Movies | Pop Culture | 80s | 90s

10 Things You Absolutely Didn't Know About The Land Before Time

Sure, some people claim that Jurassic Park is THE definitive dinosaur movie, and while I would mostly agree, The Land Before Time movie technically came out first and you know what, it's amazing. It was directed and produced by Don Bluth who made a bunch of super popular movies in the 80s and 90s, including An American Tail, All Dogs Go To Heaven and Anastasia.

Not only did this movie have the wonderful Don Bluth, but it also had Steven Spielberg AND George Lucas as executive producers. That's right, maybe Spielberg got some Jurassic Park inspiration from this?

The movie spawned a huge franchise but there are a lot of little trivia pieces that you may not have known about your favorite dinosaur movie!

1. It was inspired by a Disney classic

While Steven Spielberg was in production on An American Tail with Bluth, they discussed wanting to make a film similar to Bambi with dinosaurs instead.

2. It was the highest grossing animated film of all time

At least until The Little Mermaid came out, but at the time it was a huge deal. For it's $12 million budget, it made almost $50 million.

3. One of the main actors died before the movie was released

Judith Barsi had a tragic story. She was only ten years old when she was murdered by her father in a really gruesome way. She had done a lot of voice acting in her ten short years, but she claimed that Ducky was her favorite. Her story is absolutely insane and will absolutely break your heart.

4. It's the only movie in the series that isn't a musical

The rest of the 13 sequels are all musicals.

5. Cera was originally a male triceratops

Originally Cera was supposed to be a boy named Bambo.

6. Spike had an unusual inspiration

He was based on Don Bluth's dog, Cubby.

7. The art department had their work cut out for them

They were required to paint over 600 backgrounds for the film to depict the barren areas. Apparently they had a lot of trouble because they weren't allowed to use foliage. The studio said that they ended up using a lot of vibrant colors to keep it from looking to monotonous.

8. Scenes were cut because they were deemed too scary

Two scenes with the Sharptooth were changed because they were afraid it would be too frightening for kids. The first was when the Sharptooth lands on Littlefoot's mom, originally you could see the dinosaur land on her back but it was changed to the shadow. The second was when he was getting hit with the rock, they changed the point of view.

9. The movie was almost dialogue free

They were originally thinking about making it like the "Rite of Spring" sequence in Fantasia but they changed their mind so it would be more appealing to children. The world without Ducky's voice is a tragic one, yep, yep, yep!

10. Can you actually name the species of the five main characters?

  • Littlefoot is an Apatasaurus
  • Cera is a Triceratops
  • Spike is a Stegosaurus
  • Petrie is a Pteradon
  • Ducky is a Parasaurolophus

How much did you love this movie growing up? It's absolutely one of my all time favorites. Share with a friend to see if they knew these facts!