— Cera brings attention to Sharptooth in his first scene
His true name is never revealed; the name given by the characters, 'Sharptooth', refers to the name of his species, and in production art, he is simply labelled "Tyrannosaurus Rex". Sharptooth was also referred to as "the Rex" (and "that Rex" by Littlefoot at one point) in the May 1987 draft of the film's script, and by both Don Bluth and Gary Goldman. Sharptooth has sometimes been referenced in media.
Sharptooth has come to be the favorite of many fans of the franchise, simply because of his ferociousness, temper, strength, and agility compared to most other sharpteeth that appear later in the movies, TV series episodes, and video games, and the fact that he is one of only four sharpteeth who have knowingly killed other dinosaur characters (with Sharptooth's kill being the most impactful).
In the original The Land Before Time, Sharptooth is just a normal predator looking for food during the course of the movie. As confirmed by Don Bluth in his Toon Talk Magazine:
"Was he deficient in kindness and mercy? No! Was he evolutionary arrested or r******d? No! Simply put he was hungry. It is the law of nature to seek out food to satiate the appetite. So I reasoned, how could I hate the beast for doing what nature instinctively ordained? Just because he was big, growling and hungry didn't make him malevolent. He needed to step outside nature's boundaries to be a bad guy, embrace brutality over compassion, and harbour a vendetta or grudge that could twist his soul into an unnatural existence. That would be a true villain. Creative ideas are born out of conflict. I wanted a more dimensional bad guy, but I was outnumbered and finally gave in. Steven and George, in fact, the whole team, felt that the Rex's teeth did the job. More evil could be over-kill. If something can bite you, that's reason enough to fear it. The dinosaur children, simply put, are terrorized by their natural enemy. Although I knew our story would pack a dramatic wallop to the audience if they could hate Rex, not just fear him, I grew weary of pitching the idea. The most horrific villains are those who appear confident, cool and in control at first glance, while beneath the skin, you sense something is terribly wrong, and you never suspect the magnitude of the twisted horror inside until it is too late."
— Don Bluth
The Illustrated Story
"Although one of his eyes were swollen shut, he was growling softly, enjoying his moment of revenge."
— The narrator describes Sharptooth's thoughts in The Land Before Time: The Illustrated Story
Though, in the film, Sharptooth is a morally ambiguous predator whose motives are driven only by his hunger, The Land Before Time: The Illustrated Story interprets Sharptooth as being vain and sensitive to the extent that where he feels that his looks should go unscathed and if so happen they do he becomes enraged about this. This is evident as to why he not only had vengeance on Littlefoot and his mother but to Cera as well.
Sharptooth appears to be hot-blooded and very persistent, given by the fact that he continues fighting Mama Longneck despite the Earthshake and his multiple wounds, and that he continues to pursue the main characters throughout the movie, even though they would be of little food to him. According to the book, much of this persistence is derived from vengeance, as he takes pleasure in cornering Littlefoot and Cera after the former had accidentally stunned his one eye with a thorn. This goes for the to the extent where he feels it vain that anyone associated with the duo should be killed along with them (this heavily shown in the film when he meets main Littlefoot and Cera a second, but goes to attack the members of the group even though never meeting them). It is evident that he will continue fighting even when it is obviously hopeless, snapping at the children even when his head is trapped in a small tunnel and they are far out of reach. He doesn't stop trying when he is in extreme danger, as he tries to crush Littlefoot and Cera while falling to his apparent doom in the Great Earthshake, and pulls Petrie down with him in his last moments, plummeting into a lake.
It is shown in the book that Sharptooth does not forget grudges he holds against others; it is explained that after he spots the main characters for the second time, he immediately recognizes them and thunders towards them in a bout of hatred. Even after they escape through the narrow pathway he continues to claw and snap at them with rage. Sharptooth also feels somewhat protective of his pride as if someone smaller insults or manages to hit him, he sets his sights on that target and will try to kill them.
It is also implied in the book that Sharptooth is very sadistic and enjoys killing, as it is said that when he finds the entrance to the Great Valley he sniffs the air with "evil joy", suggesting that he may get more out of killing than just food.
Sharptooth appears to possess a near supernatural level of strength, incredible endurance, and athleticism, even for a Tyrannosaurus, as shown by him crawling through sharp thorns after Littlefoot and Cera with nary a scratch, withstanding multiple tailwhips to the face from Littlefoot's mother, slamming his head through solid rock with no apparent ill effects, and surviving a long drop into the canyon opened up by the earthquake. He is also shown to be capable of massive leaps, even jumping straight up into the air onto a cliff at the film's climax, as well as apparently being able to see just fine despite having only one good eye.
