During my interview with Pete’s Dragon star, Bryce Dallas Howard, she so eloquently put my love of Disney movies into words. She said, “Disney movies are 50% entertainment and 50% therapy.” This was so true. They teach us about life at an early age in ways that resonate with us through adulthood. Like when you think about some of the sad things that happen in life such as misfortune, loss, and of course death (I’ll never forget when Leila found out that Simba’s dad died), there’s something to be said about how after any tragedy, there is a triumph. Pete’s Dragon is no different.
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 Elliot. 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.
However, to the point I think Bryce Dallas Howard made, there was more magic in the story in seeing how out of all of the tragedies faced by each of the characters of the movie, they somehow found each other and created a true family in the process. You see how each of the characters sort of emerge transform throughout the film as they slowly find a new form of themselves and begin to follow their hearts. From this came some truly heartwarming moments and even a few tear-jerkers. (read: don’t forget your tissues!)
Who will love Pete’s Dragon?
Kids will love all of the excitement of the Elliot the dragon. I mean, it’s an extremely magical film and very easy for a child to get mesmerized by Elliot’s mystical character in the movie. The overall consensus was that this movie is best suited for kids 5+, but I think slightly younger kids would still enjoy the magic and mystique of the movie. Some of the effects of the dragon at certain parts of the movie can be a bit scary for a child who is sensitive, so that’s also something to keep in mind as well.
Parents, this is actually a movie you will enjoy watching with or even without your kids. It’s completely different from the original Pete’s Dragon, so if you use that as a point of reference, you will be even more delighted with the latest version. Overall, I have to say that this movie really touched my heart and remains a classic you’ll want to share with your children for years to come.
Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon” opens in U.S. theaters on August 12, 2016. If you get a chance to see it, please make sure to come back and tell me what you think!
Pete’s Dragon Official Trailer – In Theaters 8/12
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