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Pete's Dragon
BLU-RAY disk
01.03.2017 By: Lauren Bradshaw
Pete's Dragon order download
Director:
David Lowery

Actors:
Robert Redford
Bryce Dallas Howard
Oakes Fegley

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Pete (Oakes Fegley) is left stranded in the woods after the tragic death of his parents. Over the next few years, he lives in the forest, with a dragon named Elliott as his only companion and parental figure. When humanity eventually finds Pete and tries to acclimate him to society, his relationship with Elliott is seriously threatened.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
When I first heard PETE'S DRAGON was being remade, I was a bit skeptical. After all, the premise can easily go into the realm of cheesy if you don't get it just right. But I should have known, where Disney, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Robert Redford come, greatness follows. Writer/Director David Lowery elevates his source material, turning the story of Pete and his Dragon from a more cheesy, whimsical children's tale into an entertaining, thought-provoking film that both children and adults will relate to and, most importantly, enjoy. To be honest, when I was watching the film I thought it probably resonated with me a lot more than the children in the audience.

From the emotional opening shot of the film, it was easy to see this wasn't going to be 1977's PETE'S DRAGON. Lowery uses the beautiful setting of New Zealand to instill a sense of wonder and magic to the story. It's not too much a stretch of the imagination to picture a dragon disappearing into the lush, beautiful forests showcased in the film. And this setting is so important to the look and feel of the film, especially Elliott. Other than the script, the most important element of the movie is the re-imagining of the friendly green dragon. Lowery designed a dragon that fit in with his surroundings, as well as had many mannerisms kids will recognize from their own pet dogs and cats. Perhaps this was to aid in relaying another important theme of the film, respecting animals and nature.

At its heart, what makes this story appeal to all ages is its inherent simplicity and earnestness, demonstrated through spectacular performances from the cast. Both child actors, Oakes Fegley and Oona Laurence act with a maturity and depth way beyond their years. Bryce Dallas Howard, who always embodies soulfulness and sincerity in her performances, was the perfect anchor to the film. And Robert Redford, with the signature twinkle in his eye, shows you're never too old to believe in magic.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary- An extensive commentary track with Writer/Director David Lowery, Co-writer Toby Halbrooks, and actors Oakes Fegley and Oona Laurence.

Notes To Self: A Director's Diary- Lowery reads entries from a diary he kept during the film's production over B-roll footage.

Making Magic- A quick featurette exploring the creation of Elliott and how the actors used their imagination to picture him on-set.

"Disappearing" Moments- A montage of the film's deleted scenes specifically chosen by Lowery. Some of the shots are still "rough" in terms of CGI, but that makes this even more interesting for film fans.

Bloopers- A short collection of some of the actors' mistakes during filming!

Music Videos- "Nobody Knows" by The Lumineers and "Something Wild" by Lindsey Stirling.

Welcome To New Zealand- A quick look at the beauty of New Zealand and why it was chosen as the location for PETE'S DRAGON.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Overall, PETE'S DRAGON isn't going to wow you with twists and turns in its storyline. It's actually pretty formulaic. But it's a testament to the imaginative filmmaking, script, setting, and performances that make this Disney title a can't-miss film to add to your library.
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1:06PM on 01/03/2017
One of the most underrated movies of the year, Disney knocked it out of the park with this one.
One of the most underrated movies of the year, Disney knocked it out of the park with this one.
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