Littlefoot (a.k.a. Loveable Littlefoot, as he is called on the official Land Before Time website and by fans), voiced by Gabriel Damon, Scott McAfee, Brandon LaCroix, Thomas Dekker, Alec Medlock, Aaron Spann, Nick Price, and Cody Arens, is a character in the Land Before Time film and television series, and one of only three characters to appear in every movie and TV episode. He is an anthropomorphic Apatosaurus, (informally called "Brontosaurus") which is one of many creatures referred to as "Longnecks" by the characters in the franchise.
He is the main protagonist in the series, though not always the largest role, and is followed by Cera the Triceratops, Ducky the Saurolophus, Petrie the Pteranodon, Spike the Stegosaurus, Chomper the Tyrannosaurus, and Ruby the Oviraptor. Due to his skill at befriending others, he is also friends with many other creatures, although his friendships with dinosaurs and other animals outside his species is often viewed as a taboo, as many of the dinosaurs practice racial, or species based, segregation, which is based upon the days of racism in America.
The character has been received very well by critics and become a favourite among fans, and has been featured in much of The Land Before Time-related merchandise, along with being referenced frequently in the media.
- "Oh, you can't quit now. What if the Great Valley's just over the top of these rocks?"
- — Littlefoot, urging the other main characters on (The Land Before Time)
Littlefoot is modest, intelligent, playful, adventurous and positive. Reflecting his love of adventure, he is most often seen singing the song "Adventuring" in the television series. Towards his family and friends, he tends to be very ethical, mature, caring and protective. He acts as a leader to the other main characters; pressing them on in difficult times, (most notably in the original The Land Before Time) and their voice of reason. He typically tries to break up any fights or arguments between the others, although he is prone to sometimes getting caught up in the heat himself. Generally, when under attack by predators or in other dangerous time, even when the adults tell Littlefoot and the other children to run to safety, he stops the others from leaving, and urges them to help out in any way they can.
FamilyAlthough Littlefoot is biologically an only child, his mother had laid three other eggs, but they were inexplicably broken by the time he hatched. Littlefoot stated in The Land Before Time IX: Journey to Big Water that he longed for a brother. Later in the movie, he met a friendly and playful Opthalmosaurus named Mo, with whom he made a "mud brothers" pact. In the tenth film, The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration, along with his father, Littlefoot met a young Brachiosaurus boy named Shorty, who was slightly older than him. Although Shorty bullied Littlefoot at first, and later resented him for taking all of Bron's attention, Littlefoot tried to befriend him, and even suggested that they act as brothers to each other. This Great Valley oncept softened Shorty's behaviour to Littlefoot, who later asked his father to formally adopt Shorty.
Littlefoot's Mother was devoted to her only son, and defended him at all costs. She taught him the ways of the different species, and that they generally avoided each other, although when he questioned the reasons behind this she could only say that things had always been like that. She showed him to his first treestar, and told him about the Great Valley, which she described as a lush paradise with "more greenfood than you could ever eat, and more fresh, cool water, than you could ever drink". She told him the directions to get to the valley, in case he ever needed to remember them. She ultimately gave up her life trying to protect her son from the Sharptooth, but her spirit stayed behind to watch over Littlefoot on his dangerous trek. She would intervene now and then when he felt unmotivated to carry on, and at the end of the film, she appeared in cloud form overhead, and lead him a few steps further, upon which she cleared away, revealing the Great Valley.Littlefoot finds his favourite food, treestars, to be symbolic with his mother, as his first treestar was the last gift she gave him in life. He tried to hold on to the treestar as long as he could, and got angry at Petrie when he started to play around with it. However, when the Sharptooth snuck up on the gang one morning, Littlefoot did not have time to grab it before running. The treestar was then crushed under the Sharptooth's foot. He finally met his father, Bron, in the tenth movie, and from that point the main plot focused on Littlefoot adapting to having a father in his life. Littlefoot was at first shocked, hurt and confused when he found out who Bron was, and ran away. When Bron found him, he consoled him, and explained his long absence; he wanted to find a safe place to raise Littlefoot in, but when he came back, the earthquake had struck, and he was unable to find his family. He then, by chance, attracted a huge crowd of Longnecks, both young and old, and became the leader of a huge herd. He never stopped trying to find out what became of his only son, and apparently asked an old dinosaur if he had seen him, although the dinosaur could only say that Bron's wife had been killed by the Sharptooth. Littlefoot and his father then began to grow closer, and Littlefoot became faced with the hard decision of staying with his father in the cratered valley in which his herd lived, or returning to the Great Valley with his grandparents. He ultimately decided that he wanted to return to them, as his grandparents needed him and he was already established there, but he wanted to stay in touch with Bron as much as possible, to which Bron agreed. In the TV episode "The Big Longneck Test", Littlefoot is visited by Bron and Shorty, during which time Bron puts Littlefoot on the "Big Longneck Test"; a test designed to see if a juvenile longneck has the mentality to lead a herd. Bron mentions that he has visited Littlefoot before.
