I really want to hate this movie, and the first couple of trailers were making it pretty easy, but the more I see, the more I have a spark of hope that it might not be a complete dumpster fire. Actually, it looks like a movie that I’d have been fully on board with from the get go, if it wasn’t branded with the name of a movie I loved from my childhood. I’m truly hopeful that Disney breaks their track record of bad reimaginations of classic films. I can separate this Elliot and all his fur from the animated Elliot of my childhood. I can take heart int he fact that they’ve moved enough story elements and plot points that it does seem more like a new film and not a rehash for the sake of marketing. Now we just have to wait until Aug 11 to see if Disney did it right or if they screwed the pooch again.
A reimagining of Disney’s cherished family film, “Pete’s Dragon” is the adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just so happens to be a dragon. “Pete’s Dragon” stars Bryce Dallas Howard (“Jurassic World”), Oakes Fegley (“This is Where I Leave You”), Wes Bentley (“The Hunger Games”), Karl Urban (“Star Trek”), Oona Laurence (“Southpaw”) and Oscar® winner Robert Redford (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”). The film, which is directed by David Lowery (“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”), is written by Lowery & Toby Halbrooks based on a story by Seton I. Miller and S.S. Field and produced by Jim Whitaker, p.g.a. (“The Finest Hours,” “Friday Night Lights”), with Barrie M. Osborne (“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Great Gatsby”) serving as executive producer.
For years, old wood carver Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) has delighted local children with his tales of the fierce dragon that resides deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. To his daughter, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), who works as a forest ranger, these stories are little more than tall tales…until she meets Pete (Oakes Fegley). Pete is a mysterious 10-year-old with no family and no home who claims to live in the woods with a giant, green dragon named Elliott. And from Pete’s descriptions, Elliot seems remarkably similar to the dragon from Mr. Meacham’s stories. With the help of Natalie (Oona Laurence), an 11-year-old girl whose father Jack (Wes Bentley) owns the local lumber mill, Grace sets out to determine where Pete came from, where he belongs, and the truth about this dragon. Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon” flies into UK Cinemas on August 12, 2016.