Pete’s Dragon Review: A Heartfelt Classic
The second major live action film this summer from Disney, is the remake of Pete’s Dragon. The film stars Oakes Fegley as Pete, a boy who was tragically left to fend on his own in the woods after his parents died in a terrible car accident. This is when he comes across a dragon, who he lovingly names Elliot, after the lost dog in his only book. Years pass as Elliot and Pete live together in the woods until one day, a park ranger named Grace catches Pete’s eye. He is intrigued by her and follows her, stealing her compass along the way. The next day, Grace, Natalie (Oona Laurence), Gavin (Karl Urban) and Jack (Wes Bentley) are in the woods and finally come across Pete. There’s a scuffle and he ends up being separated from Elliot and taken into town. Pete has to convince Grace that Elliot is real and bring her back to the forest and in a sense restore her belief in magic.
Pete’s Dragon is a heartfelt classic. The film is beautiful with sweeping shots of Elliot flying through the trees, rivers and mountains. The film has such a classic feel to it with little special effects. Even with a lot of CGI for Elliot, the film didn’t go over kill and thus still maintained a simplistic beauty that truly focuses on the characters and emotions in the film.
The focus of the film really centers on the relationships and emotions between characters. Pete, Elliot, Natalie, Grace and Grace’s father (Robert Redford) had great chemistry and had some truly emotional scenes. The chemistry between the characters was strong and packed a more emotional punch. While I felt that Gavin and Jack weren’t really all that important and some of Gavin’s scenes were a little over the top, the rest of the cast, including Elliot, really made the story shine. While the film has a fantasy element to it, it feels very much like a well-loved independent film.
The story is a simple classic of a boy and his unlikely best friend, bonding and banding together to make it through life and find their true place and happiness. The first portion of the film with Elliot and Pete really didn’t have much dialogue but instead relied a great deal on the emotions given off by Pete and Elliot. The story packs an emotional punch about the truth of finding where you belong and saying goodbye and growing up into the life you should have.
The dragon, Elliot was beautifully designed. The character is lovable and majestic. His eyes show so much emotion and humanity to them that at some points, you really forget that he hasn’t spoken a word the entire film. His mannerisms are much like a dog, therefore making him even more lovable. Every time he is on the screen and interacting with Pete, there is a magnetism to them. The emotional pull is so strong and so heartfelt, you can’t help but fall in love with Pete’s Dragon.
Pete’s Dragon is a stunning film, both visually and emotionally. The combination of superb visuals and acting, as well as a touching story, makes it an instant classic, which will be watched and adored for many years to come.