Bron reveals in The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration that Littlefoot's name comes from a nickname he had as a child.
Littlefoot's grandparents are seen in all the films, and in the television series. Littlefoot has a strong bond with his grandfather, and generally looks up to him as an idol.
In The Land Before Time IV: Journey through the Mists, it is revealed that Littlefoot has cousins, a migrating herd of Longnecks led by an elderly matriarch called the "Old One". It is implied that they are related on Grandma Longneck's side. Until the tribal herd merged with an unrelated one, the only child in the longneck herd was a young female named Ali, whom Littlefoot quickly befriended.
- Littlefoot's Mother (mother, deceased)
- Bron (father)
- Grandma and Grandpa Longneck (maternal grandparents)
- Shorty (adoptive older brother)
Other main characters
Although Littlefoot and Cera are best friends, they are opposites in many ways, and argue very frequently. On rare occasions, this even leads to physical confrontations between the two of them, as in Template:Film. When Cera insults Littlefoot's Mother, calling her "a stupid longneck", Littlefoot orders her to take it back, and when she refuses, he plunges into her and they begin to fight. Another instance is in Template:Film, after Chomper, instinctively, bites Cera, she automatically becomes resentful towards him, in which Littlefoot declares that he didn't mean it. This leads to a quarrel between him and Cera over whether Chomper is their friend or not. A third instance is in Template:Film, after Topps and Grandpa Longneck begin to bicker over which direction to take on their migration to a lush land, Littlefoot admonishes Topps for speaking authoritatively to his grandfather, upon which Cera headbutts him. Each of them begin to hit back and forth until Ducky, Petrie and Spike break them up.
Later in the film, when the gang reunites with Chomper, Littlefoot and Cera argue again about whether or not Chomper is their friend, due to Cera's resentment towards him being a sharptooth. This time however, this doesn't lead to any physical confrontation between the two.
As Cera is very straightforward in her beliefs, she often gets irritated by Littlefoot's openmindedness, and in turn, Littlefoot is frustrated by the inability to persuade Cera. An example is in Template:Film, when Cera, along with most of the residents of the Great Valley, openly express skepticism towards Littlefoot's sighting of the stone of cold fire, and Littlefoot yearns for a way to convince them. In Template:Film, when Littlefoot tries to introduce the others to Mo, who has dived underwater in that time, Cera mocks Littlefoot; stating that he likely invented the creature. Another instance is in the TV series episode "Through the Eyes of a Spiketail"; as the gang searches for the hardwater sweets (frozen grapes), Cera begins to doubt if such a thing exists, while Littlefoot remains confident that they are indeed real. This again leads them to argue multiple times, to the disappointment of the others.
Littlefoot's friendship with Ducky is off to a better start than his friendship with Cera. In The Land Before Time, Ducky immediately gets along with Littlefoot, and accepts his invitation to accompany him on his way to the Great Valley. When one night, the characters other than Littlefoot go to sleep with Cera, believing her brave enough to handle the Sharptooth in case he attacks, Ducky is the first to realize that Littlefoot is lonely, and goes back to sleep with him; soon followed by the other three. In Template:Film, when Petrie and Ducky regret the harsh accusations they threw at Littlefoot upon learning that he had framed the Tinysauruses, they each mention that they consider themselves to be Littlefoot's best friends.Littlefoot's friendships with Spike and Ruby are also very smooth. He has no problems with being Chomper's friend, despite Chomper being the same type of Sharptooth as the one that killed his mother. Littlefoot is the first one to realize Chomper isn't dangerous as a baby, and needs to be looked after, in Template:Film, and is the only member of the gang, aside from Ruby, who has always trusted Chomper. The two of them have an almost brotherly bond, with Littlefoot supporting Chomper in nearly everything he does.
As Littlefoot is the leader of the main characters, he is generally the one who makes most contact with adults other than those in their families, often when asking them for help during their adventures. He befriends Archie the Archelon in Template:Film, after asking him for help in getting out of the cave, as a rockslide brought on by an earthshake (earthquake) has locked him in. Archie later protects Littlefoot when Ichy and Dil, a Sharpbeak and Belly Dragger, attack them, with the intentions of consuming them. In Template:Film, Littlefoot makes friends with the Rainbow Faces, who support him in his sighting of an object they call a "Stone of Cold Fire". At the end of the film, the male Rainbow Face tells Littlefoot that they find him very intelligent and sharp-minded for one of his species, after which the female nudges him and he rewords his statement, calling Littlefoot intelligent for his age. Littlefoot is the only one who finds out that they are not normal Rainbow Faces, but possibly aliens studying the dinosaurs, in disguise.
