The Land Before Time IV: Journey Through the Mists

The Land Before Time IV: Journey Through the Mists
Directed by Roy Allen Smith
Produced by
  • Roy Allen Smith
  • Zahra Dowlatabadi
  • Nelson Shin (animation producer)
Written by Dev Ross
Based on Characters
by Judy Freudberg
Tony Geiss
Narrated by John Ingle
Music by
Edited by John Carnochan
Distributed by MCA/Universal Home Video
Release dates
  • December 10, 1996 (1996-12-10)
Running time
74 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Land Before Time IV: Journey Through the Mists is a 1996 direct-to-video animated adventure musical film directed by Roy Allen Smith. This is the fourth Land Before Time sequel directed by Smith and the last to feature any of the original voice cast. This also marked the first animated film that Award-winning cartoonist Roque Ballesteros worked on.


Littlefoot notices a longneck herd entering Great Valley and informs his grandparents, who tell him that the longnecks are their cousins and that they must go and greet them. As the Old One, the leader of the herd, tells the residents of the great valley that her herd has been migratory since a heavy rain period turned their old home into a marshland called "The Land of Mists" and became the home of many dangerous creatures, Littlefoot meets a longneck girl named Ali, and invites her to play. He introduces her to his friends, but as she is not used to associating with diverse species, she is afraid of them. Meanwhile, Grandpa falls ill and the Old One notes that the illness is lethal and that no dinosaurs recover from it unless they eat the petals of the "Night Flower", a flower which can only be found in the Land of Mists. Then she says that sick dinosaurs eat them and are cured... if they eat them in time. Though Littlefoot is warned that the Land of Mists is too dangerous, he feels determined to save his grandfather and asks Ali to take him there. She agrees on the condition that Cera, Ducky, Petrie and Spike don't come; they will slow them down. As the two of them make their way, they pass through a cave and sudden earthshake causes various stalagmites and stalactites to go crashing down, separating them. Ali decides the others will have to help her free Littlefoot and runs off to get them. Littlefoot, in the meantime, tries to find a way out and meets an old Archelon named Archie, who offers to help him dig through the rocks. They are interrupted by a sightless "sharptooth belly-dragger" named Dil and a "sharp beak" named Ichy, who have their minds set to eat them, with Ichy acting as Dil's "eyes". While Ichy and Dil give Archie and Littlefoot chase, Ali and the others dig at the wall from the other side. Ichy and Dil trap Littlefoot in a small area in a cave. Frightened, Littlefoot presses himself against the wall, shivering with fear as Dil prepares to eat him, but Archie comes in and saves Littlefoot from them. After Cera, who initially refused to join out of spite for Ali, joins them, they are able to free Littlefoot and Archie, knocking Ichy and Dil out in the process. Littlefoot explains to them what happened and the night flower is mentioned. Archie shows them a way to the Land of Mists and gives them a reminder to stay close together for defense. In the Land of Mists, Cera becomes separated from the group, who seek help from a mammal Ducky names "Tickles" (for his fur) to find her. Cera falls into a river and is soon pursued by Ichy and Dil. Ali saves Cera and distracts the predators, after which Cera softens towards Ali and Ali explains her prejudiced behavior. When the seven stop for the night, they find that they are in a field of Night Flowers and quickly stock up on them. As they make their way home, Dil and Ichy attack them one more time. During the chase, Ducky falls into a river while retrieving a night flower that fell off, and Spike calls out her name - a surprise to all, since Spike had never spoken before - while Petrie rescues her from the predators. Ichy and Dil get into an argument when Dil mistakes Ichy for Ducky, and tries to eat him. After which they dismiss each other, Dil flings Ichy off, but soon calls for him when a Hydrotherosaurus arrives and gives chase. Meanwhile, the children say goodbye to Tickles, and head home. They give Grandpa Longneck the blossoms, and he gets better upon eating them. Ali's herd then leaves (but not before trying to convince Spike to say goodbye, which he doesn't, as he's simply too interested in consuming his leafy meal). The narrator concludes that Littlefoot and the others will indeed meet Ali again one day.

Voice cast


The songs are written by Leslie Bricusse.

An instrumental, "If We Hold On Together", appears on the soundtrack.

Home video release history

The film was released on December 10, 1996, on VHS and April 1, 2003, on DVD.


Joe Leydon of Variety recommended it to young children who enjoy Barney & Friends.[1] TV Guide rated it 2/5 stars and wrote, "Memories of Don Bluth's engaging original The Land Before Time continue to grow dimmer with this indifferent sequel to the animated dinosaur saga."[2] Michael Sauter of Entertainment Weekly rated a letter grade of "B" and wrote, "But if the formula hasn’t changed, it hasn’t fossilized, either."[3]


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