"Hey, what's going on here?"
— Rooter's introduction
Rooter, voiced by the late Pat Hingle, is one of the minor characters in The Land Before Time film series. He is referred to merely as a "mole-like" dinosaur in The Animated Films of Don Bluth, and is referred to as a nonspecific "spiked, turtle-like dino" in the film's script, but upon further inspection, bears resemblance to contemporary depictions of Scolosaurus. He has only appeared in one scene, though he is viewed by many as one of the more powerful characters from the film.
Role in the series
After his mother's death, Littlefoot met Rooter, who cantankerously admonished him for crying. When Rooter had learned of the true reason for Littlefoot's tears - that being his mother's death - he softened toward Littlefoot and advised him in these words; "It is nobody's fault. The Great Circle of Life has begun. But you see, not all of us arrive together at the end". When Littlefoot asked for further advice, because of missing his mother so much, Rooter replied, "You'll always miss her. But she'll always be with you, as long as you remember the things she taught you. In a way, you'll never be apart, for you are still a part of each other." When Littlefoot complained of a stomachache, Rooter said, "Well, that too will go in time, little feller. Only in time." He then departed, leaving Littlefoot behind
Though it was Rooter's only appearance, Bron would later remember somebody telling him of what happened to Littlefoot's mother. Some believe the dinosaur he mentioned to be Rooter, but Bron also mentioned he heard no word about Littlefoot from this dinosaur. However, he may have meant that Rooter did not know what happened to Littlefoot after they parted ways.
Due to his short screentime in his one appearance, we know very little about Rooter, but it is shown that he can be gruff when disturbed. At the same time, he is very sympathetic, indicated by the way he consoles Littlefoot over the loss of his mother. His words about the Circle of Life also imply that he is spiritually enlightened.
Concept and creation
Rooter was added to the film to soften, at the suggestion of psychologists, the emotional blow from the intensely frightening Sharptooth attack and the scene depicting the death of Littlefoot's mother.
Land Before Time Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Rooter.
- Rooter's voice actor was also the narrator of the first film, Pat Hingle.
- In The Land Before Time: The Illustrated Story, he is referred to as an old turtle.
- Also in this book, he is seen without the tan parts on his head, and his spikes and horn are blunter.
- In the original movie Rooter is animated by Gary J. Perkovac along with character key assistant, Rusty Stoll.
- The Land Before Time May 11, 1987 script excerpt:
"Thunderfoot trudges down a steep sand hill crying his heart out. He stumbles and then tumbles to the bottom of the hill, finally landing on a large, strange, spiked rock. Our little Dino is mad at himself and the whole world. He kicks a small rock, which bounces off of one of the spikes and hits him in the head. This really makes him angry and he stamps his feet on the rock in frustration. Suddenly the rock lifts up and becomes a very old spiked, turtle-like Dino, named "Rooter"."
- The Animated Films of Don Bluth