The Land Before Time Auction Brings Forth Major Nostalgia

In 1988, The Land Before Time debuted with quite a list of major names attached. Directed by Don Bluth and produced by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, this movie is imprinted in the hearts and minds of multiple generations. The first film in the series is the most iconic, of course. It is remembered for its intense journey, emotional core, and cathartic ending, but this animated dinosaur story also spawned a fruitful franchise of sequels. So far, there have been a whopping fourteen films in the series, with the latest released in 2016. Let's dial back to the original The Land Before Time, though, to show off a beautiful piece of animation nostalgia currently up for auction at Heritage.

The Land Before Time Petrie, Spike, Ducky and Littlefoot Cut Scene Color Model Drawing. Credit: Heritage Auctions
The Land Before Time Petrie, Spike, Ducky and Littlefoot Cut Scene Color Model Drawing. Credit: Heritage Auctions

You can see a photograph of the full production cel here:

The Land Before Time Petrie, Spike, Ducky and Littlefoot Cut Scene Color Model Drawing. Credit: Heritage Auctions
The Land Before Time Petrie, Spike, Ducky and Littlefoot Cut Scene Color Model Drawing. Credit: Heritage Auctions

The most interesting thing, though, is this next bit. Included with the production/color model cel is a color model drawing that breaks down the character models into fine details. As a fan of the movie myself who went on to watch more of the direct-to-home-video sequels than was reasonable, I think this is quite a cool piece of animation history.

The Land Before Time Petrie, Spike, Ducky and Littlefoot Cut Scene Production/Color Model Cel. Credit: Heritage Auctions
The Land Before Time Petrie, Spike, Ducky and Littlefoot Cut Scene Production/Color Model Cel. Credit: Heritage Auctions

The Land Before Time Petrie, Spike, Ducky and Littlefoot Cut Scene Production/Color Model Cel with Color Model Drawing (Don Bluth, 1988).

 Here's a light moment in this sometimes very dramatic animated feature, as Cera tries to coax Spike with a branch of berries. This rare multi-character hand-painted 16 field cel is from one of the film's deleted extended sequences where the group discovers Spike, known by fans as the "Berry Scene." This image was used in The Land Before Time: Friends in Need storybook on page 12. The middle image of a sleeping Spike measures approximately 4.5" x 3"; the background is a scene-matched print, added for presentation purposes. With the cel is a hand-colored print that served as a color model drawing. Very rare! Condition is Very Good with minor handling wear.

This listing is live at Heritage Auctions right now. If you are a Land Before Time Fan, this nostalgic production cel and color model drawing is a perfect way to cherish your childhood memories.

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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