Pete’s Dragon: A Modern Fairytale That’s Cute Without Being Cutesy
Bryce Dallas HowardKarl Urban...
3DAction & Adventure...
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Although it forgoes the whimsical nature of its 1977 animated original, there’s plenty of heart and innocent joy to be found in Disney’s adaptation of Pete’s Dragon; a more poignant, atmospheric and a endearing story of a boy and his faithful pet dragon.
The story is centered on a young boy named Pete (played by the wonderful Oakes Fegley); a ten-year-old who, for the past six years, has been living deep into the northwestern woods. He soon crosses paths with a logging company and kindhearted park ranger, Grace (Howard), who can’t quite come to grips with the fact that he has managed to survive alone for this long.
Brought back into town, Pete is soon welcomed into Grace’s family – which also includes her fiancé Jack (Bentley), Jack’s daughter Natalie (Lawrence) and Grace’s father Meacham (Redford) – who slowly begin to learn more about the boy through his shared stories and drawings . However, as they dig deeper, they soon discover that Pete hasn’t been alone all this time, learning that Pete’s mysterious companion – a green furry dragon named Elliot – is not a figment of a young boy’s imagination after all. The discovery of the dragon offsets a series of events, however, which carry dangerous consequences.
Though it was never considered a Disney classic, the live-action and animated musical of the seventies oozes enough charm for a modern-day redo – and , forty years later, the sentiment is still relevant.
Co-written by David Lowery and Toby Halbroks – filmmakers currently attached to the remake of Peter Pan which is to be released in 2018 – the story is simple and straightforward with the writers ensuring that the audiences both young and old are intrigued and equally drawn into the story’s wonderfully created space. The balancing act of both magic and realism is handled well and the visuals – embraced wonderfully by cinematographer Bojan Bazelli – are gorgeous, making most use out of the peaceful and sprawling New Zealand landscapes.
With the inseparable bond and relationship between Elliott – one of the cutest dragons you’ll ever see – and Pete serving to be the beating heart of the story, the young actor tasked with bringing this unusual friendship to life is deserving of all of the praise. Grounded, sensitive and blessed with just the right amount of mischief, Fegley is the star of the show together with Laurence’s Natalie whose on-screen chemistry with the young boy is a perfect match.
Don’t think twice before going in to see this magical adventure. You won’t be disappointed.