PETE’S DRAGON – review

Pete’s Dragon

When I heard that Disney was doing a remake of the 1970’s Pete’s Dragon I have to say I was not very happy at all. As a kid and even as an adult the original Pete’s Dragon is one of my favorite Disney Movies. I don’t know if it’s the music or just the pure innocence of the movie itself but I have always enjoyed this movie. In recent years I have become a little irritated with Disney films and their consent need to upset and sadden both kiddos and their parents. Someone is always dying either a parent or sibling or who knows with Disney, just know that someone is going to die. With the original movie Pete is in fact an orphan but you are just given this information. The whereabouts of his parents are never really discussed. By doing this it leaves a little less trauma and a little more innocence for those watching. Unfortunately they do not do the same for this version of Pete’s Dragon.pete2

The movie opens with little Pete, played by Oakes Fegley, about 5 years old, in the backseat of his parents car reading his favorite book “Elliot Gets Lost” while they drive and listen. Both mom and dad are in the front seat talking and listening to Pete read when suddenly a deer jumps out and dad loses control of the car. All you see is little Pete in the backseat of the car as the car keeps flipping over and over again.  The next thing you see is a 5 year old Pete alone outside the car with his backpack and book. Obviously his parents did not survive and he is now left to find his own way in the woods. Not more than a few minutes in the woods and Pete find himself face to face with a pack of wolves. Thankfully an unexpected friend shows up to help Pete in his time of need. A very large green dragon who Pete names affectionately, “Elliot”.petes3

The movie moves forward 6 years to present day where we hear about a song and folklore of a story about the dragons that live high in the forest where no one can find them. Someone who has encountered the so called “Dragon” is Meacham, played by Robert Redford, who had a first hand experience with the dragon when he was just a little bit younger. All the kids from the area come around to hear his stories, most are very attentive and willing to listen with the exception of forest ranger Grace, played by Bryce Dallas Howard, who is also Meacham’s daughter. She is very connected to the forest and everything that lives within, she is positive that nothing more than the usual animals live in this forest. Pairing up with Grace in a very odd relationship is one of the owners of the local sawmill, the same mill responsible for tearing down the forest Grace lives to protect, is Jack, played by Wes Bentley who is Grace’s boyfriend. Jack is the father of an 11 year old little girl names Natalie, played by Oona Laurence.  Gavin, Jack’s brother and partner for the business has decided that he will be moving forward on a piece of land that has not been approved to be cleared. While discussing the issue with Jack and Grace, Natalie decides to hop out of the car and take a look around. That’s when her eye catches the vision of little boy. Knowing that her eyes aren’t playing tricks on her and that he really is there in front of her she decides to follow him and get his name. While trying to do this so not only gets hurts but ends up getting Pete hurt and captured as well. Since Pete decided to go out before Elliot woke up for the day Pete is not in a very scary situation. His best friend and protector of 6 years have no idea where he is and Pete has no idea how to function without Elliot.pete5

After a very traumatic experience Grace convinces Pete that he is safe and that he will be okay. She promises him to return to his home in the forest in the morning if he can just stay the evening with her. When they return to the forest they find that Elliot is in fact real and not just an imaginary friend. Unfortunately others have caught wind of Elliot’s existence as well and they are there to capture him.

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I don’t want to spoil the rest of the movie for you so if you want to know the rest you will have to see the movie for yourself. I have to say I was pleased with this movie. I had fully anticipated not liking the movie at all and was happily surprised. This is nothing like the original movie. Elliott is so cute and you immediately fall in love with him, it has just one downfall as far as I’m concerned and that’s Death. I hate sitting in a movie and hearing all the little kids around me sob, yes sob. I just don’t see why that is necessary. There is enough trauma and stress and scary things in this world why add more to a kid’s movie..? Overall I give the movie an A, it is a very good movie, its fun to watch and it ends they way I thought it should. I just hate the way they came to that ending but that’s Disney for you.

Tiffany Watts

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