petes dragon disney

Pete was a 5 year old child driving through the woods with his parents when an accident kills the adults, and Pete is alone in the middle of the forest. There he is found by the friendly dragon he names Elliot. Five years later Pete (Oakes Fegley, This is Where I Leave You) has been living in the forest and gets close to a logging camp. A park ranger named Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard, Jurassic World) befriends Pete and takes him in to stay at her place that she shares with her boyfriend Jack (Wes Bentley, American Horror Story) and Jack’s daughter Natalie (Oona Laurence, Bad Moms). Jack’s brother Gavin (Karl Urban, new Star Trek franchise) is a logger whom runs into Elliot during a hunting venture, and goes on a  desperate mission to capture the mythical creature. Once Elliot gets captured, Pete enlists the help of Natalie and Grace’s dad Meaham (Robert Redford, Captain America: The Winter Soldier) to rescue his best friend.

THE GOOD: Beauty and the Beast teaser trailer.  Bryce Dallas Howard, Wes Bentley and Karl Urban give decent performances considering the material.

THE BAD: I was bored. The story was just boring. The characters were boring. The whole film has a consistent downer feel to it, which is so un-Disney.  The dragon design just looked like a bland green version of  Clifford The Big Red Dog.  I thought the kid was the same one from Room, but I was surprised to find that was incorrect. Could’ve fooled me because it was an almost duplicate performance.

Robert Redford’s grandpa-like character was completely unnecessary. He was just thrown in for those missing Mickey Rooney’s character from the original, minus the alcoholism because that’s like a no-no now for the precious children.

They never touch base on why Karl Urban’s character wants to capture the dragon. Robert Redford’s character even flat out asks Urban’s character why and he can’t answer. Did Lowry and Halbrooks skip writing day because there was a sale at Urban Outfitters?

Another thing the writers failed to mention is the fact the storyline is supposed to take place in 1982. Nobody uses a computer or has cell phones, and the kids listen to records,  but this could quite possibly take place in Hipstertown, USA.

The special features do not make up for the price of the Blu-Ray. The commentary would have been better if they did not have the kids in on it because they were super irritating.  Every time Director Lowry made a comment about pop culture, it went right over the kids heads and it was torture when he felt the need to explain. The kids were doing cutesy voices which made me want to turn it off altogether.  The music from the film were the soundtrack for a hipster’s wet dream.  If you’re going to remake, remake the songs from the original dammit; they were brilliant.

I’ll admit I’m being a hater, but I am passionate about unecessary remakes. I was born the year the original Pete’s Dragon was released, and I was a big fan of the visual effects, as primitive as they are now. The cast was fantasic and so was the music.  Helen Reddy, nuff said. I have yet to see a remake that has improved on the original and after viewing this film I stand by that statement.

TITLE: Pete’s Dragon
STUDIO: Disney
DIRECTOR: David Lowery
WRITER: David Lowery, Toby Halbrooks
CAST: Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, Oakes Fegley, Oona Laurence
RATED: PG ( action, peril, brief language)
RUNNING TIME: 103 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES: Notes to Self: A Director’s Diary [7:31]; Making Magic – featurette on Eliott’s character design [2:12]; Disappearing Moments – montage of lost scenes [9:12]; Audio Commentary with Director David Lowery, Co-Writer Toby Halbrooks, Actors Oakes Fegley and Oona Laurence [1:37:45]; Music Videos – “Nobody Knows” by The Lumineers [3:12], “Something Wild” by Lindsey Stirling (featuring Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness) [3:45]; Bloopers [1:28]
Available on Blu Ray, DVD and Digital DVD November 29th


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