Sharptooth's relationships with the characters he has been shown to interact with have all been negative. He attempts to eat the main characters and fatally wounds Littlefoot's mother. His relationship with Littlefoot is particularly hostile, as he despises him for (although inadvertently) stunning his eye with a thorn. He also has a grudge against Cera for charging into his face while thinking he was dead. It is stated in the book that he wants revenge on the children for the trouble they've caused him. As evidenced in the trailer and film itself, Sharptooth seems protective of his pride and thus anyone who humiliates him he eventually retaliates on. His personal vendetta is vain to the extent where it seems anyone associated with Littlefoot and Cera, he will have no problem trying to kill them.
Sharptooth first appears when he approaches Littlefoot and Cera, who are playing together in a swamp. Sharptooth, who is probably hungry, chases them into a thicket of thorns. He plods through the thorns after them and leans down through the thorns to catch Littlefoot. The young Longneck tries to run but gets caught on a vine. As Sharptooth nears him, he escapes and the thorn-covered vines snap back at Sharptooth's face, injuring his right eye and causing him to bellow out in pain. Furious, Sharptooth stands up and resumes his pursuit of the two children, only for Littlefoot's Mother to intercept him. In the ensuing fight, Sharptooth is hit several times with her tail but eventually, succeeds in jumping onto the large Longneck's back and tears off some of her flesh. She manages to dislodge him and knock him back again, but as the herbivores attempt to escape, a massive earthquake strikes the area. Quickly recovering, Sharptooth charges in the direction of Littlefoot and Cera again, partially trying to dispose of the two youngsters and partly in an attempt to save his own life from the raging earthquake. In their panic, the children are flipped onto Sharptooth's foot, and at that moment the quake tears the ground beneath them apart, and Sharptooth slides down the slope with his would-be prey on his back. As the children yell for help, Littlefoot's mother comes to the rescue; she grabs the children and knocks Sharptooth off the edge, sending him falling into the chasm below. Littlefoot's mother dies later that night, probably due to severe infections from the wounds on her back inflicted by Sharptooth.
Later, after falling into the "Big Underground" herself, Cera finds Sharptooth's apparently dead body. Cera rams his head repeatedly until he suddenly awakes, having only been knocked out and was staring straight at her with his not completely damaged eye. The young dinosaur quickly flees in terror as the beast rises behind her. Shortly afterwards, she meets up with Littlefoot and his new friends; Ducky, a Bigmouth, and Petrie, a Flyer. Cera explains her encounter with Sharptooth, but exaggerates it, making it sound as if she bravely fought him. While Ducky and Petrie believe Cera immediately, Littlefoot is convinced that Sharptooth has been killed.
He holds this belief until, one morning, the fearsome beast himself ambushes the gang (by then including a Spiketail named Spike). The children barely manage to escape Sharptooth though a small hole in a rock wall, which he tries to squeeze through while snapping and clawing at the children, but, is too big to fit through and they escape.
The next day, a humiliated Cera has left them after they escaped a volcanic region she herself lead them into. Littlefoot, Ducky, Petrie, and Spike happen to see Sharptooth nearby while they are swimming in a deep lake. Tired of running and intent on avenging his mother, Littlefoot, guessing that Sharptooth can't swim, comes up with a plan to get rid of him for good. Baiting him with Ducky, they set their plan into motion. Sharptooth chases Ducky to the lake, while Petrie stands on a nearby ledge waiting to give a signal to Littlefoot and Spike, who are waiting to push a huge boulder off of a ledge onto Sharptooth. However, even after Sharptooth accidentally helps Petrie master his flight abilities, the plan is seemingly doomed to fail until Cera returns and helps push the boulder down onto Sharptooth.
In a final act of rage and desperation, Sharptooth takes Petrie down with him as he plunges into the lake sinking to the bottom which kills him, ending his terror and avenging Littlefoot's mother. After moments, the remaining children start to walk away, believing Petrie to be dead. However the Flyer manages to surface and fly back to his friends, and they all rejoice and then they go to The Great Valley. (Note: If you watch the scene where Sharptooth lands in the water in slow motion, you can see that Sharptooth had opened his mouth before the boulder crushed him. This could explain why Petrie was safe and wet.
Sharptooth is mentioned in the Land Before Time book, Grandpa and Me. Littlefoot says that he'll someday scare Sharptooth away, but for now Grandpa protects him. This shows that this part of the book takes place before Littlefoot finds the Great Valley. It is quite an understatement, as Sharptooth would easily kill Grandpa if he was able to kill Mama Longneck.
Sharptooth is also mentioned briefly in The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration, when Bron tells to Littlefoot that he met someone who told him what happened to his wife.
Sharptooth has not gotten as much merchandise as other characters but has received a moderate amount compared to other one-movie characters. He is also the only known antagonist to receive merchandise. A hand-puppet of him was distributed at Pizza Huts along with the other main characters during the movie's theatrical release.
