Pete’s Dragon is a solid family film from Disney. The cast is great, and delivers in what they are given for their roles. This is a pretty standard family film that could have had more diverse in its choices but the cast shines with their performances. Oakes Fegley, Oona Laurence and Bryce Dallas Howard were the real stars of the film. Their character dynamics were palpable and they felt real.
The relationship between Pete and Elliot was really well developed. They made Elliot a dog-dragon instead of a more menacing look of a dragon. It works for the family audience that the film is trying to appeal to but it does dumb down the film a little. The design of Elliot besides the dog face, is well done. He felt pretty real and the effects of him becoming invisible looked well done.
You can’t say ‘dragon’ over the radio.
The fallbacks to the film is that there isn’t much depth beyond the great opener to the film. It does feel small in scope and based in reality, but it doesn’t have that grandeur it could have been. The time period was very muddled. You wouldn’t know this was the 80’s at all if watched this film. They should have noted what year it was to get the audience to know when they are otherwise you would think it was today.
Overall it’s a very enjoyable, watchable film that anyone can enjoy. The story is well told and doesn’t drag. I’m glad for the sake that Disney didn’t remake the previous film and they tried something new.