Starring Robert Redford, Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley.
WHILE not all remakes are especially necessary, and some are not to everyone’s tastes, sometimes we are gifted a rare gem that really sparkles.
The reimagining of the 1977 animated (and slightly silly) musical version of Pete’s Dragon introduces audiences to a gentler and sweeter dragon, replacing scales and a red mop of hair with cuddly plush fur.
Oscar winner Robert Redford plays a grandfather who narrates this tale, with a bit of a twinkle in his eye and a philosophy that urges the audience to “be open to looking”, to see the magic in this world that is sometimes hidden in plain sight.
When five-year-old Pete (superbly played by Oakes Fegley) is left orphaned in the forest, after a car crash takes his parents, he stumbles around trying to be brave even though wolves start to surround him.
Just as the wolves close in on Pete, a huge furry dragon suddenly appears and scares them off.
It’s a touching moment when the scared little boy overcomes his fears.
The unlikely pair bond as Elliot the dragon scoops Pete up and they begin their journey of true friendship.
Of course, there must be struggle, and in this story it comes in the form of a logging company encroaching on Pete and Elliot’s home deep in the woods.
Pete’s curiosity for these strange people who he observes are cutting down his forest is his downfall: he gets spotted spying on them, and eventually is taken away to potentially be handed over to social services.
Elliot is left alone and confused and he desperately tries to find his little friend.
When Elliot gets spotted by some of the local lumberjacks the town goes into a frenzy trying to capture what they perceive to be a dangerous beast.
The film does take a little while to take off, but when it does it is a beautiful story of love which shows true family comes in all shapes and sizes.
However, you may find yourself shedding the odd tear here and there: Pete and Elliot are just that endearing.
If only we could all have a giant cuddly fire breathing dragon as a best friend, Pete’s Dragon is a magical fantasy that will be a delight to young and old.