San Francisco Punk Rock band 'Set Your Goals' released a song called "Sharptooth" on their first demo tape, claiming while the song's content doesn't touch on the character himself, they were big fans of the movie as kids.
Sharptooth has appeared in several fanfics, mainly ones about him surviving his encounter with Littlefoot and his friends and wanting revenge.
Storyboard drawings and deleted scenes
These are the storyboard drawings and cels from early in the film's production; many of these are not present in the released film. They were uploaded to his blog by Mark Pudleiner, and later uploaded to YouTube in July 2015. These are the earliest of the cuts; all but two of them were never fully animated. The part where Sharptooth rips up the tree was found along with an attached cel of Littlefoot and Cera running away from him years before the discovery of the storyboards.
One big difference in these scenes than the movie's is that Sharptooth has crocodile-like skin and plates on its back. The Plated Sharptooth from the much later sequel The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island released in 1997 has similar plates. The inspiration for this sharptooth may have been from this early design of Sharptooth.
Also, the part of where Sharptooth injured his eye was supposed to happen before he started looking for the kids in the briars. These two scenes may have been rearranged and then could not be changed back without affecting the soundtrack, and could only be fixed by making new music. Another difference in these storyboards is that Sharptooth was originally shown ramming into the tree under Littlefoot and Cera, and that the two kids actually climbed into the tree, before Sharptooth tried to bite them through it, before then ripping the tree apart. Blood is also shown flying into the air after Sharptooth's eye is injured.
The main reason why these scenes were cut is that they were said to be frightening to children, particularly some of the close-ups of Sharptooth and when he appears out of nowhere and attacks. An example of this would be the production cel to the right, which shows Sharptooth appear out of nowhere in front of Cera.
Some believe that more of the Sharptooth scenes involving Littlefoot's mother could be found. They are rumoured to show Sharptooth ripping her back open in full, and not just through a shadow.
- He is often confused to be black, but he is actually dark green.
- A junior novelization of the original film reveals that vengeance for his damaged eye was Sharptooth's motivation.
- Dried blood is shown around his damaged eye all throughout this book.
- Sharptooth is the first of his kind to appear in The Land Before Time media.
- Sharptooth appears in a 2000 Marshmallow Alpha-Bits commercial featuring The Land Before Time characters.
- He is similar in appearance to Papa Sharptooth, The Biggest, Meanest, Most Ferocious Sharptooth Ever & The Canyon Sharptooth.
- The Land Before Time book Grandpa and Me reveals that Littlefoot's encounter with Sharptooth in the film was not his first. The film also indicates that he is well known by the herds, as the characters call him "Sharptooth" instead of a Sharptooth. It also appears that Sharptooth is extremely feared by all the characters in the original film, even more so than Red Claw, as most of the characters (including Ducky and Petrie) generally react in horror when they hear his name. The Land Before Time: The Illustrated Story states that he is "the most ferocious and deadly creature in all the land".
- A number of fans believe that this Sharptooth may in fact be Red Claw, or at least be related to him, though there is no conclusive evidence to support either theory.
- The scene where Sharptooth's eye is poked by the thorn was originally much more graphic; scenes from a chase scene, including one where the main characters are trapped underneath him, were also cut, due to the amount of gore that the test audiences were concerned about.
- He may have been based upon the Tyrannosaurus rex from The Rite of Spring of Walt Disney's 1940 animated feature film Fantasia, as both are non-talking animal "villains" that do not intend to kill for evil, instead for food.
- Nevertheless, it is implied in some Land Before Time literature that Sharptooth actually enjoys killing for fun, and the fact that he is extremely persistent about killing Littlefoot and his friends suggest he is acting out of hatred towards the children rather than just predation (although it is also shown there are no other suitable prey around, which in turn implies Sharptooth was desperate with hunger and persistently chased the easiest prey around). The book canon is not to be confused with the film canon, however. Multiple fanfics tend to demonize him as well.
- The Tyrannosaurus that appears in Action Forms' hunting simulation video games Carnivores and Carnivores 2, as well as the mobile port developed by Tatem Games, has a behaviour somewhat reminiscent of Sharptooth. The T. rex in the games are very persistent, and will not stop chasing the player until it or the player is killed. The T. rex in the games also must be shot in the eye to be killed.
- Similarly, there is a female T. rex in the 2008 Turok video game named Mama Scarface who shares several similarities with Sharptooth and even reuses most of his roars.
- Usually, so not to confuse this character with other Sharpteeth or Sharpteeth as a whole species, fans tend to refer to him as "the Original Sharptooth" or "The Sharptooth".
