The Land Before Time (1988) — This cartoon movie has spawned 10 sequels of itself so far, and shows no signs of stopping. The premise of the first film in the chain, is that a baby dinosaur named Littlefoot sets off on a journey to find the “Great Valley.” This is the place where all the dinosaurs must make it to if they are to survive on the planet. Through his journey he meets various other young dinosaurs that set off on his quest, and soon they are on an adventure greater than anything they have done before. The movie appeals to all ages, and has many lessons about overcoming obstacles that are great for kids.
Apart from the factual-based content, the movie conveys lessons kids will relate to. The baby pterodactyl Petrie finds flying too difficult, but with courage finally achieves it. Stubborn Cera thinks she doesn’t need any help from anyone else, but sees that she does need her friends and they need her, too. Although he’s told that dinosaurs stick with their own kind, Littlefoot is a friend to everyone. Each kind of dinosaur has unique abilities that help the group survive.
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.
Audiences that have grown inured to the cost-cutting tactics of much modern animation – the flat and stationary backgrounds, the characters that barely blink, the camera movements that take the place of more expensive and painstaking drawing -should luxuriate in the full-blown, three-dimensional style to be found here. Against rocky purple landscapes and beneath orange skies, this film’s dinosaurs lumber elegantly and expressively across the screen. The adult dinosaurs in the film have been cast as loving parents, thus greatly heightening their innate appeal to the imaginations of young viewers. But very early in the story, these parents are traumatically separated from their young.