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YMMV / The Land Before Time

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The first film:

  • Accidental Innuendo: Cera's father, Mr. Threehorn, is credited as "Daddy Topps" in the original film - another dinosaur pun that no one batted an eye at in 1988, but subsequent decades would prove to be a different story.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is the Sharptooth a morality-lacking creature who's only killing out of predatory instinct, or a sadistic serial killer who enjoys killing other dinosaurs out of vengeance and pleasure? Even the users on this wiki can't seem to decide. The discussion became a little more complicated when the sequels revealed that Sharpteeth are just as intelligent and sentient as the herbivorous dinosaurs, even having a language of their own.
    • Notably, Don Bluth himself stated that he couldn't really view Sharptooth as a villain if he, indeed, was just a predator looking for food.
    • Conversely, the novelization expands Sharptooth's role, and makes it very clear that he is anything but a predator desperate for food, instead writing him as a vengeful and prideful killer who is only chasing the protagonists due to a grudge.
  • Awesome Music:
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Petrie. Some find him cute and funny, others find him annoying. This continues into the sequels. Some feel he's been flanderized beyond recognition, while some still find him cute and funny.
    • Cera. While she was generally well-received by the critics, there were various viewers who were bothered by her attitude. It didn't help the fact that she remained the most prejudiced and bratty of the characters, and even insulted Littlefoot's mother despite the fact that she saved her life. Luckily, while still being the main character with the most attitude, in the sequels she mellows out, eventually becoming more popular with many of the fans.
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    • Rooter, the wandering Scolosaurus (played by the late Pat Hingle), who only makes a single appearance that lasts two minutes in the entire film. He is fondly remembered for kindly helping Littlefoot and the audience get over a truly tearjerking death scene, but some don't care for how he subsequently leaves Littlefoot by himself. To be fair, Rooter was added to the story very late in the production as a means to help Littlefoot and the audience cope with the tragedy.
  • Complete Monster: In The Illustrated Story novelization by Jim Razzi, Sharptooth is given the personality of a Serial Killer in a Tyrannosaurus rex's skin. Preying on the herds that try to make it to the Great Valley, Sharptooth is known for killing more for pleasure than for food and mortally wounds the young Longneck Littlefoot's mother when she tries to save her son from him. After Littlefoot accidentally damages Sharptooth's eye and the young Threehorn Cera headbutts him when he is unconscious, Sharptooth's ego is so bruised that he ends up relentlessly stalking them and their friends despite their lack of value as food to him just to murder the children out of spite. When he realizes he has found the entry to the Great Valley, Sharptooth plans on going on a killing spree to satisfy his bloodlust as soon as he has finished with the children.
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  • 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 the same way again 
  • First Installment Wins: The original film is by far the most popular. It's 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.
  • He's Just Hiding!: Some fans believe that Sharptooth actually survived his last encounter with the heroes and is still out there. Usually, they back this claim with the fact that, for the entire movie, Sharptooth was shown to be extremely durable, and survived other situations that should have killed him.
  • Moe: Baby Littlefoot is adorable. Especially when he yawns.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Sharptooth easily crosses this when he tears off a hunk of flesh from the back of Littlefoot's mother, slowly killing her in the process. If you realize through the book that he is in no way a Non-Malicious Monster led by mere instinct and knew perfectly well what he was doing.
  • Narm: A lot of the dialogue in this movie is very awkwardly written and sometimes awkwardly acted. You don't question it when you're a kid, but rewatching it as a teen or adult might give you a case of the bad laughs.
  • Narm Charm: The aforementioned awkward dialogue makes the child characters feel more genuine, and for some, adds to the appeal.
  • Popular with Furries: Being one of the few films about dinosaurs as characters instead of just featuring them, scalies flock to it.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Believe it or not, in the Japanese dub this was Maaya Sakamoto's debut role as a voice actress voicing Cera.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • Ask people what gender Littlefoot is and you'll be surprised at how the answer varies. His long eyelashes do not help with the confusion at all.
    • Ducky has to be the most obvious example; she can come off as a very expressive boy rather than a Tomboyish Genki Girl.

The sequels:

