Rooter, voiced by the late Pat Hingle, is one of the minor characters in The Land Before Time film series. He is referred to merely as a "mole-like" dinosaur, but upon further inspection, bears resemblance to Scolosaurus. He has only appeared in the original The Land Before Time, but is viewed by many as one of the more powerful characters from the film.
Role in the series
After Littlefoot was orphaned, he met Rooter, who cantankerously admonished him for crying. When Rooter had learned of the true reason for Littlefoot's tears — that being his mother's death — he softened toward Littlefoot and advised him in these words: "It is nobody's fault. The Great Circle of Life has begun. But you see, not all of us arrive together at the end." When Littlefoot asked for further advice, because of missing his mother, Rooter replied, "You'll always miss her. But she'll always be with you, as long as you remember the things she taught you. In a way, you'll never be apart, for you are still a part of each other." When Littlefoot complained of a stomachache, Rooter said, "Well, that too will go in time, little feller. Only in time." He then departed, leaving Littlefoot.
Though it was Rooter's only appearance, Bron would later remember somebody telling him of what happened to Littlefoot's mother. Some believe the dinosaur he mentioned to be Rooter, but Bron also mentioned he heard no word about Littlefoot from this dinosaur. However, he may have meant that Rooter did not know what happened to Littlefoot after they parted ways. Rooter's voice actor was also the narrator of the first film, Pat Hingle.
Due to his short screentime in his one appearance, very little is known about Rooter, but it is shown that he can be gruff when disturbed. At the same time, he is very sympathetic, indicated by the way he consoles Littlefoot over the loss of his mother. His words about the Circle of Life also imply that he is spiritually enlightened.
Concept and creation
Rooter was added to the film to soften, at the suggestion of psychologists, the emotional blow from the intensely frightening Sharptooth attack and the scene depicting the death of Littlefoot's mother.
- In the original movie Rooter is animated by Gary J. Perkovac along with character key assistant, Rusty Stoll.
- In The Land Before Time: The Illustrated Story he is referred to as an old turtle.
- Also in this book, he is seen without the tan parts on his head, and his spikes and horn are blunter.
- It's possible that he was the narrator of the Land Before Time series, although his voice actor, Pat Hingle, is not the narrator after the original film.