The Land Before Time is a 1988 theatrical animated film, directed by Don Bluth (with production based around his Ireland-based studio), and executive-produced by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Originally released by Universal Studios and Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, it features anthropomorphic dinosaurs living in a somewhat fantasy-based version of prehistoric earth. The plot concerns a young Apatosaurus named Littlefoot, who is orphaned (or so it is long believed, as his father is shown to still be alive in Template:Film) when his mother is killed by a Tyrannosaurus. Littlefoot flees famine and upheaval to search for the "Great Valley", an area which has been spared devastation. On his journey, he meets four young companions: Cera, a Triceratops; Ducky, a Saurolophus, Petrie, a Pteranodon; and Spike, a Stegosaurus. The film explores issues of prejudice between the different species and the hardships they endure in their journey as they are guided by the spirit of Littlefoot's mother.
The film was a critical and financial success and spawned a multi-million dollar franchise with thirteen direct-to-video sequels (without association with Bluth, Spielberg, or Lucas,) as well as merchandise (toys, video games, etc.) and a television series.
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