The Land Before Time
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this animated series -- inspired by the popular movie series of the same name -- shows kids that the bonds of friendship go deeper than appearance, ability, or, in this case, species. Despite their differences, the characters appreciate one another for who they are and often combine their individual strengths to conquer adversity. Very young viewers may be frightened by some aggressive predators who roar and snap at smaller animals, but older kids will enjoy the group's adventures and benefit from the show's positive messages.
What's the story?
Nearly two decades (and many sequels) after the original Land Before Time movie, curious, level-headed longneck dinosaur Littlefoot (voiced by Cody Arens) and his prehistoric pals return in this animated series that promotes strength of character, dependability, self-respect, and friendship. Littleneck's band of young dinosaurs includes nervous pterodactyl Petrie (Jeff Bennett); stubborn triceratops Cera (Anndi McAfee); sensitive parasaurolophus Ducky (Aria Curzon); gentle stegosaurus Spike (Rob Paulsen); jovial T. rex Chomper (Max Burkholder), and feathered oviraptor Ruby (Meghan Strange). Life in the Great Valley is as good as it gets for the friends. They've always got each other to lean on when they get in a jam, and there is always something fun to do -- as long as they keep their distance from villainous T. rex Red Claw (Peter Sepenuk), who terrorizes the leaf-eating dinosaurs living in the Mysterious Beyond.
Is it any good?
The Land Before Time franchise owes its tremendous staying power to lovable characters who ably mix positive messages about self-esteem, friendship, and teamwork with adventurous spirits. In one segment, for example, Ducky is insecure about being so small compared to his friends. Turning to Ruby for help, he's reminded that others' perception of him depends on how he sees himself: "If you can think big, you can talk big, too," she says.
Kids will revel in the prehistoric pals' antics, but very young viewers may be frightened by some of the menacing predators who smash walls and snap at the smaller dinosaurs.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about friendship. How do the characters show their friends that they care about them? Do they ever disagree? How do they resolve their differences? Kids: Who are your friends? What do you like about them? How do you show your feelings about them? How do you feel if they hurt your feelings? Families can also talk about teamwork. How do Littlefoot and his friends work together to get themselves out of trouble? Kids: When have you been part of a team? How do teammates support each other? What special abilities do you bring to a team?