Disney’s Pete’s Dragon opened in theaters yesterday, August 12th (2016.) Personally, I’m hearing mixed reviews. Those that have seen it say it changes the original storyline too much. Those that haven’t seen the original, find the movie captivating. What do we think? Read on…
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 Elliott. And from Pete’s descriptions, Elliott 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. Disney’s Pete’sDragon opened in U.S. theaters on August 12, 2016.
I haven’t seen the original Pete’s Dragon film all the way through – and frankly, I don’t remember much of it. So the recent film was all new to me. I found it to be very well done… Elliot is very realistic – the computer graphics are fabulous. The storyline held my attention – it was just the right amount of time. And the messages were relayed clearly and well done. The importance of family was displayed throughout the movie, as well as the message of believing in something you haven’t seen – just because you haven’t seen it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It had some tear-jerking moments as well! No worries – they are brief and there’s a happy ending for all!
The Child Factor
Totally appropriate for kids of all ages! However, there is one scene where the Dragon is shot with tranquilizer darts. Naturally, this puts Elliot to sleep… however, there were a couple of kids in our theater who thought Elliot was dead at that point – and they burst into sobs. (Is it horrible that I was amused by the kids crying?) Regardless, whether you prep your child or not, they’ll realize soon enough that Elliot doesn’t die from the darts shot at him. Other than that particular scene, kids will find the movie adventurous, entertaining, and parents will be pleased that there isn’t any foul language!
Stay After the Credits?
There’s no extra scene or fun audio after the credits end. But as I always suggest, stay through the credits anyway and pay respect to all of those who worked on the movie.
Disclaimer: I was provided with a complimentary advanced screening of Pete’s Dragon in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was received.