Why The Land Before Time Is a Perfect Kids Movie

Mar 23, 2023

The Land Before Time is everything right about a dinosaur movie, simply due to the fact that there are no humans in it. There have been several recent movies, such as the entire Jurassic Park franchise, but there’s something pure about these children’s movies. Maybe it’s because when humans are involved, things start to go wrong and bloodshed ensues, with many lives lost, but that doesn’t happen in an animated kids’ movie. Perhaps it’s the animation or the gang of friends that surround Littlefoot on his journey, but The Land Before Time is truly a classic. There are a number of movies that make up The Land Before Time franchise, but the first one that was released in 1988 is the one that is most iconic. If you grew up in the ’90s or simply love movies surrounding dinosaurs, you’re probably aware that this is one of the best kids movies, but if you’re not aware, here’s why this movie should be in your family night lineup.

Related: Danny and the Dinosaur Is Getting Turned Into a Movie

Perfect Amount of Action

Don Bluth, Universal Pictures

For a movie that’s animated and has a focus on a younger audience, it’s filled with quite a lot of action scenes. Throughout the entire movie, while Littlefoot and his friends are trying to make it back to their parents, they’re being chased by a rabid T. Rex. There are a few times when the Rex comes close to chomping on the gang, but each time he manages to escape. Throughout each film in the franchise, there are several scenes where the group of young dinosaurs are cornered by some big bad, but every single time they make it out unharmed.

Not only does this group of friends get stalked and attacked by the “sharptooth”, they also experience a treacherous path back to their families and the Great Valley. While in an argument about which way to go, a volcano erupts close by, and the group is cornered by hot lava. But not only that, Petrie gets stuck in a tar pit. It’s a close call, but Littlefoot manages to come to his friends aid, and then Cera’s once she’s surrounded by a group of “domeheads,” also known as Pachycephalosaurus. The Land Before Time can also be a great teaching tool for young kids about friendship and coming together in times of need.

Grief Through a Child’s Eyes

Universal Pictures

When Littlefoot loses his mom, it’s equivalent to when Simba loses Mufasa or when Bambi’s mother dies. Grief through a child’s eyes is always hard to watch, and just because it’s animated doesn’t make it any easier. However, for a young child who has an interest in dinosaurs and who’s grieving someone close to them and might not know how to process that grief, it could be beneficial for them to watch a movie like this. When his mother dies, Littlefoot has many big emotions and doesn’t hide his tears. It’s so important for kids to see that processing their emotions is a good thing, and when Littlefoot eventually finds his family, he shows that his grief isn’t a forever thing.

The found family trope is also majorly important to a movie like this because, once Littlefoot loses his mom, he feels immediately alone. He’s left in the dark, it’s raining, and he’s cold, and one of the most important dinosaurs in his life has just left him, but he quickly finds a group of friends that rally around him and show him love in different ways. Cera, who’s hardheaded at first before opening up; Ducky, who’s like the baby of the group, Petrie, who’s a worrier; and finally Spike, whom Ducky looks after once he’s hatched. There’s a sense of comfort as Littlefoot makes his way back to his father with his friends around him, quickly becoming his family as they go from situation to situation.

Related: The Most Dangerous Dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park Franchise

Dinosaurs Will Forever Be Cool

Universal Pictures

If the plethora of dinosaur movies tells you one thing, it’s that dinosaurs will always be cool. Simple as that, because there wouldn’t be an entire franchise revolving around humans wanting a theme park centered around these creatures. It helps that there are so many different kinds that the genre could never grow stale. And if they did in fact use every single type of dinosaur in the movies, they could just make up a new one, like Jurassic World did.

As mentioned before, something special about The Land Before Time is its focus on just the dinosaurs. There isn’t any human involvement because the film isn’t meant to be sullied by what humans would do in a different franchise. The Land Before Time gives you the story of what the dinosaurs were doing, but makes it pure by putting it from the point of view of a child. The filmmakers were smart, though, because they toed the line between making it strictly for kids and making it interesting enough for adults to sit down and enjoy something from their childhood without feeling bored because of the content.

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