Disney have gone back to basics with their latest animation which has a simple storyline but plenty of creativity to captivate your imagination.
1977’s Pete’s Dragon was a disappointment to Disney. Not only did it receive very mixed reviews but it was also only a moderate success…
Well it certainly didn’t bring in the big bucks that the animation giants were expecting hence why I suspect many of you, myself included, have never even heard of the film.
The decision to release a remake then was therefore a strange one.
However, the classic story of the adventures shared by orphaned boy Pete (Oakes Fegley) and his best friend Elliot, who of course happens to be a dragon, has never been told better.
It may be a hard fact to admit but recently Disney have been producing rather dull films churning out remake after remake, sequel after sequel.
Pete’s Dragon may be one of these remakes but this time there is something quite magical about it…
Most importantly the modest storyline works like a charm taking us back to the good old days of cinema when narrative and characterisation was key; basically before an overdramatic use of CGI ruined everything.
The film simply tells the story of a young lost boy and a dragon, thankfully nothing more and nothing less.
From minute one we are taken in by the young Pete, played beautifully by Oakes Fegley, as he strays into a forest, after witnessing the death of his parents, only to meet a terrifying dragon.
Seriously, Disney need to stop killing off parents as it is just too emotionally distressing; especially when it happens within the first couple of minutes!
However, the scene is perfectly balanced being sensitive, timid and hard-hitting all at the same time.
This sets the tone for the rest of the film which will continually pull on those heart strings and will leave your face wet from tears.
The fact that Pete’s Dragon really allows us access into the central relationships that holds it together means that we become emotionally tied to the characters.
Fegley’s Pete is just delightful and really is ‘the bravest boy I have ever met.’
And then there is his friend Elliot, the dragon, who is hard not to adore as he chases his tail around like a dog.
This film may be emotional but it also has a smart and witty edge that will make you giggle like a child.
Central to the film’s success is Bryce Dallas Howard’s wonderful Natalie, a young woman with a heart of gold with looks after the forest and discovers Pete.
Howard continually proves herself to be a fabulous leading lady now taming dragons after tackling dinosaurs in Jurassic World.
Even alongside stellar cast members such as Robert Redford, as good as he ever was, she shines.
If a charming story and an escape from the real world is what you are after, then Pete’s Dragon is your perfect choice of film.
I mean come on, who does not love dragons!
(Words by Emily Murray)