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The Land Before Time
(1988)
Album Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Performed by:
The London Symphony Orchestra

The King's College Choir, Wimbledon

Orchestrated by:
Greig McRitchie

Song Lyrics by:
Will Jennings

Song Performed by:
Diana Ross
Labels Icon
LABEL & RELEASE DATE
MCA Records
(November 21st, 1988)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release. The album was easily available at discounted clearance prices in the 1990's, selling for about $10. As these products sold out, however, the lack of subsequent pressings caused copies to become scarce, with some fetching as much as $100.
Awards
AWARDS
None.
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ALSO SEE




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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you're enamored with James Horner's lyrical orchestral work for the animated children's film genre, because The Land Before Time is the standard by which all his other related scores would be compared.

Avoid it... if you expect the few action cues in the score to rival the rambunctious intensity of Horner's concurrent work for Willow.
Review Icon
EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #75
WRITTEN 7/14/98, REVISED 12/24/07
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Horner
Horner
The Land Before Time: (James Horner) In the decade before Walt Disney reclaimed its domination over the animated film genre, Steven Spielberg and Don Bluth provided several noteworthy hits for Universal that would be so financially successful that most of them would spawn several sequels, both on the big screen and straight to video. While The Secret of N.I.M.H. and An American Tail would each merit more critical recognition than The Land Before Time, the 1988 tale about persevering dinosaurs would by itself inspire no less than ten sequels aimed directly at the video market. The migrating dinosaur story is insufferable in its cuteness at times, accentuated by James Horner's effervescent music. Horner had been widely recognized for his score and song work for An American Tail and by 1988 had established himself as an Oscar contender of mainstream status. That year in particular would prove to be among the best in the composer's career, with The Land Before Time and Willow serving as sister scores sharing many of the characteristics that have garnered them similar acclaim through the years. While Willow is superior in its more melodramatic statements of theme and rowdy action sequences, The Land Before Time is the softer, more consistently lyrical companion piece. One of the more interesting overarching aspects of The Land Before Time is precisely that consistency; animated film scores, especially those with romping characters in the animal kingdom, typically maneuver at such high speeds that it's difficult for a composer to provide significant lengths of flowing harmony. Horner not only minimizes his interruptions for comedy or action, he composes extremely long cues for The Land Before Time that in many regards emulate the style of concert suites. Despite slight changes in mood throughout the score's 50+ minutes of length on album, there really are only two full action pieces and one questionable comedy romp. Otherwise, The Land Before Time is both a delightfully consistent listening experience and, for those who have sought additional music from Willow for years, an extremely relevant replacement.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
4,398 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 4.09 Stars
***** 2,138 5 Stars
**** 1,255 4 Stars
*** 509 3 Stars
** 264 2 Stars
* 232 1 Stars
  (View results for all titles)

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COMMENTS
12 TOTAL COMMENTS
Read All Start New Thread Search Comments
FVSR Reviews The Land Before Time
Brendan Cochran - July 30, 2016, at 10:07 a.m.
1 comment  (356 views)
Classical Inspiration?   Expand >>
ssquared - October 23, 2008, at 11:18 p.m.
4 comments  (4810 views)
Newest: September 29, 2010, at 4:28 p.m. by
Glass
Weepy Adults
Colorscheme - April 2, 2008, at 3:40 p.m.
1 comment  (2625 views)
Outstanding
Sheridan - October 14, 2006, at 11:19 a.m.
1 comment  (2653 views)
rare and out of print   Expand >>
Nick - July 27, 2006, at 10:31 a.m.
3 comments  (4212 views)
Newest: March 1, 2014, at 1:04 a.m. by
Mr. Big
one of horner's best!   Expand >>
jeroen - April 26, 2006, at 1:58 a.m.
2 comments  (3524 views)
Newest: July 8, 2006, at 8:54 p.m. by
Yeah
More...


Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 58:10
• 1. The Great Migration (7:49)
• 2. Sharptooth and the Earthquake (10:33)
• 3. Whispering Winds (9:00)
• 4. "If We Hold On Together"* (4:07)
• 5. Foraging for Food (7:15)
• 6. The Rescue/Discovery of The Great Valley (12:43)
• 7. End Credits (6:22)
* Performed by Diana Ross; Music/Lyrics by James Horner and Will Jennings.
(total and track times not listed on CD or packaging; Horner's score time: 54:01)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert contains no information about the score or film. With the extreme popularity of Horner's concurrent score for Willow, relatively little press was given to The Land Before Time. As such, surprisingly little information about this score exists, even in archived interviews.
Copyright © 1998-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from The Land Before Time are Copyright © 1988, MCA Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 7/14/98 and last updated 12/24/07.
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