The marketing for Pete’s Dragon has been super low key (I’m not sure I ever actually saw a trailer) and all I remember about the 1977 version is that there’s a real kid named Pete and an animated dragon named Elliot. Guess this means I’m heading into Disney’s remake with a rather open mind about it.
Oh boy. Pete’s Dragon is a real winner, a triumphant time at theater that will delight you … as long as you can make it through the first act, which is all kinds of clunky. Pete gets introduced, there’s a tragedy, Elliot gets introduced, some time passes, 100 other characters get introduced, and THEN the actually story gets rolling. It’s admittedly kind of a boring stretch, one that feels like you’re watching someone meticulously line up all of their toys before they’ll let you touch anything. Thankfully though, once director David Lowery has his pieces all painstakingly set, he delivers the kind of magical ride that will leave you teary-eyed and feeling like you should immediately run out and take your family/friends/whoever on an adventure. If you ask me, that more than makes up for the slow start.
You should definitely go see Pete’s Dragon this weekend. And do yourself a favor, don’t re-watch the original, don’t compare it to the original, don’t read any other reviews (it’s really easy to spoil), just go and soak up all of the magic that the film has to offer. Also, be sure to take your kids.
One Last Thought:
This summer has been so weird. Who would have guessed that the most magical, heartwarming film to be released would be David Lowery’s remake of Pete’s Dragon and not Steven Spielberg’s The BFG? I mean, Lowery’s last film was 2013′s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints! Maybe the world really is about to end.