5 Best Movies in the Franchise, Ranked

Is a childhood really a childhood without animated films? For an entire generation of kids in the 90s and early 2000s, The Land Before Time movie franchise left a lasting impression on families in unprecedented ways. Of course, there have been many iconic movies involving dinosaurs from the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World franchises to King Kong. However, what other movie can provoke as much childhood innocence, core memories, and a sense of nostalgia as The Land Before Time? The timeless franchise nurtured stories following our main protagonist Littlefoot, his friends Ducky, Petrie, Cera, and Spike, and their adventures together and new friends along the way.

The first Land Before Time movie was released in 1988 and since then, they have only added another 13 movies to the series, the most recent having been released in 2016 entitled The Land Before Time XIV: Journey to the Brave. The Land Before Time has cemented itself in family movie history by successfully balancing all the fun of youthful and charismatic characters with heartfelt familial relationships as well as the occasional heartbreak. Here are the 5 best movies from The Land Before Time.

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5 The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration

The Land Before Time franchise was able to keep the story of the beloved main characters alive, even when it reached its 10th project. In The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration was a film that was released in 2003 and follows Littlefoot, his family, and other Longnecks beginning a migration for better pastures. Of course, our lovely clan of dino best friends Ducky, Petrie, Cera, and Spike decide to follow Littlefoot and his family, which just is a recipe for disaster. The early 2000s was an incredible time for animated movies and, for it not being a Disney project, The Land Before Time franchise had it in the bag. This movie, being the 10th in the series, does an impressive job keeping the family fun light and entertaining.

4 The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island

The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island is a 1997 animated family adventure movie that has our main characters stranded on an island. As the dinosaurs are forced to migrate away from The Great Valley due to locusts, Littlefoot, Cera, Petrie, Ducky, and Spike split up from the rest of their kind and, of course, become stuck on a deserted island when a tsunami cuts off their route. As they try to find a way back to the main group, they meet up again with Chomper, a “sharptooth” who was introduced in the second film of the franchise. This movie perfectly incorporates the callback to a previous character and keeps the movies feeling connected with one another. And come on, who would not want little Chomper to catch up with our main group?

3 The Land Before Time III: The Time of the Great Giving

The Land Before Time III: The Time of the Great Giving was released in 1995, and it definitely did not disappoint, offering a very interesting dynamic between our main characters and another group of dinosaurs. In this movie, Littlefoot and his crew encounter a group of older dinosaurs that are there to pick a fight. However, after tragedy strikes the Valley and resources become scarce, it is up to these rival groups to either come together to find a solution or risk the well-being of themselves and others that might be counting on them. This film is a great portrayal of overcoming differences and finding common ground for the greater good.

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2 The Land Before Time VI: The Secret of Saurus Rock

Getting into some shenanigans is something our main dinosaur crew is used to at this point. Even in the 6th installment of the Land Before Time franchise, Littlefoot, Cera, Ducky, Petrie, and Spike are still getting in trouble, this time it involves the legendary story of the protector of the Great Valley. The Secret of Saurus Rock introduces the mysterious and intimidating Doc. The band of dinosaurs is convinced that the legendary longneck that once protected the valley is in fact Doc, who suffers a scar on his right eye, a detail consistent with the legend. This story provides the best of the best in terms of a mentor figure for our main characters, especially Littlefoot.

1 The Land Before Time

The first Land Before Time movie was an instant classic for families and children that were brought up in the early 90s and 2000s. In the 1988 Don Bluth movie, a strong earthquake separates our main protagonist, a young Littlefoot, from his only living family, his grandparents. He is now forced to make the journey to the Great Valley on his own. However, he was not the only one that got separated from family and soon enough, he and a group of other young dinosaurs make the journey together. Not only that, the first Land Before Time movie contained one of the most heartbreaking scenes in animated cinema history. Maybe on the same level as Mufasa’s death in The Lion Kingthe death of Littlefoot’s mother is so engraved in our heads that we can still see her – we can always see her.

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