It was once said that “it simply isn’t an adventure worth telling if there aren’t any dragons.” While this isn’t the particular tale he was referring to, Tolkien’s words still ring true. Pete’s Dragon is definitely a worthy adventure.Director David Lowery brings this beautiful story to life, impressing audiences right from the start. The opening scene was excellently portrayed, showing the sadness of the events without being excessively graphic or traumatising.
A great amount of credit must also go to the cast. Oakes Fegley is adorably innocent in the leading role of Pete, the young boy who has grown up in the woods with only Elliot for company. The stand out fact that makes this story all the more amazing? Elliot is a dragon!
Of course not everyone is going to react the same when the existence of said dragon comes to light. Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) is a park ranger who, with the help of her father, Meacham (Robert Redford), and her boyfriend’s daughter, Natalie (Oona Laurence) want to protect Elliot. On the other side of the coin, we have Natalie’s uncle, Gavin (Karl Urban). Gavin’s reaction upon discovering the dragon is to go hunting.
We really can’t blame Gavin too much for his reaction. It seems, more often than not, that upon finding something unknown to us, our instinct as humans is to fear it. Stories generally tell us that dragons are something to be feared, so that is the view point adopted by Gavin and his friends.
Thankfully, as in most children’s movies, lessons are learnt and friendships made, so don’t despair too much.
The soundtrack was another facet to this film I really enjoyed. The mostly calming song choices kept the magical feeling throughout.
Lastly, but by no means least, we must address the elephant in the room; or rather, the dragon. Elliot’s mannerisms remind me of a large (ok, massive) green Labrador puppy. His excitement as he plays with Pete and the fear and sadness when he finds himself alone are very well displayed. Effects used to create this adorable, furry giant are fantastic in their quality and his personality is shown extremely well for a character who has no dialogue.
For kids and adults alike, Pete’s Dragon is the perfect tale to put a little magic in your day.