In Template:Film, Littlefoot idolizes Doc, the Lone Dinosaur, for his bravery and skill in fighting off Sharpteeth. However, in "The Lone Dinosaur Returns", when Doc speaks sharply about Chomper, despite Chomper's promises that he is good, Littlefoot's admiration in him is considerably shaken. At the end of the episode, when Doc apologizes to Chomper, Littlefoot forgives him.
Littlefoot, though afraid of them at first, befriends the tiny longnecks in Template:Film, after meeting them in their underground home, and getting to know them. He is particularly close to Skitter, with whom he makes the most contact throughout the film.
Littlefoot was originally going to be called "Thunderfoot", until it was found out that there was a Triceratops in a children's book who already had that name. His name was Thunderfoot all throughout production, only changing after the movie was released, which surprised the people working on it.
Littlefoot was voiced by Gabriel Damon in the original The Land Before Time, from 1988. From 1994 to 1996, in the films Template:Film, Template:Film, and Template:Film, he was voiced by Scott McAfee, the brother of Anndi McAfee, who has voiced main character Cera from Template:Film (1997) to present. For that same film, Littlefoot was voiced by Brandon LaCroix for his speaking voice, and by Thomas Dekker as his singing voice. Dekker then voiced Littlefoot for both singing and speaking for the next few films. After Template:Film, Dekker's last performance as Littlefoot, the character was voiced by Alec Medlock in Template:Film (2003), Aaron Spann in Template:Film (2005), and Nick Price in Template:Film (2006). Littlefoot's current voice actor is Cody Arens, who voiced him in the television series and in Template:Film (2007).
In the Japanese-language dubbing of the first through to the twelfth film, Littlefoot is voiced by Minami Takayama. In the Japanese version of the television series, he is voiced by Etsuko Kozakura. In the Swedish version of the original film, he is voiced by Samuel Elers-Svensson. In the Italian dubs of the series, he has been voiced by Rossella Acerbo, Sonia Mazzi, and Patrizia Mottola. In video games Littlefoot along with the other characters (except Spike) is voice by Lani Minella.
Wendy Miller of the Mohave Daily Miner has called Littlefoot a "loveable" character. Michael Scheinfeld on DisneyFamily.com labelled the character as "endearing", while Variety.com critic Joe Leydon called him "scrappy".
Washington Post critic Hal Hinson expressed bewilderment at his name, citing that his feet appeared normal size. Mark R. Leeper (rec.arts.movies.reviews) considered the character to be underdeveloped; calling his abrupt surrender to hardships at the end of the film, whilst enduring them throughout the entire story before, "possible but unlikely behaviour". Roger Ebert considered the plot involving the character - a baby animal being separated from his family, and undergoing a dangerous quest to be reunited with them again - to be recycled from many other movies in the animated adventure genre, particularly pointing out the similarities, in this aspect, between The Land Before Time and Don Bluth's earlier film An American Tail.
Ian Wojcik-Andrews, author of Children's Films: History, Ideaology, Pedagogy, Theory, likened the entire movie to a depiction of the Calvinist theology, which explains that souls can only be saved if they resist temptations and follow Christ. He likened Littlefoot to the saviour; saying that Littlefoot's position as the last of his herd and their only hope for future generations implied that he was intended as "the chosen one".
Bonnie Sayers on Epinion.com thought that one of the best parts of the fourth Land Before Time movie, The Land Before Time IV: Journey through the Mists, was the emphasis made on Littlefoot's love for his grandfather.
Thomas Dekker received a Video Premiere Award nomination for Best Animated Character performance in 2001, for voicing Littlefoot in The Land Before Time VII: The Stone of Cold Fire. The nomination was shared with supervising animator Zeon Davush, and competed with Davush and voice actor Michael York, for the character of Pterano. Both nominations lost to actor Mark Hamill and character designer Bruce W. Timm, for The Joker in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. He won a Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Voice-Over Role in 2003, for voicing the character in The Land Before Time IX: Journey to Big Water. That same year, he also received a DVD Exclusive Award nomination for Best Original Song, for performing as Littlefoot during the song "Imaginary Friend", together with Aria Noelle Curzon as Ducky, Anndi McAfee as Cera, and Jeff Bennett as Petrie. The nomination was also shared with songwriters Michele Brourman and Amanda McBroom. In the end, the award went to Jennifer Love Hewitt and Chris Canute in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame II, for the song "I'm Gonna Love You".
