Land Before Time is a Sad, Messed Up Movie - 3 Things You Notice Rewatching it as an Adult
1. Littlefoot has no father - he is born into a world with only his mother, his grandmother, and grandfather. In fact, there are no other 'long necks' left in the entire world due to deforestation, drought, and other catastrophic events that have led to the end of the Cretaceous Period.
2. The Land Before Time might be about a band of misfit friends finding their way, but it is a highly emotional film. Not long into the movie, Littlefoot's mother is killed by a Tyrannosaurus, and though he grieves and must move on, her spirit lives on to guide him to The Great Valley.
3. The Land Before Time's primary theme is the segregation of races. Right from the start, Littlefoot finds that he shouldn't socialize with the 'three-horns' via Cera's father who forcefully denounces 'long necks' and insists that the two never speak to each other again. Littlefoot questions his mother about the forced segregation, and she agrees, insisting that 'long necks' keep to their own, away from the 'swimmers,' 'fliers,' 'spiketails,' and 'three-horns.'
When disaster strikes (his mother dies, a 'sharp-tooth' dismantles their herd) Littlefoot realizes that he needs the friendship of the other dinosaurs to find safety and a new home.