Disney has been remaking their animated films lately with ‘The Jungle Book’ and ‘Cinderella’, now they are remaking their live-action films with ‘Pete’s Dragon’, without the musical numbers this time around. To be honest, I wasn’t excited for this film as I thought the trailer was similar to ‘The Jungle Book’, but after seeing the film, was it better than I thought it was going to be or is it a pale in comparison remake?
‘Pete’s Dragon’ follows a “five year old” boy Pete who is lost is in the forest, and becomes fast friends with Elliot the dragon. Six years since, he is found by a park ranger named Grace who takes Pete in and learns and discovers how Pete has survived by himself all this time.
‘Pete’s Dragon’ is an extremely enjoyable family film. There aren’t really messages for kids to learn, but does surround itself with the theme of friendship and being there for one another as a family. The film is slow, but it allows for the film to breathe and to explore, an example is one of my favourite scenes in the movie as Pete breaks out of hospital and runs around and jumping on buses as he explores this foreign land (small community town) and we get to explore with Pete, aided with a nice soulful song to boot.
The characters are likeable, even though they do lack some characterization (I would have love for more scenes with Pete and Elliot), but hey, they served the story of the film. It’s hard to dislike Elliot the dragon, and yes at first I didn’t like the design of the dragon, however seeing the character in motion and viewing Elliot through his emotions works very well as you feel heartbroken and sad for what this character has to go through. The acting is solid, as Bryce Dallas Howard and Robert Redford work well off one another, even with the kids who play Pete (Oakes Fegley) and Natalie (Oona Laurence) have good performances with one another.
‘Pete’s Dragon’ has enough heart and charm, along with some pure magical fun. It’s an enjoyable family film to check out during these school holidays.