  • 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.
  • Accidental Innuendo: The 14th film Journey of the Brave gives us the song "Hot and Stinky" where the gang covers themselves in stinkweed to get past the sharp teeth.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Cera's immediate dislike of Ali in "Journey Through The Mists" comes across this way. Is she just upset about Littlefoot having a new friend outside of the group because she's worried Littlefoot will stop hanging out with them in favor of Ali? Or is she jealous of Littlefoot hanging out with a new female dinosaur? None of the other kids have a problem with Ali and want to invite her to play with them; it's only Cera who shows hostility towards her.
  • Awesome Art: The early films, due to having No Budget, had cheap Saturday morning cartoon-quality animation. The later films gained an increased budget and digital coloring, and despite the decreasing quality of the franchise, each film looks more polished and professional than the previous, to the point where some almost resemble theatrical films as opposed to Direct-to-Video films.
  • 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 Mr. Threehorn's "I Am" Song.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Opinions on Bron are divided. Some think he's a tragic character, while others don't believe his story.
    • Wild Arms from Journey of the Brave. Either he's a funny character with an interesting design, or he's obnoxious, reminiscent of the Yellow Bellies, and the worst part of the movie.
  • Broken Base:
    • The confirmation that there would be a fourteenth movie after being "retired" for 8 years. Either you're happy to see the dinos mounting a comeback, or you believe that the series has run its course, and is attempting to milk the Franchise Zombie of anything left. Or, you're in the third camp that is happy to see Land Before Time returning, but would prefer to see a complete reboot of the franchise.
    • There's also a camp of people who were upset to see the series continue without Kenneth Mars, voice of Grandpa Longneck, who passed away in 2011 from pancreatic cancer, as well as John Ingle (the narrator and Topsy) who passed away a year later.
  • Contested Sequel: In a series with many, many sequels, a few of them fall under this at best, with the worst under Sequelitis below. There are people that hate every sequel, and nearly everyone agrees that none of them hold a candle to the original, but defenders will argue that at least some of them are still good films in their own right.
  • Designated Hero: Old One is supposedly a wise leader to be admired, but really comes across as a Jerkass who isn't willing to do what it takes to save a dying fellow longneck.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Plenty, depending on who you ask. Some of the more common ones include Hyp, Mo, and Sue. Probably the most popular two would be the first two major guest characters: Chomper (see Breakout Character on the main page) 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).
    • The Rainbow-Faces are a species of this, which may be due to them being magical aliens.
    • Pterano is a favorite among fans as well, thanks to being a Tragic Villain.
    • Guido from movie 12, mainly for his awkwardness and being a surprisingly mature character.
  • 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 is on 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.
    • What happened to Cera's mom and siblings, none of which were seen after the first half of the original movie? A popular Fanon theory is that they were part of the herd led by Pterano, which all got killed by raptors.
  • Fanon: As a justification for the Sharpteeth becomming less of a threat in the Lighter and Softer sequels, a popular theory is that the Sharptooth of the original movie was, even by Sharpteeth standards, exceptionally dangerous and violent, to the point that even other Sharpteeth feared him.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: There are many different forms of this. Depending on who you ask, you can...
    • 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 VI. Films V & VI each have their good points and interesting guest characters, but VI would be the last film to have no 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 the first 9 sequels have.
    • Accept the movies up to XII. The Wisdom of Friends tends to be ignored, even by diehard fans of the sequel films, due to its overly silly nature.
    • 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 (to those who aren't unnerved by them being near-clones or Kissing Cousins) and Littlefoot/Cera are both pretty popular, as is Ducky/Petrie.
  • Genius Bonus: Guido from The Great Day of the Flyers is a Microraptor. One of the three known species of Microraptor is Microraptor gui. As in GUI - do.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Journey Through 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.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
  • 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. note 
  • 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".
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: The first film was a collaboration between Don Bluth, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Not even one of those three people returned for any of the sequels, and it shows.
  • 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.
  • Sequelitis: While some of the sequels are considered to be decent enjoyable films that fall into Contested Sequel at best, especially when compared to the original film, Invasion of the Tinysauruses and The Wisdom of Friends are often viewed as the worst of the franchise, with the latter film having the Yellow Bellies that are very hated.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Not compared to the original film, but most fans of the sequels usually see some of them as more enjoyable than others:
    • II for continuing the story after the first movie, keeping some of the tone of the first, not going too far into Tastes Like Diabetes territory, and introducing some well-liked characters like Ozzie and Strut, and Chomper.
    • IV for Ali, who's also a fan favorite character for many, as well as the overall plot.
    • V for having the character Chomper return, this time being able to talk.
    • X for having a plot where Littlefoot travels with his grandparents and after reaching where he had to go, discovers his biological father and learns more about him and his past.
    • XIV simply for being an improvement over XIII, the latter of which tends to be the least popular of the series.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: The sequels get this reaction sometimes, with their lighter tone compared to the first film, the bright color palette, and the constant use of songs that often come out of nowhere.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Hyp, along with Mutt and Nod, just appeared in one episode of the TV series and none of the other movies, which makes little sense, since they also live in the Great Valley. While they are far from the nicest characters, it would've been nice for them to have been more involved in another sequel.
  • Toy Ship: Littlefoot and Ali or Cera. Also, Ducky and Petrie.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • It's hard to see Ozzie continually fail to get his meal. Of course, this doesn't excuse his attempt to kill Littlefoot.
    • The Sharpteeth in XIII for their Butt-Monkey status and humiliating defeat.

The television series:

  • Angst? What Angst?: While there is an episode dedicated to showing how much Ruby misses her family since she and Chomper were forced to move to the Great Valley to escape Red Claw, the subject of Chomper's parents is never brought up. He never shows signs of missing them.
  • Designated Villain: We never see the Great Hideous Beast actually do anything to the mammal colony to warrant his initial description as a beast. At most, it’s suggested that he sometimes steals their food, but given his minuscule size,it doesn’t seem like he’d be any kind of physical threat to them in the first place.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The somewhat half-formed backstory of Chomper and Ruby's arrival in the Great Valley as refuge from Red Claw is prime material for a potentially good movie, but when the TV series was released, they're already there and it doesn't explain how Chomper left the island or how he met Ruby. In fact, before The Wisdom of Friends was announced as the 13th movie, some fans speculated that it would be about how they joined the Great Valley and escaped Red Claw. This is mostly because the 13th movie was released in the same year as the TV series and some fans assumed that it would be a tie-in to the TV series.


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