Review: The Land Before Time

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The Amblin Entertainment animated film, The Land Before Time, opened on this date in 1988. Don Bluth directed The Land Before Time and it was produced by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.


An orphaned brontosaurus, named Littlefoot, has recently lost his family and sets off on a long journey to find the legendary, Great Valley. Along the way he meets other creatures that he befriends and becomes travel companions with them. The group faces obstacles as they travel to the Great Valley, including being chased by a vicious Tyrannosaurus Rex.


  • The film is filled with a lot of emotional moments and reminds you how powerful animation can be. Loss of life is handled in a way that will definitely make an impact on kids and adults.
  • All the characters are likeable and never become too cutesy or annoying. The Land Before Time does an excellent job of crafting characters that the whole family can enjoy and relate to.
  • The hand drawn animation is nice to revisit in 2017. The Land Before Time uses an art form that practically doesn’t exist anymore in today’s world of CGI and digital animation.


  • I enjoyed the throwback style of animation, but it may be a hard sale to kids today. The film’s animation may be too old school for modern audiences.
  • The Land Before Time is only 69 minutes long. Even for an animated film, that is short. Another 10 or 15 minutes could have really helped to flesh out the story and characters more.

In Closing:

The Land Before Time is an extremely well made family picture that everyone can enjoy. The animation may be an obstacle for kids today, but if they can get past the look of the film, they will have a lot of fun with the characters and story. The Land Before Time is one of the stronger animated films to come out of the 1980s and still holds up well in 2017.

Rating: B+