6 Lies fed to us by The Land Before Time

 

This letter showed up for me in my inbox last week.

To the Editor:
So a lot of the plot of Land Before Time revolves around a magical talking leaf, right?  As I recall from my hazy days of being obsessed with dinosaurs in a non-hostile way, our protagonist is a brontosaurus, and surprisingly visionary for his walnut sized brain.  Brontosaurus type things were from the Jurassic period, while flowering plants did not appear until the cretaceous.  The magical talking leaf had travelled in time!

I could be wrong about all of this.

Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth,
There are not and have never been magical talking leaves. Not even in the Cretaceous. If a leaf ever talks to you, seek medical attention.
From what I understand from the highly confusing plot of The Land Before Time, Little Foot the brontosaurus (shudder) is being guided by the ghost of his mother. There are so many things wrong with the statement that I just typed that I had to wash my hands just now. I think it is about time that the Conservative Dinosaur Readiness Movement addressed The Land Before Time.

Sincerely,
Ed.

These are the 6 most heinous lies fed to us by The Land Before Time, as well as a few things that it (unintentionally) got right.

6. Dinosaur Speciation and Migration are metaphors for the American Dust Bowl

The Land Before Time is the story of young dinosaurs attempting to migrate “west” to the “great valley”.
_The Land Before Time (Ixche).flv_snapshot_00.09.10_[2014.01.10_11.41.07]
Since Disney released Fantasia, it has been a popular misconception that the reign of Dinosaurs ended with a huge, fruitless death march across a dry and barren Earth. This never happened. The image was so popular, however, that it became the ingrained in the imaginations of multiple generations.

The Land Before Time borrows this image, but adds the “hopeful” idea that if the dinosaurs can make it to this lush and temperate valley, they will be fine. There is plenty of food and everyone else is packing up the family to go there. However the dinosaurs are mistrustful of others who are different from them, and they all have American accents. Yeah, it’s the American Dustbowl migration to California.

This entire story concept is morally atrocious. Dinosaur species are not comparable to the minor racial and cultural differences of human beings. Dinosaurs were a highly diverse array of various lizard-bird monsters with enormously different evolutionary differences. People can have slightly varying coloration and cultural identities. People are not of different species. Dinosaurs evolved into vastly different orders and families. Some dinosaurs evolved to eat one another, whereas some people from Oklahoma have accents. Can you see why this is not a useful metaphor?

The problems of the Dustbowl migration stemmed from people being total assholes to one another based on prejudices that were founded on complete bullshit. Dinosaurs migrating in pods based on species is basic flocking behavior.

This metaphor sucks.

5. Dinosaurs have ghosts

A major component of the story in the film is Little Foot following his mother’s guidance to the valley. Often, he is simply remembering her advice. Then he is visited by her ghost in the clouds, like in The Lion King. (Except this predates Lion King. Also Lion King was a ripoff of Kimba the White Lion.)
_The Land Before Time (Ixche).flv_snapshot_00.56.04_[2014.01.10_11.33.25]
Anyway, can you see what is wrong with that idea? It is an official stance of The Conservative Dinosaur Readiness Movement that if there were dinosaur ghosts, we would be pro-dinosaur ghost readiness. However, if dinosaurs had ghosts, we would all be getting murdered by phantasmal deinonychus like, every day.

So clearly dinosaurs do not have ghosts and this scene is founded on a blatant lie.

4. Physics do not apply to dinosaurs

Don Bluth, the director of this and many other animated films, had a very strange way of changing from scene to scene. Instead of the characters doing something normal, like walking, Don Bluth would just throw them. Seriously.

We meet Little Foot as an egg. The egg is stolen and then dropped, and it then rolls around at about 20 mph, crashing into things for what seems like several miles. Then Little Foot is immediately born and has not only suffered zero injuries, he is directly at his mother’s feet. No one present seems to notice.