- The fight between Sharptooth and Littlefoot's Mother has been compared by many critics and fans to the fight between the Tyrannosaurus and the Stegosaurus from Fantasia.
- El Oloroso from What's New, Scooby-Doo? shares the head design, and textures.
- In the movie We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story, Rex's natural prehistoric state is similar to Sharptooth. At this point in time, many cartoon versions of T. rex that extend outside The Land Before Time franchise were based off the Don Bluth's design and Rex was one in particular.
- Despite Sharptooth's death in the first film, Sharptooth's concept art appears on the VHS cover of The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure, most likely to represent Papa Sharptooth. This is the last time Sharptooth appears on The Land Before Time film covers.
- Sharptooth was indirectly mentioned in TV series episode, The Brave Longneck Scheme, by Littlefoot when proving to Rhett on what most Sharpteeth aren't afraid of by "The ones we've seen aren't scared of Earthshakes, Flying Rocks or Smoking Mountains".
- In the Danish dub of How to Train your Dragon 2, Valka calls one of the dragons a "Sharptooth".
- Sharptooth appears light brown in some scenes, like right before he sticks his head into the brambles while searching for Littlefoot and Cera. He is inconsistently shown in multiple other colors such as dark brown and numerous different shades of green throughout The Land Before Time.
- Sharptooth's previous design with armored plates on his back seen in storyboards is possibly influenced by some 80s depictions of Tyrannosaurus which portrayed the theropod as having a speculative coat of spiky osteoderms on its back. It also gives him a slight resemblance to the Vastatosaurus rex, a fictional descendant of T. rex depicted in Peter Jackson's 2005 remake of King Kong.
- Over time, Sharptooth's roars and vocalizations, provided by renowned voice actor Frank Welker, have become recurrent sound effects which are commonly reused for monsters and dinosaurs in most popular media.
- There is a fan theory that Sharptooth is Papa Sharptooth’s brother (due to looking alike), which would make him Chomper’s uncle.
- Sharptooth actually has his own "theme". It can be heard when he is woken up by and goes after Cera, and later this theme recurs when he goes after the group again after finding them resting in one of his footprints. This theme is totally different from the one often associated with Sharpteeth in the sequels (heard about 3 minutes into the track titled "The Rescue And Discovery Of The Great Valley, from a scene ironically Sharptooth does not appear in.)
- The Sharptooth is similar to Rudy from Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.
- Both are big carnivorous theropod antagonists.
- Both have a temper and hurt face. (Sharptooth: One eye, Rudy: One tooth)
- Sharptooth is also similar to One-Eye from Dino King.
- Both are a Tyrannosaurus that serve as the main antagonist.
- Both have a damaged eye.
- Both possess temper and supernatural strength, even for their species.
- Both kill the main character's mother in combat. (Sharptooth: Littlefoot's; One-Eye: Speckles')
- Both stalk the main character throughout the film.
- Both are killed by the main character by drowning.
- Sharptooth in The Illustrated Story book is similar to Indominus Rex from Jurassic World.
- Both are giant carnivorous theropod antagonists.
- Both kills for sport.
- Both try to kill childrens. (Sharptooth: Littlefoot and Cera, Indominus Rex: Zach and Gray)
- Both killed Apatosaurus. (Sharptooth: Littlefoot's mother, Indominus Rex: Herd of Apatosaurus)
- Both possess temper and strength.
- Both have red eyes.
- Both die from drowning.
"Littlefoot and Cera stood in the shadow of the most ferocious and deadly creature in the land—Sharptooth!"
— The book's narrator on Sharptooth.
"The monster bellowed in pain and reared back from the brambles. Then, with a terrible fury, he plunged back into the thicket, searching for the puny creatures that had dared to injure him."
— Narrator describing Sharptooth's actions after his eye is hit by the thorn.
"Even in his terror, the huge beast saw his chance to crush the tiny creatures who had caused him so much trouble."
— Sharptooth's thoughts as he is falling down into the "Big Underground".
"With another terrible cry, the big beast thundered toward them, his enormous mouth wide open and his one good eye glinting with hatred."
— Book quote showing Sharptooth's hatred for the children.
"A short time later Sharptooth found the entrance to the Great Valley. He growled and sniffed the air with evil joy."
— Sharptooth finding the entrance to the Great Valley.
Land Before Time Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Sharptooth (character).
- The Land Before Time: The Illustrated Story page 12.
- The Animated Films of Don Bluth Retrieved on November 26th 2011.
- The Land Before Time: The Illustrated Story page 56.
- The Land Before Time: The Illustrated Story page 17.
- The Land Before Time: The Return of Sharptooth at fanfiction.net. Retrieved on April 1st 2012.
- AnimationNation forum. Retrieved on August 8th, 2012.