Being the central character in the franchise, Littlefoot has become an icon widely associated with The Land Before Time. On the official website, the character is given the nickname "Lovable Littlefoot". He is also referred to as this by the fans of the series.,
The character is featured in a large quantity of merchandise based on the Land Before Time franchise. To help promote the original 1988 theatrical movie, Sullivan/Bluth Studios teamed up with Pizza Hut and issued handpuppets of the characters. For almost a year Littlefoot and the other characters were associated icons with the restaurant's children's menus and a theme for birthday parties held at the restaurants, until Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles replaced them. Universal Studios tied with the U.S. Postal Office, issuing stamps featuring types of dinosaurs such as those seen in the movie. There were also T-shirts issued, featuring the stamps and the character Littlefoot. Along with that, in November 1988, Amblin Entertainment issued a paperback book, titled Littlefoot's Adventures: An Activity Book (ISBN 0-448-09354-5 /ISBN 978-0-448-09354-3), published by Grosset and Dunlap. In July the following year, another book was published, written by Jim Razzi and published by fantail; titled Littlefoot's Adventures: Land Before Time Activity Book 1 (ISBN 0-14-090105-1 /ISBN 978-0-14-090105-4). Stu Krieger, a writer for the original film, wrote a children's educational book, published in 1998 and titled "Counting with Littlefoot".
Many toys have been issued featuring the character, including plush dolls, beanies, statuetes and action figures. A game was also issued, titled The Land Before Time Littlefoot Make a Match Game, in which players pick any two cards from a collection of cards featuring LBT characters, and keep them if they match. The main object of the game is to find two with Littlefoot on them, after which the player who has done so gets ahold of a figurine shaped like Littlefoot. As there are several with the character, the figurine moves around from player to player throughout the game.
In a lot of fanwork, the characters Littlefoot and Ali fall in love with each other, and if the story focuses on their adult years, they often get married. Some fans argue this theme promotes incest, as they are cousins, though apparently not first cousins. Some fans have written fanfictions in which Littlefoot and Cera get into a relationship, which often evolves into a conflict with his relationship with Ali.
References in media
- Littlefoot and Cera are mentioned in Robert Keith Sawyer's Pretend Play as Improvisation: Conversation in the Preschool Classroom.
- Another book on young children's social behaviour, Early Years Education: Major Themes in Education (by Rod Parker-Rees and Jenny Willan) references the Land Before Time character Littlefoot, along with his mother, Cera, and the original Sharptooth.
- Littlefoot, Cera, and Ducky are referenced in the 1993 book Children's Voices: Children Talk about Literacy, by Sally Hudson-Ross and Mara Casey.
- Littlefoot and the other characters were featured in the 1997 Easter Egg Roll at the White House.
- The original main characters (Littlefoot, Cera, Ducky, Petrie, and Spike) are altogether referenced in question 43 of "Test 6: Animation", in Test-Prep Your IQ with the Essentials of Film, in which the question concerns which character is not a dinosaur.
- They are referenced together again in the "Throwback Trivia" in The Good Book for Great Times by Connor Pritchard and Dominic Russo.
- Littlefoot is referenced on page 150 of Category Neutrality: A Type-Logical Investigation By Neal Whitman.
- On pages 194-195 of the novel In a Brother's Eyes by Aiken Brown, the characters Brant and Tommy discuss getting a video of The Land Before Time for Brant's son, Brandon. Brant mentions Littlefoot as a good role model for the child.
- Littlefoot and his mother are referenced in Ray Pons' Finding My Way: And How You Can Find Yours, on page 36.
- In April 1995, costume actors dressed as The Land Before Time characters Littlefoot and Cera, together with members of the Atlanta Knights hockey team, visited the Egleston Children's hospital in Atlanta, and gave gifts to the patients, including video cassettes.
- As Littlefoot is shown to hatch right after Cera, he is five years old at the time of the first movie.
- Littlefoot is called a Brontosaurus on the original video cover for the first film, and then on the clamshell case he is called a Brachiosaurus. He was also called a Brachiosaurus at Rotten Tomatoes.com and at Movies.com.
- In the media, Littlefoot is alternatively referred to as an Apatosaurus and a Brontosaurus. While both terms are technically correct, as Brontosaurus is now a synonym for Apatosaurus, Brontosaurus is not a scientifically correct term.
- Littlefoot's personality was possibly a reference from The Brave Little Toaster and it's character Toaster (which was released before The Land Before Time, and also one of this film's credited animators, Skip Jones also worked on that film), as both portraying the main characters. Littlefoot and Toaster are quite similar including leading their pals out of danger and having a sense of Adventure.
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