Grandpa and Grandma Longneck, voiced by Bill Erwin, Kenneth Mars, Linda Gary and Miriam Flynn, are characters in the Land Before Time films and television series. They are each Apatosaurus, which is one of many species referred to as "Longnecks" by the characters in the franchise. They are Littlefoot's maternal grandparents - due to being the parents of his mother - and his primary caregivers after their daughter's death. They act as parents to Littlefoot; giving him advice when needed, and take the responsibility of protecting him very seriously.
Their real names have not yet been revealed, as nearly everyone in the Great Valley refers to them as "Grandma and Grandpa Longneck"; even each other, and Topps (a.k.a. Mr. Threehorn) continually refers to Grandpa as "Longneck". Bron calls Grandpa "Papa Longneck".
The grown-ups don't usually have merchandise. Schleich made an Apatosaurus figure that looks like Grandpa and Grandma Longneck, but the Schleich Apatosaurus doesn't have an underbelly color. Safari Ltd. made a Apatosaurus figure that looks like Grandma and Grandpa Longneck.
Position in the Great Valley
They provide a voice of reason in the Great Valley, trying to make peace between the dinosaurs when times become hard. Detailed analysis of the film series shows that Littlefoot's grandfather has assumed a leadership position among the dinosaurs of the Valley, performing many important roles such as:
- Welcoming visitors and newcomers. He is seen doing this in The Land Before Time IV: Journey through the Mists, when the migrating herd of Longnecks (who happen to be related to Grandma and Grandpa Longneck) arrives, and in The Land Before Time VI: The Secret of Saurus Rock, when Doc shows up, and saves Littlefoot from falling off a cliff during a game.
- Passing judgement on criminals, which he is shown doing in The Land Before Time VII: The Stone of Cold Fire. He is the one who decides that Pterano shall, instead of his original punishment, be banished to the Mysterious Beyond for a reduced period of five cold times (or winters) on account that Pterano helped to save the children from the erupting volcano, Threehorn Peak, and to bring them back to the Valley.
- Deciding a course of action for the herds of the Valley; seen in The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island, when he points out the skeleton of a Saurolophus. He mentions that it was heading away from the direction the Great Valley residents are heading in after a swarm of Leaf Gobblers (locusts) devoured all the green food in the Great Valley. The Saurolophus, (or "duckbill", as referred to by the TLBT characters) starved to death, so Grandpa Longneck deduces that there is no food in the direction they're heading, and suggests that they alter course.
- Managing natural resources such as water; also seen in The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island.
- Providing for the common defense in times of danger. This is seen in The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure, and in The Land Before Time III: The Time of the Great Giving; both in which he fights (with help from a few other adults) against the Sharptooth.
It is important to note that, while he does have a leadership position in the Great Valley, all of the dinosaurs help to make decisions, proven by his quote in The Stone of Cold Fire: "Then, as in now, we made our decisions as a group, no one opinion outweighing the other". In The Mysterious Island, Grandpa Longneck mentions how "they had lived outside the valley before" and knows much about Doc in The Secret of Saurus Rock which may hint that he had prior knowledge of the Great Valley and may have been or lived in the valley during his younger days.
Grandpa Longneck is also shown to be a very loving husband to his wife (a song from part IV indicates that institutionalized marriage does exist in the Land Before Time universe) and a kindly grandfather-figure not only to Littlefoot but to all the young dinosaurs of the Valley. He, in fact, has been known to tell children stories in the evenings, usually near a geothermal heat-vent (meant to represent the dinosaur equivalent of telling stories around the campfire). In The Land Before Time VI: The Secret of Saurus Rock, when he is first seen doing so, he reveals that most of the stories he tells are stories he heard from his own grandfather when he was a child.
It is implied in The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration, when Littlefoot first meets his father, Bron, that Littlefoot's Mother was the daughter of Grandma and Grandpa Longneck, as Bron refers to Grandpa as "Papa Longneck" instead of "Father". This is also confirmed in a storybook of the first movie.
Due to Grandpa's kindly and amiable demeanor, it can be assumed that he was a good father to his late daughter. He also gets along well with Bron, his son-in-law.
As seen in Land Before Time, after being separated from Littlefoot, his grandparents gave up hope of ever seeing either him or their daughter again and went searching for the Valley. On the way, they met other dinosaurs who joined their search for the Valley as well, not unlike how their children also found and joined each other. Littlefoot was reunited with his grandparents and they were devastated over the death of their daughter but they were happy to have their daughter's son back. It is likely at this time that he was formally introduced to Topps and assumed a small leadership position of the combined herds. As of the moment, Grandpa and Grandma Longneck live happily in the Great Valley, though they occasionally meet with relatives as in the fourth movie or leave and coincidentally meet with other longnecks as in the tenth movie. It is implied that their cousins, the migrating herd of Longnecks, are related to them on Grandma Longneck's side.
