Pete’s Dragon

petes_dragon3Directed by David Lowery
Starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford and Oakes Fegley
In UK Cinemas August 12th, 2016

by Duncan Mclauchlan

I loved Pete’s Dragon as a kid. I loved the story, the animation, and the songs. Actually, come to think about it, especially the songs.  ‘Bill of Sale’ was a particular fave – “We gotta Bill of Sale right here that says he belongs to us!” – an oft overlooked comic classic. After reminiscing for a good hour, I was naturally concerned to hear the big mouse himself was remaking it. Surely millennial Mickey would ruin all my childhood memories. But what’s that? They’re remaking it without ANY SONGS? Not even a quick ‘I’ll be your candle on the water?’ HOW CAN THIS BE! I was devastated. I decided not to go… until I realised I hadn’t bought the tickets and I really fancied some popcorn. So here I was. Stress eating sweet ‘n’ salty waiting for the tone deaf dragon to grace the silver screen…

The first thing to point out is that the story is totally different. Yes, there is a Dragon, and yes his best bud is Pete. But that’s about it. And, that’s the best bit. It can’t destroy the classic movie because it’s a totally new story for a new generation – good call Mickey! With that being said, I don’t want to ruin the twists and turns of our new dragon tale (or should that be tail?), so here’s why I enjoyed it without any spoilers… introducing the three ‘D’s.

1- Dragon. Yes, yes there’s a dragon. But CHRIST is it impressive. Menacing, sweet, and realistic.

2- Disney. They are the masters of story-telling, and it shows. They effortlessly take your from tantrums to tears, and from loss to laughter. It truly is an art.

3 – Drama. I cried. Happy tears, but still. Take the tissues.

So, what’s wrong with it? Hard to say… it’s just very *different* to the original and if you’re going to see how they compare, I think you’d leave disappointed. Taken on its own (which I think you need to), it’s a beautifully visual heart-tugging story. I’d say it’s a good ‘Sunday’ film – like a comforting warm hug on one of ‘those’ days. Having said that, I still enjoy a good singsong though.

Final verdict- a dragon you’ll welcome into your family den.



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