BY THE COMMANDER
3-1/2 (out of 4 stars)
Pete’s Dragon is a beautiful, heartwarming remake of the wonderful children’s story. Told in a mixed format of using live actors and animated characters (the dragon) the director creates a wonderful story about Pete (Oakes Fegley), a 4-year-old, boy who lost his parents in a horrific car accident in the woods. For 6 years he survived and grew up in under the protection of a dragon named Elliot.
The story takes place in the National Forest of the Midwest, where logging brothers Gavin (Karl Urban) and Jack (Wes Bentley) are cutting down trees deep into the forest and the park ranger, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), Jack’s wife, is monitoring their work, combing the area and checking on tourists. Natalie (Oona Laurence), Grace’s daughter, runs off into the woods and accidentally stumbles upon Pete, who's been hiding in seclusion for many years.
Once discovered, Grace brings Pete back to her home to determine his identity. Elliot, the dragon, goes searching for Pete to no avail and returns to his secret lair in the forest. Elliot, lonely for Pete, tries to make his way back to the forest, but is stopped by Grace. When she learns of his true history, they all return to the forest with Pete, to see Elliot for themselves. Elliot is discovered not only by Grace, but by Gavin who sees him as a moneymaking opportunity, and eventually with his loggers, captures Elliot and returns him to his logging facilities.
As with all fairytales, this one ends with a happy ending, leading the audience to tissues and tears.
This is a great family movie with a heartfelt story of a beautiful fairytale. Robert Redford does an excellent job as Grace’s father, Meacham, who tells the town’s children of the time he once saw a dragon, which everyone believes is just a fairytale. Upon seeing Elliot, he is vindicated for the tall tales of yarn he weaved long ago.
I saw this movie in IMAX 3D and the merging of live action and animation was just wonderful. I suggest this would be a movie to see whether you have children in your life or not, because as stated, fairytales are for everyone.