In another scene, Cera is elaborating on her encounter with the Tyrannosaur and accidentally launches Ducky 90 feet into the air. She crash lands a quarter mile away. No injuries.
_The Land Before Time (Ixche).flv_snapshot_00.34.11_[2014.01.10_11.36.17]
I understand that this is a children’s cartoon, but if you launch Wile E. Coyote a quarter mile he generally requires medical attention. HE WOULD AT LEAST NOTICE.

Why is this such a problem? Why do we need to show our kids good examples of physics applying to dinosaurs?

When your children are attacked by dinosaurs, do you want them to be like, “Oh my god, a dinosaur! Let’s not use ballistic weaponry or anything else physics based on them because it won’t work. I know this because I saw The Land Before Time. We have to wish the dinosaurs away! Wish as hard as you can!”

No, because if your kids do that, then they will be eaten.

Physics definitely apply to dinosaurs, don’t believe Don Bluth.

3. Dinosaurs experience love and remorse

This one really bothers me. See, I can experience emotions because I am a human being. Dinosaurs do not experience emotions. They are cold killing machines.
_The Land Before Time (Ixche).flv_snapshot_00.52.48_[2014.01.10_11.34.11]
In the movie, the dinosaur children are plagued with guilt and shame and all these layers of human childhood emotional complexity. In real life, the dinosaurs would bite off each other’s arms and then take a nap, totally unperturbed. In fact, dinosaurs probably sleep better after biting something’s arm off, because they get sleepy after meals.

The dinosaurs all seem to love and cherish one another, except for the Tyrannosaur who is accurately portrayed as an unfeeling and violent monster. At least they got the Tyrannosaur right. The other dinosaurs, however, just can’t stop feeling things.

Seriously, Little Foot is so wracked with grief at the loss of his mother, he becomes depressive and unresponsive at points in the film. I mean, people do this. Dogs even do it. Dinosaurs, however, and particularly the big herbivores, just didn’t have the brain capacity.

Dinosaurs do not experience human emotions, this film is lying. Do not attribute feelings to dinosaurs or you will be less ready for them. The Diana Ross theme for the movie, however, is excellent. That is because Diana Ross is a human who experiences emotion, and she has a great voice.

2. Brontosaurus existed

Little Foot and the other “Long Necks” are supposed to be Brontosaurs. There was no such thing as a Brontosaurus. Brontosaurus was the name given to an Apatosaurus skeleton with a Camerasaurus skull modified to fill in for its own skull, missing in the original fossil. The animal never existed.
_The Land Before Time (Ixche).flv_snapshot_00.06.12_[2014.01.10_11.32.50]
And on that note, most of the animals in this film were not contemporaries. Tyrannosaurs and Dimetrodon were nearly 160 million years removed, yet they appear in the film on the same day. And Petrie is a flying reptile, not a dinosaur. This film has many taxonomic inaccuracies.

So basically, Little Foot is the equivalent of a Jackalope.

Robert Bakker has argued that two of the known species of Apatosaurus are different enough to warrant a new genus, and then that genus would be called Brontosaurus after the original mock up. However, Little Foot’s skull still resembles the incorrect Camerasaurus skull and such an animal did not exist. Also, sauropods could not speak English.

1. Tyrannosaurs could not swim
_The Land Before Time (Ixche).flv_snapshot_00.54.56_[2014.01.10_11.34.50]
Near the climax of the film, the dinosaur children concoct a plan to murder the Tyrannosaurus in a preemptive ambush. Normally I would comment on how morbid that is, but given that this is a Tyrannosaur we are talking about, I should hope our children do the same.

It is the official stance of the Conservative Dinosaur Readiness Movement that it is a good thing for children to hatch murder plots against Tyrannosaurs.
_The Land Before Time (Ixche).flv_snapshot_00.55.02_[2014.01.10_11.35.08]
Anyway, the plan is to knock the Tyrannosaur into deep water because he will then drown. The logic behind this idea is that Tyrannosaurs have short arms, and thus are not useful in aqueous locomotion.

It looks like a goddamn crocodile. Huge, muscular tail. Streamlined body. Powerful legs. Tyrannosaurus, just by looks alone, could definitely swim. If you don’t buy that, there is also fossil evidence of swimming Tyrannosaurs.

