Pete's Dragon

Film Review by Joseph Walsh | 08 Aug 2016
Film title: Pete's Dragon
Director: David Lowery
Starring: Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, Oona Laurence, Robert Redford
Release date: 12 Aug
Certificate: PG

A charming new spin on Disney's Pete's Dragon

Disney’s ongoing spate of live-action remakes has once again upped the ante with Ain't Them Bodies Saints director David Lowery’s reboot of Disney's lesser-known live-action/animated film Pete’s Dragon.

The story opens with Pete, played with impeccable charm by newcomer Oakes Fegley, travelling in his car with his parents. Seconds later the car swerves off the road in a deadly crash, leaving the young Pete alone deep in an American wood. Here he encounters a giant green dragon – a cross between The NeverEnding Story’s Falkor and an excitable Labrador pup – who befriends him.

What follows is a heart-warming tale of friendship (bringing to mind Spike Jonze’s Where The Wild Things Are) loaded with ecological themes that is more robust and rousing than the 1977 original. Gone are the songs and the bayou setting. In their place Lowery crafts a family film which, while treading well-worn Disney motifs, is an utterly charming fantasy adventure that will bring a smile to the face and a few tears to the eye. Disney magic at its best.

Released by Disney Pictures