Pete’s Dragon tells the tale of a boy raised by a mysterious dragon following the untimely death of his parents.
After a car crash leaves 4 year-old Pete an orphan he stumbles into a nearby forest. Little does he know that he’s about to meet a mythical creature that will change his life.
Pete encounters a dragon. After determining that the dragon won’t eat him, Pete names him Elliott after a character in his storybook. Although Elliott cannot speak the big green dragon makes it clear that he will take care of the boy from now on.
Skip forward six years and progress in the nearby town has started driving workmen into the forest the unlikely friends call home. Their days of flying high above the clouds and playing fetch and hide and seek soon come to an end. Instead they must focus their efforts on protecting Elliott from capture. Luckily he possesses the power of invisibility to call on when he needs to escape his enemies.
But eventually reality comes knocking and Pete (Oakes Fegley) is brought into contact with the modern world and other people. He’s only ever known his parents and his memories of them are fading fast. Apart from that Elliott is all the young boy has. The 10 year-old has been away from his own kind for so long that he seems feral to the townsfolk.
Local forest ranger Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) has heard stories of a magical dragon for years from her father. However it isn’t until she meets Pete that she realises that her father’s stories were real.
While Grace, her father and Pete set out to discover the truth about the remarkable dragon other people from the town set out to capture Elliott for profit. It becomes a good old fashioned race against time to save the gigantic dragon from a life of isolation.
The remake of the 1977 Disney favourite Pete’s Dragon is a delight to watch. It reminded me of a time when the term ‘Disney movie’ meant something truly unique and magical.
That being said there hasn’t been such a dramatic beginning to a Disney movie since Bambi so if you’re going along with a small child you might want to forewarn them or simply offer a hand hold.
I watched the original as a child and was fascinated by mischievous animated dragon. This re-imagining uses the same mix of live-action and animation to bring the story to life.
The wonderful effects help to bring this enchanting and magical story to a new generation in a completely captivating way making it a must-see.
By Ruth Walker