I have wanted a pet for as long as I can remember. Growing up often meant living in rental properties, so this dream was never more than a fishy reality. But I craved (still crave) a pet of my own that I can touch, cuddle, hug and protect. Also growing up I was (still am) massively into all things magic. I can guarantee that if little me had seen this film, he would have wanted a dragon of his very own...
...Big me would like a dragon of his very own too...
After a car accident, three-year-old Pete is left in the wilderness to fend for himself. Quickly set upon by the more fearsome beasts of the woods, he is rescued by (the later named) Elliot – a massive green dragon. Jump forward and Pete is thriving with his best friend, until a logging company starts logging too far into the woods. Pete is discovered and separated from Elliot, whose loyalty knows no bounds and he goes looking for his friend. Unfortunately this leads to his discovery by the town and they seek to keep him and use him as an attraction. The fight for freedom begins for Elliot, with Pete leading the charge.
This live action remake thing by Disney really had me wondering if it was the right choice when they first started, but it’s really hard to not enjoy yourself when they seem to be making them so well. The acting is fantastic, especially for a film that relies so heavily on children. The script is equally good and, much to my surprise, quite dark. The car crash scene packs a powerful punch and toddler Pete’s wanderings out of the wreckage are heartbreaking.
I’m not sure what it says about me and where I am at in my life right now, but I seem to be getting more affected by movies designed primarily for children than those designed to be emotionally hard-hitting for adults. Maybe it's something about the innocent way in which these more confronting concepts are handled. Lets be honest: it definitely has something to do with the fact that one of the main characters is very dog-like and potentially has to be said goodbye to (not a spoiler). It’s the trap of caring more about the animal, however fantastical, more than the human. Elliot’s big eyes will break you. No matter how strong a person you are. They. Will. Break. You.
Dark for a children’s movie and at times emotionally intense, it's hard not to be taken along for the ride.
Those around me had to ignore my silent weeping.
‘Pete’s Dragon’ might not be the most action-packed film of all time, but it is definitely one that will take you on a journey and make you feel all the right things the whole way. Dark for a children’s movie and at times emotionally intense, it's hard not to be taken along for the ride. Also expect to walk out of the cinema like I did, turn to your guest (who will laugh at your watery eyes) and say “I want a Dragon too!”