, he hasn't... while standing next to Chomper. The whole group went to the Smoking Mountain in the second film, where they MET Chomper. In fact, the reason they were on the Smoking Mountain was because Chomper was chasing bugs there and they didn't want him to get hurt! Especially egregious since that movie is the sole reason that Chomper is in the valley to begin with- he was hatched there and made friends with the locals, who proved capable of defending themselves against sharptooths (like Redclaw).
  • In the tenth movie, what exactly did the longnecks save the world from?
    • Honestly? Nothing. They thought they were preventing the sun from falling out of the sky when in reality, it was just an eclipse that resolved itself. Although that doesn't explain where the shared prophetic dreams came from...
  • In The Journey of the Brave, Topsy and Grandpa Longneck cower in fear behind a group of rocks from a single Sharptooth, despite both of them having fought off Sharpteeth on their own multiple times in the past. Said Sharptooth is also a Carnotaurus, a fairly medium-sized theropod.
    • They're getting too old? Alternatively, they're scared because they've never seen anything like it. They're used to plain T-rex's and raptors, not this weird thing. Topsy would also realize what it could do with its horns.
      • The horns of Carnotaurus were primarily used to attract mates, similar to the plates of Stegosaurus. They had no purpose in a fight.
      • More likely explanation: another sharptooth fight (one that might have even been entertaining) wasn't in the budget.
  • How on Earth did Littlefoot, Spike, Ducky, and Petrie escape the tar pit in the first movie? Right before the scene change, they're pretty thoroughly mired with no apparent way out. The next time we see them, they just show up coated head to toe in the stuff, indicating they were completely submerged at one point. Did they somehow pull themselves out? Nobody after that point was shown pulling that off - even they needed the adults' help in the second movie. Did someone see them going under and rescue them? But then why wouldn't that someone stick around to help save Cera?
  • Why doesn't Petrie (or his relatives) eat fish? That would be a more accurate diet for their species. Or insects, at least. But they are only ever seen eating vegetation, which Pteranodon almost certainly did not eat.


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