The dinosaur children’s plan is flawed for many reasons (risky bait, reliance on the cunning of animals with brains the size of walnuts, unreliable signaling methods). But trying to kill a Tyrannosaur by assuming it will drown instantly in deep water is incredibly foolish. Never trust a Tyrannosaur to drown. Never trust a Tyrannosaur.

A much more reliable means of killing a Tyrannosaur preemptively would be to hit it with a nuclear warhead. It is the official stance of the Conservative Dinosaur Readiness Movement that it is morally acceptable for children to nuke large theropods.

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39 Thoughts on “6 Lies fed to us by The Land Before Time

  1. No offence or any thing but…. that’s a kids movie. If your going to be that picky lets talk about ice age.

  2. The lies fed to us by this article.
    1) There is no talking plant in the Land Before Time or any of its sequals.
    2) You are operating under the assumption that evolution happednned the exact way you enviosioned it, ignoring that their are almost as mnay palogenetic trees as their are evolutionary scientists.
    3) The dinosaurs are not migrating to avoid the extinction, because in the last line of the movie the narrator specifiically mentions that the main five characters have many descendants. That means this was generations (at least) from the extinction.
    4) Their migration is a metaphor for seeking religion (going towards the sun), and they are feuding with other species is a metaphor for fighting like Baptist vs. Methodist fighting and Catholic vs. Protestant. Sharptooth is Satanic attacks. Bluth actually uses deep morals designed to change his audience.
    5) Littlefoot is not seeing a ghost, but remembering what his mother said, which takes the image of a voice. He then does see his mom in the clouds, which is a metaphor for God showing his followers the way to him.
    6) BLuth knows physics wonderfully. Just watch his drawing videos on youtube. He also knows that the rule of drama is more important than realism. The tumbling is a metaphor for the loss of control by a character, which is very common in his movies.
    7) They are discovering more and more that animals have deep feelings.
    8) With the new info on dinosaurs showing up so much, I am sure most of lie 2 has been debunked ten times over.
    9) They ambushed sharptooth, because (in a deleted scene cut because of the implied danger) Sharptooth was at the wall to the great valley and nearly done finding a way in.
    10) THey made a plan with one flaw in (they re really young after all), but that is not why Sharptooth died. The rock knocked him unconcious, and he cannot swim while sleeping.

  3. Author needs to have more of an open mind when it comes to spirituality. “Dinosaurs having souls, remorse etc..” It has been proven that many species today do show remorse, fear, anger etc.. and if you believe humans have souls why not animals? Also, disagree on the dust bowl explanation(which made me laugh because it was so stupid). There have been many “theories” on why the dinosaurs were wiped out. Land drying up was one.

  4. Tywins on August 10, 2014 at 4:21 pm said:

    It is so refreshing to see people taking this incredibly serious blog so incredibly serious.

  5. oh for goodness sake! it’s a kids movie there’s no lies in it just cartoons logic

  6. Geez, can’t someone watch a show without these lame criticisms? It is a kids show. I’m sure they do not know what physics is nor do they care. If you’re going to talk about all the lies that the show fed us what about the fact that dinosaurs can’t talk?
    I’d say it’s one of the best shows I’ve ever watched with a great meaning to it. It teaches us perseverance and teamwork and so many other good values.

  7. Lily on May 1, 2015 at 9:47 pm said:

    Stop this ridiculous crap its disposable one there’s no such thing as a *********dust bowl
    And three is no magic talking leaf idiot and it’s no fun of a movie with no talking animals and animals do have deep feelings evidence from scientists show more and more ,what’s happeneing. So stop its a kids movie animals talk all the time in movies wake up and smell the tree stars just enjoy the movie if you didn’t like it why did you watch it and again where did you get the stupid Magic talking leaf ugh I cant stand people like this there so annoying I agree with the rest of the people STOP THE BLOG STOP THE BLOG STOP THE BLOG lookanimals talk in other movies to so there just stop it ugh rrrrrrrggggg okay ple pl PLEASE stop the mean thoughts and comments just turn it around and right good positive happy thoughts about movies kids movies too any movies just change cuz change is a good thing God would want you toooo

