‘Pete’s Dragon’ BluRay Review: Fantastic Update Of The Original
After getting into a car accident and losing his parents, a young boy is left to fend for himself in the middle of the woods. He is almost immediately saved by a friendly dragon who turns out to need him just as much.
The closest town of Millhaven makes its money cutting down trees and they are slowly encroaching on the boy and his dragon’s habitat. It’s six years after the accident and Pete (Oakes Fegley) has named his dragon Elliot, although at this point they are more like brothers than owner/pet.
A park ranger named Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) has taken it upon herself to try and keep some of the trees in the forest from getting cut down. Her father Meacham (Robert Redford) claims to have seen the dragon years and years ago and is known for telling the tale to children in town. Pete sees Grace from afar and it’s the first other human he’s seen. He’s intrigued by her but is under the impression that making himself aware to her would harm Elliot.
In true Disney fashion, Grace is engaged to Jack (Wes Bentley), the very man who runs the timber company responsible for cutting the trees down, but he isn’t the bad guy since he only wants to also try and preserve as much of the forest as possible. His brother Gavin (Karl Urban) is cutting deeper into the forest than he’s supposed to and Grace is not pleased. Pete starts to see more and more trees around his and Elliot’s cave being cut down and sees the men responsible.
Jack’s daughter Natalie (Oona Laurence) spots Pete and follows him. He sees her following her and starts doing things to lead her to him, like the games of hide and seek he plays with Elliot.
As everyone comes looking for Natalie, they see Pete. Grace is gentle with him but notices that he found the locket she lost the other day. He runs away and is caught by Gavin while trying to climb up a tree and falls, hitting his head. Elliot finally wakes up and figures out that Pete is gone. He also accidentally pushes a tree over and is seen by Gavin and the crew.
Jack and Grace take Pete in although he’s still eager to reunite with Elliot. He’s slowly re-acclimated into the human world while Elliot shows himself to Gavin and the crew. Gavin tries to shoot Elliot, thankfully to no avail. However, now Gavin is determined to catch and kill the mysterious dragon that’s been a supposed myth all these years and gain fame and fortune because of it.
Pete introduces Grace, her father, Jack and Natalie to Elliot. As they see how sweet and friendly Elliot is, Gavin shoots him with tranquilizers and captures him. He is taken into town and becomes somewhat of an attraction until Grace’s father and the kids help him escape.
Gavin leads the town in a hunt for Eliot and as a result of trying to protect himself, Eliot causes harm and destruction. Pete and Eliot understand that Eliot will have to leave and Pete should enjoy his new family.
A fantastic update to the fever dream that was the original, Pete’s Dragon melds fantasy and reality, while also including the theme of environmentalism at the forefront.
Bonus extras include: audio commentary with director David Lowery, co-worker Toby Halbrooks, Oakes Fegley and Oona Laurence; lost scenes; Lowery’s personal diary kept through filming narrated by himself; behind-the-scenes look at how the dragon was designed; music videos and bloopers.
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