Disney’s Pete’s Dragon Review
For years, old wood-carver Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) has delighted local children with his tales of the fierce dragon that resides deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. To his daughter, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), who works as a forest ranger, these stories are little more than tall tales…until she meets Pete (Oakes Fegley). Pete is a mysterious 10-year-old with no family and no home who claims to live in the woods with a giant, green dragon named Elliot. And from Pete’s descriptions, Elliot seems remarkably similar to the dragon from Mr. Meacham’s stories. With the help of Natalie (Oona Laurence), an 11-year-old girl whose father Jack (Wes Bentley) owns the local lumber mill, Grace sets out to determine where Pete came from, where he belongs, and the truth about this dragon.
As a child, I watched the 1977 version of Pete’s Dragon. Although the details are few, one thing is for sure…the thought of the movie brings a smile to my face and gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. As I watched Disney’s reimaging of Pete’s Dragon I found myself reliving the same feelings all over again.
There is something remarkable about the relationship between Pete and Elliot. Pete is left alone in the woods only to find a gentle giant to take him under his wings. Even though their relationship is unusual, it is heartwarming and almost believable thanks to our relationships with our pets. To many of us, pets are family just like Elliot and Pete were family. As I watched this movie, I felt drawn to the tiny family of two and part of me wanted it to remain the same.
As far as characters, I was delighted to see Robert Redford, Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic Park 2015), and some other familiar faces. Oakes Fegley (Pete) makes his starring role debut in this movie and I predict that this is just the beginning for this adorable actor.
Compared to the recent Disney films, The Jungle Books and Zootopia, this movie isn’t as action packed. I can see young children becoming restless or inattentive, and possibly a little frightened by some of Elliot’s moves. For these reasons, my recommendation for this movie is 8 years and up
Pete’s Dragon is rated PG with a running time of 1 hour and 43 minutes. The movie launches into theaters on Friday, August 12.