Pete’s Dragon is the new Disney live action remake directed by David Lowery and Tony Halbrooks. The film is about a boy — Pete — an orphan who has been raised by a dragon for 6 years and is inevitably found by Bryce Dallas Howard’s character. Pete has to choose between living a life with his dragon or with this new family.
Going into this film, I hadn’t seen the original and expected this to be a kind of adventure, E.T.-type film, but what I ended up watching was something more of a drama about family, and for the most part I enjoyed that!
I thought the relationship between Pete and his dragon was great (although look me straight in the eyes and tell me that’s not a dog with wings than a dragon). I bought into the relationship and I really cared about the characters.
We also had Robert Redford playing Howard’s grandfather, who has seen this dragon and loves to tell his story to anyone he can. Redford gives a great performance as well, being somewhat the voice of the entire movie.
However, this film could not help but feel so incredibly slow paced at times due to the lack of screen time the dragon and Pete had together. I wanted to focus on that relationship more, and I felt a little bored during the scenes with the family debating what to do with Pete. The film in general also isn’t very original; I noticed a lot of plot points felt nostalgic of things like Free Willey, The Iron Giant, and even to an extent the Netflix series, Stranger Things. All of these, I felt, did what Pete’s Dragon wanted to do, only better.
The film is absolutely beautiful in its cinematography. The wide shots of landscape give it a higher quality so it doesn’t feel like a lazy remake, and the intent of this film is felt. However, to me, it felt very vanilla, didn’t explore what I felt were more important aspects, such as Pete and his Dragon, and couldn’t explain why it needed to be remade. You can get enjoyment out of this and younger kids will love the dragon, so I would recommend checking it out if you have children.
I am giving Petes Dragon a 6/10