Parents' Guide to

The Land Before Time

By Common Sense Media, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Original baby-dinosaur buddy tale has scares, sadness.

Movie G 1988 70 minutes
The Land Before Time Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 5+

Based on 24 parent reviews

age 4+

My whole childhood- a very honest review.

I'm currently a 20 year old girl, and remember I was probably about 3 years old or so when I watched this movie. I clearly remember my mother renting it out from blockbuster video because I really liked dinosaurs at the time and honestly, it was a very memorable movie. I watched it again recently and I swear that scene that everyone is talking about really is emotional on the most tearjerking level. Movies never make me cry. I even laugh at horror movies. But seeing that poor little dinosaurs mother die just made me cry like a baby. Also, I grew up watching this movie as well as the other Land Before Time movies. Going back and rewatching them now is very bitter sweet. The music and the memories just make me want to cry and laugh. Whenever I watch these movies, I remember how to feel again. It's as if I'm still myself s a 3 year old, viewing the world from the eyes of a child. I have personally always been young at heart and enjoyed all kinds of kids movies, but this is one of the few that can make me feel this way. As a child, I feel like it had an impact on my life too. It also made me more interested in dinosaurs, volcanoes, earthquakes, science etc. And that interest has followed me into adulthood. The movies also teach us valuable lessons that even if you can't relate as a kid, you will look back on as an adult with a whole new view. I recommend others to watch these movies and to let kids see them too. The movies are very powerful and memorable even as an adult.
2 people found this helpful.
age 6+

Too much trauma for young kids

I watched this movie as a kid but had a hazy recollection of it and showed it to my 4 and 6 year old and it was awful - both were crying and had nightmares. For older kids it would be good, but for little kids, there was a T-rex chasing them the whole movie, who fought with and killed the main character's mother. The dinosaurs were looking for food, facing extinction, and an earthquake occurred in which the kids were all separated from their parents. Very scary.

This title has:

Too much violence
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (24):
Kids say (35):

This movie is a very simple, nicely animated story that gives kids some perky characters to follow and shows them the earth as it was when dinosaurs roamed. Viewers see how changes in the earth's climate forced dinosaurs to roam long distances to find food and how earthquakes, volcanoes, and even other dinosaurs made survival difficult. Solid, well-illustrated messages (the "circle of life" is affirmed, anticipating the central precept of The Lion King), as well as comedy and camaraderie, make The Land Before Time a delightful family-friendly film with a happy ending, so long as the kids are ready for the darker elements as well.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate