Pete’s Dragon – Blends Emotion and Action with Friendship and Bravery
By Ranny Levy, president of Kidsfirst!
This remake of Pete’s Dragon follows the adventures of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just so happens to be a dragon. Starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford, Oakes Fegley and more, this film truly appeals to a youth and family audience and makes a perfect family movie. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Benjamin P. comments, “Pete’s Dragon is a great film that perfectly blends emotion and action in a heartwarming adventure of friendship and bravery.” See his full review below.
By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11
Pete’s Dragon is a great film that perfectly blends emotion and action in a heartwarming adventure of friendship and bravery. Directed by David Lowery, Pete’s Dragon follows Pete (Oakes Fegley), a young boy who, after a car accident, survives in the woods for six years with the help of his friend Elliot, a dragon. When a forest ranger named Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) finds Pete, he reenters society and must try to find a way to fit in while also trying to protect Elliot.
I like most of the characters in this film, but my favorite character is Elliot the dragon because he always looks after Pete and always does what’s best for him. The film and the visual effects make Elliot into a character I really care about. He’s also funny and makes me laugh several times throughout the movie.
I love the cinematography in Pete’s Dragon especially some of the breathtaking, massive shots of the forest where Elliot and Pete live. The special effects in this film are fantastic, too. Instead of using animation to create Elliot like in the original, he is entirely in CGI and the results look fantastically life-like. I recommend you see this in 3D, especially for the flight sequences. Seeing Pete and Elliot glide through the mountains is very cool.
This film really surprised me because, as a remake it borrows almost nothing from its source material. I have to give credit to director David Lowery for creating this new story and world.
Most of the cast deliver great performances. Oakes Fegley delivers a quite believable Pete, especially considering this is one of his first roles and his co-star wasn’t there during much of the filming. The excellent Robert Redford appears in the film as Grace’s dad. He says he once saw a dragon in the woods but Grace never believed him. I really like his character. He is kind and reminds his daughter of the importance of seeing more magic in life.
I like this film because, unlike some other recent Disney remakes, it doesn’t try to be darker than the original but creates a new story for a younger generation that the whole family can enjoy.
I recommend Pete’s Dragon for ages 5 to 12 based on the scenes of peril. There are two or three that could scare younger viewers. Pete’s Dragon will take you on an emotional journey filled with humor, adventure and magic. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars.