Some films fill you with emotion; making you cry and laugh, cheer and jeer, and leave you genuinely awestruck.
Pete’s Dragon is no such film.
…But it’s still pretty
A re-creation of the 1977 original, Pete’s Dragon features stunning visuals, some moments of outstanding acting, and a pleasant original score, but somehow fails to “wow”.
Our story follows Pete (Oakes Fegley), a young boy who loses his parents and becomes stranded in the woods. Upon meeting Elliot, a furry green dragon, they become dear friends and begin to thrive in their forest home.
Inevitably, they are discovered by other humans, namely a park ranger, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), who doubted the existence of dragons until Elliot. Along with her father (Robert Redford) and her family, they begin to domesticate the endearingly wild Pete. When Elliot is threatened by a cookie-cutter villain (Karl Urban) who wants to capture and exploit him, the team bands together to stop him. It’s a plotline we’ve all seen before, but it’s certainly not monotonous enough to criticize; it’s a classic, and we love it every time we see it.
The acting was reasonable across the board, with Fegley and Redford as clear standouts: Fegley balanced feral curiosity and awe beautifully, while Redford’s old-man-who-knows-everything role added so much credibility and mystery to the plotline.
Pete’s dragon is a charming film, but lacks the strong emotional side for which Disney is infamous. You probably won’t cry, or laugh hysterically, or get up and cheer for the hero, but you’ll enjoy yourself. It’s perfect for a friendly, relaxing summer afternoon with a troop of children.
Go answer the call of the wild, Pete’s Dragon is now in theaters!