The Land Before Time IV: Journey Through the Mists

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The Land Before Time IV: Journey Through the Mists
Directed byRoy Allen Smith
Produced byRoy Allen Smith
Written byDev Ross
Based onCharacters
by Judy Freudberg
Tony Geiss
Narrated byJohn Ingle
Music by
Edited byWarren Taylor
Distributed byMCA/Universal Home Video
Release date
  • December 10, 1996 (1996-12-10)
Running time
74 minutes
CountryUnited States[2]

The Land Before Time IV: Journey Through the Mists is a 1996 American direct-to-video animated adventure musical film produced by Universal Animation Studios (formerly known as Universal Cartoon Studios) and directed by Roy Allen Smith. This is the third and last Land Before Time sequel directed by Smith, as well as the last to feature any of the original voice cast. The film received mixed to negative reviews, but was nominated for two Annie awards.[citation needed]


Littlefoot notices a Longneck herd entering the Great Valley and informs his grandparents, who tell him that the Longnecks are their cousins and that they must go to greet them. Upon the herd's arrival, the Old One, the herd's leader, tells the Great Valley's residents that her herd has been migratory ever since a heavy period of rain turned their old home into a marshland called "The Land of Mists" and became the home of many dangerous creatures. Later, Littlefoot meets a female Longneck 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 becomes ill. The Old One notes that she has seen that illness many times; and says that it is lethal to any dinosaur unless they eat the golden petals of the Night Flower. She continues that sick dinosaurs eat them and are cured if they eat them on time. The "Night Flower" only grows in the Land of Mists. Though Littlefoot is warned that the Land of Mists is too dangerous, he becomes determined to save his grandfather and asks Ali to take him there. She agrees on the condition that Cera, Ducky, Petrie, and Spike do not come along, claiming that they will slow them down. As the two of them make their way, they pass through a cave and a sudden earthshake causes various stalagmites and stalactites to crash down, separating them. Ali returns to the Valley and convinces Littlefoot's friends to help her free him. Meanwhile, Littlefoot tries to find a way out and meets an old Archelon named Archie, who helps him dig through the rocks.

As they work, Littlefoot and Archie are interrupted by a mostly-blind Deinosuchus named Dil and a Ichthyornis named Ichy, who intend to eat them. Dil and Ichy pursue Littlefoot and Archie, but are knocked out when Ali and Littlefoot's friends dig a hole in the rock wall and send rocks tumbling down on them. Archie (who helps the children escape Dil and Ichy for the first time) shows Littlefoot and his friends a way to the Land of Mists and reminds them to stay close together before departing. In the Land of Mists, Cera is separated from the group. The others meet a Megazostrodon that Ducky names Tickles because of his fur, which tickles her when she hugs him. Immediately after, Tickles helps them find Cera. However, Cera falls into a river and is pursued by Dil and Ichy, who have now recovered from their prior knockout in the cave. Dil and Ichy both arrive (surviving their prior knockout), and Ichy thanks the children for showing him the shortcut; the shortcut leading him "to dinner", by breaking the vines from Cera's rescuing contraption (which the others had made), and sending Cera flying back into the river so she can be pursued by him and Dil. Ali saves Cera and distracts the predators, after which Cera softens towards Ali. Later, Ali explains her prejudicial behavior, having never interacted with species outside of her own, but remarks that her attitude towards Littlefoot's friends has now changed.

When the seven stop for the night, they realize they are in a field of Night Flowers after they bloom, and quickly stock up on them. As they make their way home, Dil and Ichy return for another attack. During a chase, Petrie is grabbed by Ichy but rescued thanks to Tickles, who tricks Ichy into biting Dil's tail rather than Petrie. Dil becomes upset at Ichy, but they quickly resume the chase, during which Ducky falls into a river and becomes unconscious. Spike then speaks for the first time by calling out Ducky's name, which awakens her as she is about to be consumed by Dil. Ducky escapes, and Spike uses his tail to knock Ichy toward Dil's open jaws as she tries to consume Ducky.

Dil chomps Ichy by accident, mistaking him for Ducky. He kicks on the roof of her mouth and she lets him back out, and he accuses her for almost eating him. The two then get into another argument, declaring that they have had enough of each other and should separate forever. Dil swats Ichy away with her tail, and tells herself that it should teach him. Finally, she is pursued by a plesiosaur called a Hydrotherosaurus. It unknowingly saves Littlefoot and his friends by chasing Dil away. Dil desperately cries out for Ichy while being chased. Her fate becomes unknown; as it is unknown whether or not she was eaten by the Hydrotherosaurus.

With the predators gone, Littlefoot and his friends say goodbye to Tickles and head home. They give Grandpa the blossoms, and he gets better a few hours later upon eating them. Ali then leaves with her herd, but not before trying to convince Spike to say goodbye, which he does not, as he is too interested in consuming leaves. The narrator concludes that Littlefoot and the others would indeed meet Ali again one day.

Voice cast[edit]


The songs are written by Leslie Bricusse.

An instrumental version of the song "If We Hold on Together" appears on the soundtrack.

Home video release history[edit]

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."[3] 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."[4] In August 2014, the New York Post ranked each of the 13 Land Before Time films released up to that point and placed Journey Through the Mists at number 7. The New York Post praised the character of Ali for adding "a little more girl power" to the series.[5]


  1. ^ a b Leydon, Joe (1996-12-22). "Review: 'The Land Before Time IV: Journey Through the Mists'". Variety. Retrieved 2016-04-04.
  2. ^ "The Land Before Time IV: The Journey Through the Mists (1996)". AllMovie. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  3. ^ "Land Before Time Iv: Journey Through The Mists". TV Guide. Retrieved 2016-04-04.
  4. ^ Sauter, Michael (1996-12-13). "The Land Before Time Iv: Journey Through the Mists". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
  5. ^ 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.

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