  8. I am satisfied that Ducky the saurolophus did not get eaten by Sharptooth since she too
    along with Littlefoot and Cera and her adopted brother Spike helped push Sharptooth off
    the cliff into the deep blue water of the lake below where Sharptooth finally was dead and
    killed by the rock after taking Petrie down with him and Ducky was in tears when she
    thought Petrie was dead but her face brightened up when Ducky saw Petrie was alive and
    safe and she scooped him up and carried him off in her arms and at the end of the film
    the five young dinosaur kids were hugging on top of a hill and it was music to Cera and
    Littlefoot and Petrie and Ducky and Spike’s ears when the Diana Ross theme was playing.

  9. FUCK YOU on May 29, 2015 at 6:21 am said:

    YOU SERIOUSLY NEED TO RE-THINK THAT THIS IS A KIDS SHOW NOT A SCIENTIFIC DOCUMENTARY FOR NERDS LIKE YOU!

  10. ..... on July 4, 2015 at 5:07 am said:

    Whoever made this blog is such a close minded person. I dont know whether to be mad, or to laugh at the stupidity.

  11. Someone Way Smarter Than You on October 14, 2015 at 11:42 pm said:

    You are a stupid shit! First thing, how do you KNOW dinosaurs didn’t have emotions? We humans are animals just as they were, and if you disagree you are completely retarded! Second, no dinosaurs didn’t have ghosts. But the reason for that is GHOSTS ARE NOT REAL! Also, the Brontosaurus thing is probably because this is a children’s film from 1989! Brontosaurus merchandise was still amuck regardless of it being de-classified as a species in the 1970s. You should go kill yourself because you’re so stupid! Fuck you!

    • BipedalMammals4Evah on October 16, 2015 at 3:41 pm said:

      Everyone in this thread is a goddamn sympathizer and I shudder to think of the implications when the dinos come back

  12. Someone Way Smarter Than You on October 14, 2015 at 11:42 pm said:

    You are a stupid shit! First thing, how do you KNOW dinosaurs didn’t have emotions? We humans are animals just as they were, and if you disagree you are completely retarded! Second, no dinosaurs didn’t have ghosts. But the reason for that is GHOSTS ARE NOT REAL! Also, the Brontosaurus thing is probably because this is a children’s film from 1989! Brontosaurus merchandise was still amuck regardless of it being de-classified as a species in the 1970s. You’re so stupid! Fuck you!

  13. you fucking scientists our all assholes because this fancies you all have about dinosaurs going extinct for the wrong reason is a croc-shits and you all know it so quite acting like Goddess because that get you fuck-in know worry In life, so shut the hell up and go to hells because everybody know the land before time is Right about you fuck-in racists peoples that don’t belief in the power of GODS, because right now the world is going to hell and pretty soon all of the animal that dies out ours going to get angry at us for destroying their lands any way. I will watch happy at night know that animal spirits from the past will eat the peoples that destroy god land. because at this moment the world animals and human population is make a coming back I would watch you back the lands before time hater

  14. RectheTyrannosaurus on December 17, 2015 at 3:06 pm said:

    Fuck you and your stupid blog

  15. Wow… I don’t get why most of the commenters here are so pissed with this blog. Clearly this article is just a comedy. So why so serious about this? I love The Land Before Time greatly but I just had a good laugh reading this comedic blog. Please, people, even if you don’t agree with everything written in this blog, you can either get a good laugh out of it for its humour or just simply ignore it. It is not necessary to bitterly criticise the writer and/or making nasty and hateful comments here, now is it?

  16. Elizabeth on January 31, 2016 at 12:02 pm said:

    The t-rex’s are the most flawed dinosaurs of all.
    This, as I understand it, is a gigantic killing machine that cannot get up if it falls down to its great size. The following, therefore, are also lies:

    1. The T-Rex and other carniverous dinosaurs would not have spent all their time in the mysterious beyond. Not only would they have started dying off due to starvation- but The Great Valley is about as hard to break into as a bouncy castle.
    Not only did all the herbivores get in, but every other week the carnivores find a way to get in. During the series T-Rex are shown as being able to talk to each other, so (ignoring the blatant scientific innacuracy at work here) they should be able to formulate a plan to get in. Probably a complex plan like: let’s go through one of the many entrances to this valley.

