The Land Before Time III: The Time of the Great Giving is an award-winning 1995 animated film directed by Roy Allen Smith, and the third installment in the Land Before Time film series. The plot of the movie focuses on Littlefoot, Cera, Ducky, Petrie, and Spike dealing with three bullying adolescent dinosaurs, while the entire community of the Great Valley struggles to overcome a drought which has been brought on by a fallen meteorite, blocking the water in the Thundering Falls.
The movie was among the Land Before Time films most well received by the public, and was subsequently re-issued several times since its first video release, along with being featured on several television channels for many years.
English Voice Cast
- Scott McAfee as Littlefoot
- Candace Hutson as Cera
- Heather Hogan as Ducky
- Jeff Bennett as Petrie/Mutt/Iguanodon
- Rob Paulsen as Spike/Kosh
- John Ingle as the Narrator/Topps
- Linda Gary as Grandma Longneck/Mother Quetzalcoatlus
- Whit Hertford as Hyp
- Nicholas Guest as Hyp's Father
- Tress MacNeille as Spiketail/Mama Swimmer/Mama Flyer
- Frank Welker as the Velociraptor pack (This movie marks the only time Welker is credited for voicing a sharptooth)
- Scott Menville as Nod
- Kenneth Mars as Grandpa Longneck
Japanese voice cast
- Minami Takayama: Littlefoot
- Rica Matsumoto: Cera
- Satomi Kōrogi: Ducky
- Yūji Mitsuya: Petrie
- Sailor King: Spike
- George Nakata: Topps
- Urara Takano: Petrie's Mother
Note: The Japanese voice actors are appearing so far.
Littlefoot and his friends are constantly being bullied and browbeaten by three teenagers - Hyp, a Hypsilophodon; Nod, a Nodosaurus; and Mutt, a Muttaburrasaurus. Meanwhile, when a shower of meteorites impacts near the Great Valley and causes a rock slide in the Mysterious Beyond, it blocks the Thundering Falls, the main water supply of the Great Valley. Afterwards, the increasing lack of water causes conflicts between the inhabitants of the Great Valley. To bring an end to this problem, Littlefoot and the others set out to find water, unaware that Hyp and his cohorts are following them. When the gang find a small lake, the teenagers emerge and claim it for themselves, demanding that Littlefoot and the others keep silent about their discovery. Unwilling to comply, Littlefoot and the others flee from the bullies; during which they wander into the Mysterious Beyond and find out what caused the Thundering Falls to stop flowing.
Before they can return and inform the residents of the valley, a lightning strike ignites a wildfire that spreads rapidly through the dried Valley. The dinosaurs barely make it to safety at the edge of the Mysterious Beyond while the fire ravages their home. When the protagonists tell the other dinosaurs of their discovery, disunity about what to do prevents the adult dinosaurs from taking any steps towards solving the problem. Hyp, Mutt, and Nod set out into the Mysterious Beyond on their own, in hopes of getting to the water first, and keeping it for themselves.
Anticipating the danger to which Hyp and his cohorts have exposed themselves, and recognizing commonality with them, Littlefoot and the others follow them, in order to help if necessary. As they arrive, Hyp becomes trapped in a tar pit he mistook to be a pool of water. Littlefoot and the others pull him out of the tar by combined effort. Soon afterwards, the adult dinosaurs appear in search of their offspring, and are brought together by the understanding that it was the unity of their children that helped them to find water. It is implied during the discussion thereof that Hyp's own experience of harsh treatment by his father is the cause of his harshness toward others, and implied later that being treated kindly improves the temperaments of Hyp and his sidekicks.
Before they are able to take further steps, the herd is attacked by a pack of Triplet Velociraptors. During the battle between the herd and the attackers, Littlefoot and Hyp's gangs join sides, and manage by chance to clear the blockage of rocks stopping the flow of water into the valley. They then watch as the water flow washes the Triplet Sharpteeth away. The herbivores return to the Valley, which now has enough water for them, although the fire has destroyed most of the plants on which they feed. Working together, the dinosaurs survive the time until the plants start to grow again by feeding on the last remains of the plants, moving from one verdant area to another and sharing everything they find; a behavior which leads them to label this time "The Time of the Great Giving".
Rod Gustafson of Parent Previews.com said that the back cover of the video for The Land Before Time III: The Time of the Great Giving gave the impression that the movie was out to teach a lesson to both children and parents, about cooperation. He also said that the movie seemed to put too much pressure on this point, and that the portrayal of the kids having the solutions to the crisis, though hardly a unique plotline, could reinforce children that it is useless to seek an adult's help in a dire situation. However, Gustafson finally stated that the movie was a good children's film overall, and could stimulate good family conversations over the morals of teamwork. Richard Scheib of the Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review Database (www.moria.co.nz) said that the movie, while obviously set for children of a preschooling age, could teach a good lesson to children about the importance of sharing. He said that it also teaches about the effects of bullying and how it can be dealt with, as well as warning parents not to bully kids with authority. Although he described the songs as "banal", Scheib considered the characters to be well-developed and enjoyed the scenes involving the fight against the Velociraptor pack. He finally stated that he thought the third Land Before Time movie was arguably better than the original. Steve Rhodes, a frequent critic on the Land Before Time movies, said in his review on the film that, like The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure, it was formulaic. He further stated that the plot did not have much action, but just typical environmentalistc themes alongside the challenges of childhood when teenage tough guys and younger children collide with each other. Rhodes concluded that the film was a moderate choice for children's viewing, but for the whole family he would recommend the original movie.
The Land Before Time III: The Time of the Great Giving, like many of its fellow sequels, received a 0% at Rotten Tomatoes.com, together with two reviews labelling the movie "rotten" and one labelling it "fresh". The movie has a current rating of 4.9/10 stars at IMDB.com, based on 1,461 votes.
