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The Land Before Time is an North American animated television series, based on characters from The Land Before Time American film series created by Judy Freudberg and Tony Geiss. It premiered on YTV in Canada on January 5, 2007 for a test, and officially premiered on Cartoon Network in the United States on March 5, 2007 (although the first episode debuted on the 4th) after the DVD release of The Land Before Time XII: The Great Day of the Flyers.
With Charles Grosvenor as the supervising director, the plot involves the young Apatosaurus named Littlefoot having brand new adventures with his old friends like Cera and Petrie, and new ones such as Ruby. The gang finds a new cave for Ruby and Chomper (who had both came to the Great Valley to learn how dinosaurs get along and to escape from Red Claw), see old friends again, help each other with problems, go exploring and finding new wonders in their world, escape from natural disasters and Sharptooth, and learn new lessons about life through all of their adventures.
The show was animated in 2D by using digital ink and paint with computer animated backgrounds, which the past sequels from The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration onwards have used. The main antagonist in the series is Red Claw, a Tyrannosaurus rex, and Screech and Thud, two Deinonychus, are the secondary antagonists of the show. The TV series presumably takes place after the events of The Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends, due to Chomper and Ruby being absent in that film.
English Voice Cast
- Cody Arens as Littlefoot (speaking)
- Anthony Skillman as Littlefoot (singing)
- Anndi McAfee as Cera
- Aria Noelle Curzon as Ducky
- Jeff Bennett as Petrie/Longneck/Mutt/Doc
- Rob Paulsen as Spike/Thud/Ruby's Father/Longneck/Guido/Mo
- Max Burkholder as Chomper
- Meghan Strange as Ruby/Tricia
- Pete Sepenuk as Red Claw/Screech/Kosh
- Kenneth Mars as Grandpa Longneck
- Tress MacNeille as Mama Flyer/Mama Swimmer
- Nika Futterman as Ruby's Mother/Ali
- John Ingle as Mr. Threehorn
- Jessica Gee as Tria
- Elizabeth Daily as Rhett/Shorty
- Jessica Walter as the Old One
- Dorian Harewood as Mr. Thicknose
- Scott Menville as Nod/Sharptooth Mom
- Michael Kelley as Hyp
- Cam Clarke as Bron
- Cree Summer as Tippy
Japanese Voice Cast
- Etsuko Kozakura as Littlefoot
- Rica Matsumoto as Cera
- Satomi Kōrogi as Ducky
- Yūji Mitsuya as Petrie
- Sailor King as Spike
- Ikue Ōtani as Chomper
- Yuriko Fuchizaki as Ruby
- Yumiko Hori as Tria
- George Nakata as Mr. Threehorn
- Kae Araki as Tricia
- Urara Takano as Mama Flyer
- Sakurai Tomo as Ali
The show first aired in Canada on January 5, 2007 for a test, and officially premiered on March 4 and 5, 2007 on Cartoon Network. It later aired on Boomerang in the United Kingdom on April 16, 2007. The first season had begun airing on Cartoon Network India, with its premiere on April 7, 2008, and in Russia on TV Russia in March of 2009.
The show has neither aired on Cartoon Network in the United States nor on YTV in Canada since March of 2008, though in January 2017, the series began airing on Sprout (later Universal Kids) in the United States.
In 2005, Universal Studios announced its plan to launch a Land Before Time series, beginning with 26 episodes, featuring most of the characters from the movies, as well as introducing a few new ones. The animation would combine two dimensional and three dimensional backgrounds. This television series marked the first project from Universal Studios Home Entertainment's new family entertainment label. Craig Cornblau, president of USHE, mentioned that the new series was to fulfill a "huge consumer demand for high-quality, family-friendly content both on television and the home entertainment arena."
Universal Studios stated that the series, set to air in the first half of the year 2007, would debut on Cartoon Network. Glen Ross, who was hired in March 2005 to launch Universal Studios Home Entertainment Family Prods., said that the choice to have the series air first on Cartoon Network had been made on two basis: One, the network was well-noted for its good quality programming, and two, most of the movies in the film series had played on the network many times, so it was believed a good place to start.
The episodes were planned to be released on DVD after the series had aired.
