Pete’s Dragon is back, but a little bit different than you remembered if you saw the 1977 Disney musical version. In this modern day Pete’s Dragon there is still a young boy named Pete (Oakes Fegley) and a dragon named Elliot. Elliot happens to be green and that’s about where most of the similarities stop. Instead of being on the Eastern seaboard, this version takes place in the Pacific Northwest. There, an old man named Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) has told stories of seeing a dragon in the woods for decades. His daughter Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), believes these to be tall tales. She is a ranger and has never seen a dragon in the woods. All of this changes when her path crosses with young Pete and their lives are forever changed.
The effects for Pete’s Dragon were fairly solid, but not perfect. There is always the concern when using CGI characters that things will look too digital. For the most part, this wasn’t a huge issue. The filming locations were beautiful and they created a beautiful backdrop for this story. The sound effects did their job and did not distract from the movie at all. My main critique has to be with some of the visual effects that left me wanting more.
There were several extras included with Pete’s Dragon. Some of them I found very charming and liked better than I liked the movie! Here is a look at what was offered:
- Notes to Self: A Director’s Diary – Director David Lowery narrates the personal diary he kept through the filming of “Pete’s Dragon” in this intimate and fascinating look at the movie’s making.
- Making Magic – Discover fun facts about what went into designing this spectacular, lovable dragon.
- “Disappearing” Moments – The director shares a montage of the film’s “lost” scenes.
- Welcome to New Zealand – Experience the wonders of New Zealand and learn why it’s a magical place to visit … and to make a movie.
- Audio Commentary – Gain an insider perspective from director David Lowery, co-writer Toby Halbrooks and actors Oakes Fegley and Oona Laurence.
- Music Videos: “Nobody Knows” by The Lumineers & “Something Wild” by Lindsey Stirling featuring Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
Overall, the extras included with Pete’s Dragon were enjoyable to watch. The Director’s Diary added an extra layer to the story and it was interesting to see how this movie was pulled together. In some ways I found the extras to be more enjoyable than the movie itself!
Pete’s Dragon is a cute movie. It is definitely not a direct remake of the 1977 original. The characters are likable, Elliott is lovable, and the movie itself is pretty. However, this was a movie that just didn’t hit the mark for me. The story wasn’t the strongest. It didn’t have the greatest pacing in the world. It is a cute family movie but it isn’t one that will go out and win any awards. It is family friendly, wholesome, and it has a happy ending. Pete’s Dragon is a safe bet for a family film during the Holiday season.
Here is a look at a few of the extras included with Pete’s Dragon: