Growing up, I loved the original Pete’s Dragon movie from 1977, where Elliott the dragon was animated and Helen Reddy sang the signature song “Candle on the Water.” As a Disney-loving family, I saw it so many times as a kid.
Now, Disney has released a new Pete’s Dragon that’s live action (with a computer animated dragon this time) and with a very different, much more serious but heartfelt tone.
I attended an advance screening for this movie with my kids and am so glad we went. The movie is similar in some ways (orphaned boy gets raised by a dragon for several years in the woods), but the plot is rugged and dirty, yet still playful and touching. Compared to the original, it’s magical but actually believable, and is so innocent I have no idea why it’s rated PG. The dragon gets shot, mad and breathes fire, which I guess can unsettle some younger ones. Actually, I think it’s PG to get the actual target age group for this movie in the theaters – kids who aren’t that young but wouldn’t willingly go to see a G rated movie (God forbid they see something like that).
There were two things that really made this movie – Oakes Fedley, who played Pete, and the special effects. Oakes Fedley did an amazing job for his age, and combined with the effects of the dragon, the characters of Pete and his dragon were really brought to life. Bring tissues (I went through several!) and keep the younger kids at home – there’s nothing offensive and some may enjoy it, but there’s very little that appeals to kids preschool age or younger. My 8-year-old was totally wrapped up in the movie, but it was a bit over my 5-year-old’s head. Still, the magic of the story was worth bringing both my kids to see.
For the effects, it’s definitely worth seeing in the theater. For everything else, it’s worth seeing, period. Make a family night out of it.
For some Pete’s Dragon fun, print out some FREE coloring sheets and activity pages!
Plus, enjoy these video clips starting Bryce Dallas Howard, who played Grace (the equivalent of Helen Reddy’s role from the original movie):
“Bryce Dallas How-To” with Bryce Dallas Howard – Dragon Cat Costume!
“Bryce Dallas How-To” with Bryce Dallas Howard – Dragon Cupcakes!
Like PETE’S DRAGON on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyPetesDragon
Follow PETE’S DRAGON on Twitter: https://twitter.com/disneypetes
Follow PETE’S DRAGON on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/disneypetesdragon/
Visit Disney Animation on Tumblr: http://disneyanimation.tumblr.com/
Visit the official PETE’S DRAGON website here: http://movies.disney.com/petes-dragon-2016
PETE’S DRAGON flies into theatres everywhere on August 12th!