Many '90s kids like myself grew up watching the adventures of Littlefoot and his friends. The original film was released in 1988 and became a resounding success. Then it became a franchise as the first of many sequels, The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure, came out on VHS in 1992. With its release, the musical format was introduced, with each sequel comprising of three or four songs.
Reception of the sequels is divided among the LBT fan base, with some accepting them as canon and others disregarding them. Nonetheless, The Land Before Time is now a franchise comprised of 14 films and an animated TV series that teaches kids valuable life lessons. Here I'm going to reveal my top 20 songs from The Land Before Time films.
20. 'Peaceful Valley'
The intro song of The Great Valley Adventure and the first song of the sequels. A great way to simultaneously reintroduce the main characters and introduce the musical format to the series.
19. 'Who Needs You?'
The villain song of The Land Before Time IV: Journey Through the Mists. Sung by Ichy and Dil (voiced by Jeff Bennett and Tress MacNeille), the Ichthyornis and Deinosuchus duo can't stand each other and claim that they can get by on their own, when in reality, they need each other in order to survive.
18. 'Good Inside'
From The Land Before Time VII: The Stone of Cold Fire, the dinos sing about how everyone is both good and bad and how the dichotomy applies to Petrie's long-lost uncle Pterano. They say someone may come across bad when they are really nice, simply misunderstood.
17. 'Big Water' / 'Imaginary Friend'
In The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island, the dinosaur gang sees the ocean for the first time. "Big Water" is a song expressing their fear of what lurks beneath the waves. Reprises of the song are heard in The Land Before Time IX: Journey to Big Water and the TV series episode, "The Missing Fast-Water Adventure."
In "Imaginary Friend" from The Land Before Time IX, Littlefoot and his friends sing about the concept of imaginary friends, like how they give a child someone to talk to (among other things). The upbeat Caribbean vibe of this song makes it serves as a good pick-me-up after "Chanson D'Ennui." Alongside the song "No One Has To Be Alone," "Imaginary Friend" received a 2003 DVD Exclusive Award nomination for Best Original Song in a DVD Premiere Movie.
16. 'Friends For Dinner'
In The Land Before Time V, Littlefoot and the gang are reunited with their friend Chomper from The Great Valley Adventure. The song title is a play on the herbivores' fear that Chomper wanting his friends for dinner means he wants to eat them, while Chomper simply wants to have them over for dinner. This song is reprised a few times in the TV series.
15. 'It Takes All Sorts'
In this song from The Land Before Time IV, the gang and their new longneck friend Ali sing about how many different kinds of creatures are needed to make the world a place worth living in and the future worthwhile.
14. 'Always There'
In The Land Before Time V, Littlefoot and the others are separated from their families and get stranded on an island. The children think of their parents and are eventually reassured that their families are also thinking of them. "Always There" is notable for having the first reference to Littlefoot's mother in the sequels.
13. 'Kids Like Us'
From The Land Before Time III: The Time of the Great Giving, Littlefoot says that despite the bully trio Hyp, Mutt, and Nod being bigger than him and his friends, they are still kids who might be just as scared and insecure as they are and only act tough to hide their fear.
12. 'Family' / 'The Lesson'
Both from The Land Before Time VIII: The Big Freeze, "Family" explores what makes someone part of a family. Does that person have to look or act like you? Or is love all that matters?
"The Lesson" shows that everyone wants to be acknowledged and liked by others and seen as important, even if it means lying about things we have seen, heard, or done in order to get admiration and respect. This song is sung by Littlefoot, Cera, Petrie, Ducky, and Mr. Thicknose (voiced by Robert Guillaume).
11. 'On Your Own'
From The Land Before Time VI: The Secret of Saurus Rock, Littlefoot sings about the freedom one has being on their own and doing things their own way, as well as the downside of missing loved ones and the loneliness one might feel in the process.
10. 'Eggs' / 'You're One Of Us Now'
Both from The Land Before Time II, "Eggs" holds the distinction of being the first villain song of the series, sung by the Struthiomimus duo Ozzy and Strut (voiced by Jeff Bennett & Rob Paulsen).
"You're One of Us Now" is Littlefoot and the gang accepting the newborn Chomper into their circle of friends despite the fact that he's a carnivorous Sharptooth and their natural enemy.
9. 'When You're Big'
The popular villain song of The Land Before Time III, sung by Hyp, Mutt, and Nod. Hyp tells how he and his lackeys can act however they want and do whatever they want since they are bigger than Littlefoot and his friends.
8. 'Beyond The Mysterious Beyond'
From The Land Before Time VII, "Beyond the Mysterious Beyond" is a song with a otherworldly feel that implores us to look beyond what we can see with our eyes and consider new if sometimes outlandish possibilities. A reprise is sung at the end of the film, an instrumental form is heard during the end credits, and its reprise titled "Above the Mysterious Above" appears in the TV series episode, "Stranger from the Mysterious Above."
7. 'Chanson D'Ennui'
From The Land Before Time IX, "Chanson D'Ennui" is French for "Song of Boredom," which fits perfectly as Littlefoot and his friends sing about their overwhelming boredom as they are preoccupied with other matters and unable to play together. It's not often that someone says there is a fun song about being bored and IMO this one succeeds big time.
6. 'Very Important Creature'
From The Land Before Time VII, this song currently has the distinction of being the last villain song of the series. Sung by Pterano, Sierra, and Rinkus (voiced by Michael York, Jim Cummings, and Rob Paulsen), "Very Important Creature" depicts the antihero character of Pterano as someone who thinks highly of himself and seeks to do the right thing, though his methods and motives are sometimes less than noble.
5. 'The Legend Of The Lone Dinosaur'
Fully embodying the western theme of The Land Before Time VI, Littlefoot breaks out into song to convince his friends that Doc, the mysterious longneck that's appeared in the Great Valley, is the famed "Lone Dinosaur" of legend. A reprise of the song appears in the TV series episode, "The Lone Dinosaur Returns."
4. 'Bestest Friends'
From The Land Before Time X, sung to Littlefoot by Cera, Ducky, and Petrie. Littlefoot has to choose between going back to the Great Valley with his friends and grandparents or leaving with his long-lost father Bron (voiced by Keifer Sutherland). His friends assure him that if he does choose to go with his dad, they will always think of him and be his friends, no matter where he is. The end credits version titled "Best of Friends" is sung by Olivia Newton-John, and it received a nomination for the 2003 DVD Exclusive Award for Best Original Song in a DVD Premiere Movie.
3. 'No One Has To Be Alone'
Sung by Donny Osmond during the end credits of The Land Before Time IX, this is the pop rendition of the song heard in the film. This song claims nothing in the world should be taken for granted and that no one will have to be alone, as long as they notice the wonders around them and know that new friends and dreams are out there waiting to be found. In 2003, this song received a DVD Exclusive Award nomination for Best Original Song in a DVD Premiere Movie alongside "Imaginary Friend."
Ever since appearing in The Land Before Time X, "Adventuring" became the song with the most reprises in the TV series than any other song in the franchise, and is seen as it's unofficial mantra.
1. 'If We Hold On Together'
The first song of the franchise. Played during the original film's end credits, sung by Diana Ross, and co-written by her with Will Jennings and composer James Horner. "If We Hold On Together" has been featured in nearly every sequel in instrumental form, making this song the very theme of the whole series.
Go back to where it all started with the trailer for the original film below, cue the nostalgia and revel in all the childhood feels:
How many of these songs do you remember? Sound off in the comments and share your favorite memories of The Land Before Time franchise.