The Land Before Time III: The Time of the Great Giving

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The Land Before Time III:
The Time of the Great Giving
Directed byRoy Allen Smith
Produced byRoy Allen Smith
Zahra Dowlatabadi
Written byDev Ross
Based onCharacters by
Judy Freudberg
Tony Geiss
StarringScott McAfee
Candace Hutson
Heather Hogan
Rob Paulsen
Whitby Hertford
Nicholas Guest
Scott Menville
Jeff Bennett
Narrated byJohn Ingle
Music byMichael Tavera
James Horner (music from The Land Before Time)
Edited byJay Bixsen
Distributed byMCA/Universal Home Video
Release date
  • December 12, 1995 (1995-12-12)
Running time
71 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Land Before Time III: The Time of the Great Giving is a 1995 direct-to-video animated adventure musical film directed by Roy Allen Smith. It is the second sequel to The Land Before Time and the third film in the film franchise.


A meteorite impacts near Great Valley, and causes a rock slide in Mysterious Beyond, which causes a drought. The increasing lack of water causes conflicts between the inhabitants of Great Valley, who have lived in relative peace and harmony until this event.

When the inter-species situation becomes worse and worse, Littlefoot and the others set out to find water to keep the peace in Great Valley. They are pursued by an evil trio of teenage dinosaurs who constantly bully Littlefoot and his friends and plot to take over Great Valley. Their names are Hyp, an ill-tempered Hypsilophodon (the leader of the trio and the "Littlefoot" of his trio), Mutt, a clumsy Muttaburrasaurus (Hyp's assistant and the "Cera and Petrie" of the trio), and Nod, a cowardly Nodosaurus (Hyp's thug and the "Ducky and Spike" of the trio). When Littlefoot and the others find a small lake, the trio emerges and claims the waterhole 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 the pursuit, the bullies are chased away by a wasp, and the children discover the reason behind the blockage of Great Valley's water source.

Before they can return and tell the other inhabitants the truth, lightning hits a tree, and ignites a wildfire that spreads rapidly throughout the valley. The dinosaurs barely make it to safety at the edge of the Mysterious Beyond. When the children tell the adults of their discovery, disagreements about what to do erupts among the adults, preventing them from doing anything to utilize this knowledge. Hyp, Nod, and Mutt set out into Mysterious Beyond on their own to get to the water first.

Anticipating the danger, Hyp and his cohorts have gotten into recognizing commonality with them, Littlefoot and the others follow to help if necessary. It becomes so when Hyp jumps into a tar pit after mistaking it for water. He screams for help, but Mutt and Nod do not save him. Instead, they argue about which one of them must save him. But Littlefoot cuts in, and tells Mutt and Nod that Hyp is stuck in the tar pit. Then, he hatches a plan to pull Hyp out. Finally, Littlefoot and the others pull him out of the tar. Soon afterwards, the adults appear in search of their children, and are finally united by the understanding that it was the unity of their children that helped them find water. It is implied during the discussion that Hyp's own experience of harsh treatment by his father is the cause of his harshness toward others.

Before they are able to take further steps, the herd is attacked by a pack of four Velociraptors. The pursuit leads to a dam of boulders created by the rock slide that caused the drought. As the Sharpteeth and the adults battle, the children, including Hyp and his cronies, work together to break the dam. They all watch as the freed water, and it washes away the Sharpteeth. The water also puts out the fires which are still burning in Great Valley. Finally, they manage to survive and land on the opposite bank. Now the herd is able to return to Great Valley.

The herd returns to the valley, which now has enough water for them. However, when they return home, the fire has destroyed most of their green food. The now devastated plants in the valley are beyond repair from the fire. However, despite being irreparable, the dinosaurs find the spots in the valley where green food still grows. They proportionately move from one verdant area to another and sharing everything they find. This pattern results in the event being called the Time of the Great Giving.

Voice cast[edit]

Songs and soundtrack[edit]

The songs are written by Michelle Brourman and Amanda McBroom.

Reception and criticism[edit]

In a brief Entertainment Weekly review, Michael Sauter criticized some modernisms in the dialogue but said that, "Littlefoot and his friends still retain their youthful charm."[1] In August 2014, the New York Post ranked each of the 13 Land Before Time films released up to that point and placed The Time of the Great Giving at number 2, noting the "genuinely terrifying" velociraptors.[2] The film holds a 60% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average critic score of 5.4 out of 10.[3]

In his 2002 book Welcome to the Desert of the Real, Slovenian Marxist philosopher Slavoj Zizek cited a song from this movie, "When You're Big," as an example of "hegemonic liberal multiculturalist ideology." Quoting the song's lyrics, Zizek wrote, "The same message is repeated again and again: we are all different — some of us are big, some are small; some know how to fight, others know how to flee — but we should learn to live with these differences, to perceive them as something which makes our lives richer." Zizek notes the inconsistency of this vision in the fact that the dinosaurs prey on each other, and have other irreconcilable differences: "The problem, of course, is: how far do we go? It takes all sorts - does that mean nice and brutal, poor and rich, victims and torturers? The reference to the dinosaur kingdom is especially ambiguous here, with its brutal character of animal species devouring each other - is this also one of the things that 'need to be done to make our life fun'? The very inner inconsistency of this vision of the prelapsarian 'land before time' thus bears witness to how the message of collaboration-in-differences is ideology at its purest."[4]

The film won "Best Animated Video Production" at the 24th Annie Awards in 1996,[5] and was nominated for "Best Genre Video Release" at the 22nd Saturn Awards that same year, losing to V: The Final Battle.[6]

Award Date Nomination Nominee Result
Annie Award November 10, 1996 Best Animated Video Production The Land Before Time III Won
Saturn Award June 25, 1996 Best Genre Video Release The Land Before Time III Nominated

Home video release history[edit]

The original VHS release contained a sneak preview of The Land Before Time IV: Journey Through the Mists (1996) prior to the film, which is a music video for the song "It Takes All Sorts".

  • December 12, 1995 (VHS and laserdisc)
  • May 13, 1997 (VHS and laserdisc - The Land Before Time Collection)
  • December 1, 1998 (VHS and laserdisc, the last laserdisc release - Universal Family Features)
  • December 4, 2001 (VHS)
  • December 10, 2002 (DVD)
  • December 2, 2003 (VHS and DVD - 4 Movie Dino Pack (Volume 1) and 9 Movie Dino Pack)
  • September 27, 2005 (DVD - 2 Dino-Mite Movies)


  1. ^ Sauter, Michael (1995-12-08). "Video Review: THE LAND BEFORE TIME III: The Time of the Great Giving". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-12-29.
  2. ^ Miller, Gregory E. (2014-08-13). "A rundown of the best and worst 'The Land Before Time' movies". New York Post. Retrieved 2016-12-30.
  3. ^ "The Land Before TIme III: The Time of the Great Giving (1995)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  4. ^ Zizek, Slavoj (2002). Welcome to the Desert of the Real. Verso Books. pp. 68–70. ISBN 1781680310.
  5. ^ "Annie Awards - 24th Annie Awards". Annie Awards. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  6. ^ "22nd Saturn Awards". IMDb. Retrieved February 15, 2019.

External links[edit]