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YMMV / The Land Before Time

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The first film:

  • 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.
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    • 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.
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    • 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.
    • Rooter, the wandering Scolosaurus (played by the late Pat Hingle), who only makes a single appearance that lasts only 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.
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  • 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 kills 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.
  • 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 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Moral Event Horizon: All the things that Sharptooth did and especially the murder of Littlefoot's mother become this if you realise 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:

  • Acceptable Targets: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 are upset that the series will 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.
  • Designated Villain: Ozzie and Strut have to eat eggs to survive.
    • It might be worse than that: it's extremely unlikely that any dinosaur species fed exclusively on eggs, although most small carnivores and omnivores would certainly raid a nest if they could get away with it. Ozzie and Strut could be restricting themselves to eggs as a substitute for actual meat. Their normal prey would mostly be small non-dinosaurian animals like lizards and mammals, but there are plenty of examples of those being sentient.
  • Ear Worm: "Come on lets go, and runaround run around. What a beautiful feeling, we finally found a peaceful vah-leeee! And everyone's having a good time nowwwww!"
    • "Big, big, big, big water, it's very big, big, big, big water..." You will have this tune in your head for the next epoch.
    • A particularly irritating example in "Stoopid stompers, clumsy cloppers, eating all the treestars with their giant choppers..."
    • Despite being overused a great deal, the versions of "I'm So Happy" are actually pretty catchy.
    • "Legend of the Lone Dinosaur" is one of the most notorious examples, particularly the main chorus ("DINOSAAAAAUUUURRRR, his tail is swift as lightning...").
    • "Tough" aka Mr. Threehorn's "I Am" Song.
    • "When You're Big". Trying to get it out of your head is futile!
    • "Yes, imaginary friends are wonderful friends..."
    • "Friends for dinner. I'm gonna have friends for dinner..."
    • "Say So" from movie XIII.
    • "Everybody has a lot of good inside them, and everybody has a little bad..."
    • Regardless of its status as one of the lone musical numbers in the sequels to arguably warrant its own existence successfully, "It Takes All Sorts" is one of the catchiest of the early sequels' songs.
    • "Sooooo who needs you, except the race that breeds you..."
    • "We're a family and you're one of us now, we're a family and you're one of us now..."
    • "BAAAADD LUCK, WHEN THINGS GO WRONG AND YOU FEEL JUST LIKE YOU'RE CURSED". The viewer may share the characters' sentiments upon recognizing the irritatingly... memorable nature of the song.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Plenty, depending on who you ask. Some of the more common ones include Hyp, Mo, and Sue.
    • 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, mainly for his awkwardness and being a surprisingly mature character.
    • Wildarms from 14. During the preview of the first ten minutes of Journey of the Brave, many fans and even some detractors were impressed with what they saw... except for the last thirty seconds, where a flailing feathered dinosaur makes an entrance as an obvious comic relief and jarringly contrasts against the sweet and sentimental tone of the rest of the preview. However, the full movie revealed him to be something of a repudiation of the mistakes made with the Yellow Bellies in film 13: unlike them, Wildarms comes across more like a self-aware fool than an oblivious idiot, and his clumsy helplessness is allowed to be a lot more endearing since his actions never directly hinder any of the main cast. His lovable cowardliness drew positive comparisons to Shaggy from Scooby Doo, and he went from one of the most dreaded aspects about Journey of the Brave before release to one of the most well liked after its release.
  • 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.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Depending on who you ask, there at many different forms, 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.
  • First Installment Wins: Or first sequel wins in this case. The Great Valley Adventure is the only one of the sequels to receive close to wide acceptance, for continuing the story after the first movie, keeping some of the tone of the first film, not going too far into Tastes Like Diabetes territory, and introducing some well-liked characters like Ozzie and Strut, and Chomper.
  • Franchise Zombie: These were created without any input from Don Bluth, Steven Spielberg or George Lucas.
  • 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: One of the most notorious examples. While some of the sequels are considered to be decent enjoyable films that fall into So Okay, It's Average at best, especially when compared to the original film, the general consensus is that Invasion of the Tinysauruses and The Wisdom of Friends are considered as the worst of the franchise, with the latter film having the Yellowbellies that are very hated.
  • Snark Bait: Has since become shorthand for any movie franchise that forces itself into extinction.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Not compared to the original film, but most fans of the sequels usually see some of the sequels as more enjoyable than the others:
    • II for taking place shortly after the original and for the Breakout Character Chomper who's seen as one of the best characters from the sequels.
    • IV for the character Ali who's also a fan favorite character for many as well as the overall plot.
    • V for having the character Chomper return again, 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 that his biological father and learns more about him and his past.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: The sequels have become infamous for this, with their Lighter and Softer tone compared to the first film, the bright color palette, and the constant use of poorly-written 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.
  • 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 fans felt that it would be a tie-in.
  • Toy Ship: Littlefoot and Ali or Cera. Also, Ducky and Petrie.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic/Rooting for the Empire: It's hard to see Ozzie continually fail to get his meal. This doesn't, of course, excuse his attempt to kill Littlefoot, however.
    • And the Sharpteeth in XIII, of course.


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