    2. The T-Rex are effectively invincible. Watch a Land Before Time movie- at any one point the T-Rex character will be: tripped up, knocked on the head and/or pushed off a cliff.
    Again, these are creatures so top-heavy that falling over was often a death sentence. In ‘The Big Freeze’ one of these creatures is pushed down a mountain by a giant snowball. I doubt humans could survive that- a cold blooded creature would certainly have no chance- yet,mwithin five minutes, it’s back on its feet ready to play T-Rex ex machina.

    3. T-Rex are ridiculously incompetent. Throughout the entire series only *one* dinosaur is killed by a T-Rex. One. When in reality they would have hunted in packs and almost certainly slaughtered Grandma and Grandpa within the first few movies, leaving Littlefoot to go live his own life (because as a sauropod he really should have left home the moment he was hatched- get a job Littlefoot.)

  17. Ehehehehehe on February 23, 2016 at 11:44 pm said:

    I lost any respect after I saw the part where you said the physics need to be right in order for our children to know how to not get eaten by a dinosaur.

    • Corey Ellis on August 21, 2016 at 11:47 pm said:

      Lmao yes i agree, because if our “children” ever come face to face with dinosaurs, they will not be relying on what they learned from the land before time to save them. Not that its possible. Dinosaurs are extinct.

  18. Person 👌 on April 17, 2016 at 5:13 am said:

    I agree with everyone here. Its just a children’s movie. But, you guys shouldn’t be telling this person what you think of them as a person, you have no idea who they are. It’s just their opinions. Don’t make remarks towards them when we are on a totally different topic about dinosaurs. So you don’t have the right to hate on them do you? So yeah, don’t be rude. It’s a simple opinion, don’t hate. Plus if it’s just a children’s movie, you shouldn’t be making a fuss about it anyway and criticize someone. They want to say it, let them, don’t put them in fear of having a voice.

  19. Megan Keller on May 13, 2016 at 5:36 pm said:

    Honestly, the person that wrote this is a fucking moron who doesn’t know the difference e between his asshole and a hole in the ground. It is a children’s movie it is not ment to be scientifically 100% accurate. If you want to debate or force your ideas at the real world then talk about something that actually makes sense not a fucking children’s movie that has been around for decades and makes a lot of children very happy. Otherwise take your shitty scientific bullshit somewhere else.

  20. ocelot on July 5, 2016 at 1:26 pm said:

    Good points

  21. Yep! Yep! Yep! It’s really important for our children to know how to protect themselves from Sharptooth. As a matter of fact, when Donald Trump makes fun of that journalist he looks like Sharptooth. Short arms and all. I will say that you left out the biggest lie though. Dinosaurs did not talk until the Woodstockean period.

  22. Aryanna on August 8, 2016 at 2:26 am said:

    I’m a kid and I loved these movies when I was younger and I’m so very glad that oh weren’t the director of this movie because it would suck so bad okay sure you feel like a bunch of 5 year olds need to know that technically half of the movie is not scientifically correct but please just understand that kids like kid movies because they are fun and enjoyable everything doesn’t need to be science class so please get smart and understand that when I was little I didn’t give a crap about science and I never thought about the truth behind this movie because kids could care less just be smart and do a blog that doesn’t start a riot bye now

  23. Corey Ellis on August 21, 2016 at 11:44 pm said:

    Alot of the things this guy says is false about dinosaurs is either outdated, or merely popular speculation than can beither be proven or mispproven. Its bs

    • Sir/madam, I clearly referenced this in the article. The animal pictured in Lb4T is clearly an Apatasaurus with a Camerasaurus skull, not a rediscovered “Brontosaurus” species. Look at the eye sockets of the cartoon animal and compare to Camerasaurus.

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