Michael D. Schaffer of the Philadelphia Inquirer said that the animation in the series, although below the animation of the original 1988 The Land Before Time movie, was above-average for modern television. Although he praised the theme song, saying it had a "bouncy, almost calypso beat", he was less pleased with the songs "Adventuring" and "Talking Big". He finally described the series as "bland, inoffensive stuff", and appropriate viewing for very young audiences.
The songs are written by Michele Brourman (music) and Ford Riley (lyrics). Every song sung in the TV series with the exception of the ones from the films are unnamed, and the names given are approximations. Every episode has exactly two songs in it, and they are generally very short, and only span roughly 1 minute. Every episode has exactly two songs in it.
Many of the song's melodies are reused in other episodes with different singers/lyrics (a la Nerima Daikon Brothers). The songs Talking Big (with a different absolute pitch), Fix Your Tooth, Do Anything, My Reality, Sniff Him Out, and Sky Color Stones are all melodically the same with different lyrics, as are Remembering, Everything Will Be Okay, What To Do, Be Quiet Now, and Follow Me (with a different absolute pitch).
Also, I Feel Mad, We Need a Plan, Must Believe, Made A Mistake, Hide My Stones, Me Need New Home (with a different absolute pitch), We Must Be Brave, and Is It True She Lied are all melodically the same with different lyrics. My Way is melodically the same as Oops-Eeps, and Good to Be Home is melodically the same as I Feel So Happy. Please Be Careful also shares its melody with Good Times, Good Friends.
The songs Hidden Runner, Big Longneck Test, and Don't Be Scared are melodically the same as Big Water from the film The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island. Similarly, Above the Mysterious Above and The Amazing Threehorn Girl (with a different absolute pitch) are melodically the same as Beyond the Mysterious Beyond from the film The Land Before Time VII: The Stone of Cold Fire. The Legend of the Lone Dinosaur from the film The Land Before Time VI: The Secret of Saurus Rock shares its original melody with Up in the Sky.
Friends For Dinner and Big Water are taken from the film The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island, while The Legend of the Lone Dinosaur is taken from the The Land Before Time VI: The Secret of Saurus Rock and Adventuring is from The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration , respectively. The only film songs played in the TV series that never share their melodies are Adventuring from the tenth film and Friends For Dinner from the fifth film. Adventuring is also the only repeating song played in the TV series that never shares its melody.
In the episode "The Days of Rising Waters", the song Feel So Happy is played with a different absolute pitch than other versions of the song, and, in the episode "The Missing Fast-Water Adventure", the song Remembering is played with a different absolute pitch than other versions of the song.
The theme song is performed by the South African choir Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The Theme is written by Roc Gagliese, Steve D'Angelo, and Terry Tompkins of The Eggplant. The credits theme is an extended instrumental version of the theme song.
The music score is by Cory Lerios, and has not been released.
- Main article: List of The Land Before Time episodes
The series has currently run for only one season, which consists of twenty-six episodes. There has no mention of a second season in production, as of yet.
All 26 episodes are available on the official YouTube channel for the show, in 1080p.
- Chomper has been slightly modified in the TV series. He is now more purple and his teeth are positioned differently.
- Max Burkholder, the voice of Chomper, also voices Roo on My Friends Tigger & Pooh.
- In the Japanese version of the TV series, Chomper's voice is provided by Ikue Otani, the voice of Pikachu on Pokémon.
- To set up low budgets, the characters and quality of animation are much lower than in the films; most of the characters were given minor alterations or less detail designs in order to keep a standard budget for each episode. In order to keep this budget new, more inexperienced animators were included into making The Land Before Time TV series.[Citation Needed]
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Thomas K. Arnold: "Uni decides it's 'Time' for TV". The Hollywood Reporter.com; August 9th, 2005.  Retrieved on October 9th, 2005.
- ↑ UPI Newstrack, 'Land Before Time' becomes weekly cartoon. (August 8th, 2005.) Retrieved on January 14th, 2009.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Doug Desjardins, DSN Retailing Today. "Land Before Time" coming to TV in 2007.(Universal Studios Inc.'s deal with Cartoon Network to create an animated TV series )(Brief Article). (August 22nd, 2005.) Retrieved on January 14th, 2009.
- ↑ Michael D. Schaffer, Philadelphia Inquirer. Two wildly different cartoons make their TV debuts. (March 9th, 2007.) Retrieved on January 14th, 2009.
- ↑ The Land Before Time YouTube channel, which seems to be official. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGTPGtMd8ydRNsTcKaDwF1w/videos