Reviewed by: Brett Willis
Are dinosaurs mentioned in the BIBLE? Answer
WHY did God create dinosaurs? Answer
NOAH’S ARK—Did Noah take dinosaurs on the Ark? Answer
Watch the video of “The Great Dinosaur Mystery”
Judith Barsi … Ducky (voice)
Pat Hingle … Narrator/Rooter (voice)
Gabriel Damon … Littlefoot (voice)
Helen Shaver … Littlefoot’s Mother (voice)
Bill Erwin … Grandfather (voice)
Burke Byrnes … Daddy Topps (voice)
Candace Hutson … Cera (voice)
Will Ryan … Petrie (voice)
Sullivan Bluth Studios
Don Bluth … producer
Gary Goldman … producer
Kathleen Kennedy … co-executive producer
George Lucas … executive producer
Frank Marshall … co-executive producer
Deborah Jelin Newmyer … associate producer
John Pomeroy … producer
Steven Spielberg … executive producer
This fantasy, about a group of orphaned dinosaur hatchlings journeying to a place where they can still find the food that’s become very scarce elsewhere, is loaded with evolutionist and long-age geological assumptions. It also has a touch of spiritism, with the baby dinosaurs’ leader being guided by the spirit of his dead mother. And it takes a stab at Political Correctness, with a newfound interspecies cooperation representing the breakdown of “racist” attitudes. For a kids’ cartoon, that’s a pretty heavy rap.
The narrator tells us that the story takes place before the time of humans and of many other mammals, both extant and extinct. The climate is changing, and the plant-eaters must move to the West in search of food. There are earthquakes and volcanoes. After a quake, Littlefoot (a brontosaur) and his mother end up on one side of a fissure and his grandparents on the other. Cera (a triceratops) is separated from her parents by the same fissure. Then Littlefoot’s mother is killed by a T-Rex. Cera (who had been taught by her parents that “three-horns don’t mix with long-necks”) tentatively follows Littlefoot’s lead in journeying to the Great Valley. Along the way, they’re joined by Ducky (a duckbill), Petrie (a pterodactyl) and Spike (a stegosaur). The fellow travelers must learn to help each other and pool their skills together in order to survive dangers such as tar pits and “sharptooth” attacks. The childlike voices and slapstick humor take some of the sting out of the harsh storyline.
Content: The violence (including several T-Rex attacks) is inappropriate for very young children. Littlefoot’s mother dies on-screen (the “Mother, where are you?” sequence is pulled straight from “Bambi”), but she promises that she’ll always be with him. Later, he hears her voice guiding him and sometimes sees her form in the clouds.
Science: There’s plenty of information on this Christian Answers Network on the truth about Creationist and young-Earth issues. See the Creation SuperLibrary for starters. One other interesting point: there’s really no such animal as brontosaurus. It was created from certain fossil finds (always headless), and someone’s imagination gave it a blunt snout. Later, it was decided that those fossils were the same as apatosaurus (which had a pointed snout), and “brontosaurus” was officially wiped off the books (but many “unofficial” books and movies still use it, since it holds such an important place in the popular imagination). Each year, several dinosaur species are quietly obsoleted. Some, like brontosaurus, are merged with other species; but there are other reasons too. Recently, one species was erased when it was determined that its “fossil bones” were really petrified wood.
“Land Before Time” has been followed by a long string of direct-to-video sequels, each titled “Land Before Time” followed by a Roman numeral and a subtitle, plus two singalong videos.