In 1998 the film won its nomination for an Annie Award for Best Home Video Production. It also received a nomination that same year for a Saturn Award, for Best Genre Video Release, but lost the award to the TV mini-series V: The Final Battle, from Blatt-Singer Productions.
The Land Before Time III: The Time of the Great Giving was originally released to VHS and laserdisc on December 15, 1995. On May 13, 1997, it was released on VHS and laserdisc again; this time in The Land Before Time Collection. One year later, on December 1, it was marketed in its final laserdisc release, as well as another VHS issue, on Universal Family Features. Three years later, on December 4, the movie was released to VHS again. Its first DVD release was on December 10, 2002. Its last VHS release, together with another one on DVD, occurred on December 2, 2003, in the 4 Movie Dino Pack (Volume 1) and 9 Movie Dino Pack. The movie's most recent DVD release was on September 27, 2005, in the 2 Dino-Mite Movies package. In 1995, Universal Studios published a book, simply titled "Land Before Time 3: Time of The Great Giving".
After five months of disappearance on American television since March 2008, the film re-aired on Cartoon Network on September 2, 2008. The film aired on HBO Family for the first time ever on January 1, 2009, the same day the first two ones aired on HBO. Along with The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island, the film also aired on HBO for the first time ever on January 4, 2009, the same day the first two ones aired on HBO Family.
It was released on DVD on September 28, 1999.
- Disney Channel (1996-2004)
- Toon Disney (1998-2004)
- Cartoon Network (1998-2001, 2004-2008)
- HBO Family (2009-2010)
- HBO (2009-2010)
- If We Hold On Together (instrumental)
- The Valley
- The Great Migration (Reprise)
- Sharptooth and the Earthquake
- Sharptooth Encounter (Reprise)
- Longneck's Story
- The Fire
- Land of Mists
- Apart from later releases. When released for the first time, this became the only VHS release to have two different versions of the cover. One that was for the US, and another for the UK.
- This movie marks the first time Topps has a fight with a spiketail.
- This was the first appearance of Velociraptors in the Land Before Time series. Their appearance may have been influenced by Jurassic Park, which was released to theatres two years prior. This can be heavliy supported since Velociraptor had immediatley become famous after the film sucession and would appear in media frequently, replacing its larger cousin Deinonychus and other well-known dinosaurs.
- Heather Hogan and Scott Menville (Ducky and Nod) would later work together in the 2004 Nintendo GameCube title, Tales of Symphonia. They played the main protagonists Colette and Lloyd respectively.
- This movie reveals the beginning of Topps and Kosh rivarly between each other.
- Although their personalities are similar to the egg thieves in the previous film, Hyp, Mutt & Nod are not egg thieves but do serve as a threat to Littlefoot & company.
- This film was the second sequel produced, although it is the third both release-wise and chronologically.
- Some scenes from Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home are shown.
- Both The Land Before Time III: The Time of the Great Giving and Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home are released in 1995.
- There are two instances where Petrie's mother changes color to match her son's--the first is when the adults first begin bickering about wasting water when having their group discussion, the second is when Grandpa Longneck states "Our children don't understand the water problem. The Great Valley has always given them everything they need." after water was accidentally splashed on Topsy's face.
- Characters who later make reappearaces:
- Kosh (known only as Mr. Clubtail at this point)
- The Fast Biters (still called simply "Sharpteeth", at this point)
- One-off characters:
- Mutt's father
- Hyp's father (although he is briefly seen in The Mysterious Island)
- Species who make their first appearances in this film:
- Topps: If you always react with anger, that's all your son will know, and that's what he'll express to others.
:Petrie: Me no baby! Me big!
- Hyp: Yeah, big baby.
:Hyp: When you're big, you can do anything you want to do. All the rules that grown-ups make, they don't apply to you.
:Ducky: Don't worry, Littlefoot. You're not a bad influence... whatever that is.
:Cera: I don't understand, Daddy.
- Topps: You need friends who know how to behave, especially in times like this.
- Cera: Littlefoot is my friend. He'll always be my friend.
- Topps: Cera, I'm your father. I want what's best for you.
- Cera: No, you don't! You just don't want me to have any fun!
- Topps: Cera, please. I'm just trying to... to... as a parent I - ooh! (storms off)
:Petrie: Hey, me want to play Bullies too! "Hey hatchling! You no eat MY green food!" [Spike spits water at him] Hmph! Me go play Bullies somewhere else!
:Hyp: There they are and look what they found for us.
- Mutt: [laughing] Yeah.
- Nod: [laughing] Yeah!
- Mutt: What is it?
- Hyp: Hi-yah, hatchlings! Say, "Bye bye, water"!
- Ducky: Why? Is it going somewhere?
- Hyp: No, but YOU are!
- Nod: This is our water now.
- Mutt: So give it back!
- Petrie: Give back? But it already in my tummy.
- Ducky: But do you not want to share?
- Hyp: We don't share with anybody, do we?
- Mutt: Uh, no. Nuh-uh!
- Nod: Nobody.
- Hyp: So I'm warning you, small fries, if you tell anybody else about this water, you'll be very, very, sorry!
- Littlefoot: We're telling and you better not try and stop us.
:Topps: I have a plan.
- Ankylosaurus: I hope it's better than your fire escape plan!
- Topps: [roaring]
:Littlefoot: If you struggle more, you'll only sink faster!
:Ducky: Petrie, you are a flyer, not a swimmer.
:Grandma Longneck (to Mr. Threehorn and Mr. Clubtail): Stop! You're acting like children.
- Petrie (a short distance away): Ha! We no act like that.
<ref>tags exist, but no
<references/>tag was found