“Pete’s Dragon” stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, Oona Laurence, and Robert Redford. Released on August 12, 2016, the film is about an orphaned boy who is raised by a friendly green dragon.
The film is directed by David Lowery, who also directed Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. It is a remake of the 1977 film of the same name. There are several Disney movies that I grew up watching, but Pete’s Dragon is a different story. The last time I watched the original version was a few years ago, and I haven’t watched it as much as the animated classics from the Mouse House. This latest remake continues the trend of Disney’s live-action takes of their classic library, most of them being animated. However, Pete’s Dragon wasn’t nearly as memorable as the animated classics like The Lion King or Beauty and the Beast, which could provide a bit of a challenge for the Disney team as to luring in families. So how does this one stack up compared to their other live-action remakes? To be honest, very well.
The cast delivered some pretty good performances, with Fegley portraying the lovable title character alongside Bryce Dallas Howard as a forest ranger named Grace and Robert Redford as her father. The way they portray this story in the remake is completely different compared to the story in the original version. This recent version is not a musical, but rather a heartwarming story about a boy who lives in the forest for six years with a dragon and learning to adapt back into society. In other words, it’s not a musical fairy tale. It’s a drama...that has a dragon in it. Speaking of which, the design for Elliot, the dragon who raises Pete, was very impressive...and cute. Yes, I know I shouldn’t be calling a vicious dragon cute, but look at him. He’s like a playable puppy. A giant, green, furry, fire-breathing puppy...with wings...that can turn invisible...Who knew dragons can turn invisible? Disney is known for creating live-action dramas that make people’s hearts feel warm inside, and this film is no different. I cannot tell you how many times this film made me smile wide. That’s how I know that Disney is hitting the right notes. However, I do feel that this film does have certain scenes that may bore some young viewers who were looking for a lot of fantasy elements. There is some fantasy elements in there, like a dragon, but there is also a lot of drama elements too. Nonetheless, it still captures the warm and magical feeling that Disney is known for. The story is executed very well with supporting messages about family and friendship.
Overall, the 2016 remake of “Pete’s Dragon” is a simple, heartwarming film that will make your hearts soar with its lovable performances and storytelling. Not only that, but it also proves that David Lowery, the man behind two adult dramas, Deadroom and Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, has a knack for family dramas as well. If you’re in a mood for something that makes you feel good inside or if you’re familiar with the original Pete’s Dragon, I would say give this one a watch.