Grandpa Longneck has been shown to be rather undecided in his beliefs. This is quite unlike his daughter, who stated that "some things you see with your eyes; others, you see with your heart" and whose ghost in the first film shows that the "supermundane" does indeed exist in their world. In The Secret of Saurus Rock he tells the children legends of heroic dinosaurs and of the mystical Saurus Rock that protects the Valley, but when asked whether the stories are really true, claims not to know. However, during The Great Migration he intuitively knows that he must go and that he must re-enact the longneck creation myth. Grandma Longneck is a lot firmer in her beliefs; showing skepticism towards the legends that Grandpa Longneck tells the children.
In The Land Before Time III: The Time of the Great Giving he was enraged at Cera's father who called his grandson a bad influence. His wife was also horrified at this insult, showing that they are protective and will not tolerate unfair accusations against family members.
Grandma and Grandpa Longneck, though among the less bigoted residents in the Great Valley, are shown to have a prejudiced view on Sharptooth, with Grandpa Longneck saying they are not very smart. However, he is not so judgemental towards them as his son-in-law, who despises them as cowards. Neither Grandma nor Grandpa Longneck appear to mind Chomper, though.
Character-animation designer Bunis Yang and Kenneth Mars, the previous voice provider for Grandpa Longneck, received a DVD Premiere Award nomination for Best Animated Character Performance in 2003, for the character of Grandpa. The nomination, however, lost to voice actress Anjelica Huston, animation directors Gino Nichele and Sebastian Brodin, and character designers Jean Gillmore and Sean Newton, for the character Gothel from Barbie as Rapunzel.
Bonnie Sayers, on Epinion.com, said that one of the factors she thought best about The Land Before Time IV: Journey through the Mists was the emphasis made on the family love between Littlefoot and his grandfather.
- In the first movie, Grandma Longneck had the same darker coloration on her muzzle as Littlefoot's Mother while Grandapa Longneck and Littlefoot had the same lighter pattern on theirs. This showed a hint towards gender identification in the species by the animators. You can tell the two apart in the first film's scene where they chuckle at Littlefoot's new fondness for a treestar. Grandma Longneck begins to chuckle first in the foreground and Grandpa Longneck follows in the background. Later films and the television show would reverse these markings so that Littlefoot's Mother looks like Grandpa Longneck and Littlefoot looks like Grandma Longneck.
- Grandpa Longneck's health appears to be frailer than that of his wife, although he is shown to still be a strong fighter.
- In The Land Before Time IV: Journey Through the Mists, Grandpa Longneck appears to doubt Grandma Longneck's ability to protect Littlefoot on her own, claiming she is not as strong as she once was. Despite this, Grandma Longneck has been shown to fight alongside her husband both before and after this statement, most notably in The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure, and The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration.
- Grandpa and Grandma Longneck have appeared in all The Land Before Time films.
- Kenneth Mars, who provided the voice of Grandpa Longneck also did a voice in another dinosaur movie. He was the voice of Professor Screweyes, the villain in the 1993 Steven Spielberg Dinosaur Cartoon Movie We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story and he also voiced the Fairy King in Thumbelina and King Triton in Disney's The Little Mermaid.
- An Apatosaurus who looks like Grandpa Longneck appeared during the beginning of The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure.
- Grandpa Longneck has fought the most Sharpteeth in the Land Before Time series.
- Grandma and Grandpa Longneck never had speaking role in their debut, yet they were heard laughing with their grandson as he had his first tree star.
- It is unknown who voiced Grandma Longneck in the first movie as only Grandpa Longneck was included in the credits as late Bill Erwin.
- Grandpa Longneck appears in the books "The Land Before Time: The Illustrated Story", "Friends in Need", "When We Grow Up", and "Grandpa and Me".
- Grandma Longneck appears in the books "The Land Before Time: The Illustrated Story", "Friends in Need" and "The Great, Beautiful Valley".
|Main family members in The Land Before Time|
|Grandma and Grandpa Longneck | Ali | Bron | Littlefoot's Mother | Shorty | Old One | Daddy Topps | Dinah & Dana | Tria | Cera's Siblings | Tricia | Mama Swimmer | Papa Swimmer | Ducky and Spike's Siblings | Mama Flyer | Petrie's Siblings | Pterano | Chomper's Father | Chomper's Mother | Ruby's Parents | Ruby's Siblings ||