Pete's Dragon (2016)

Petes dragon 2016 film poster.jpg
A Soaring and Roaring Success

Director: David Lowery
Running Time: 103 Minutes
Starring: Oakes Fegley, Bryce Dallas Howard, Oona Laurence, Karl Urban, Robert Redford, Wes Bentley, Isiah Whitlock Jr

David Lowery directs the latest in Disney's long line of live action remakes, but compared with their other efforts, excitement was rather tepid for the updated take on the 1977 film with the same name. Maybe it's due to the largely disappointing output, but this picture has emerged as one of the better releases from 2016's blockbuster season.

On a road trip with his family, a car accident leaves young Pete (Oakes Fegley) as the sole survivor. After being rescued by a green dragon he names Elliot, Pete is taken under his wing, as the two become inseparable. 6 years later, he's found by a ranger named Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), who takes him back home, looking after him. Meanwhile, having previously spotted Elliot, a hunter and lumberjack named Gavin (Karl Urban) looks to capturing the dragon.

Image result for petes dragon 2016 youtubeDavid Lowery gifts the picture with an undeniably sweet nature, which comes off as rather genuine. But it also proves a compelling tale, thanks to how emotionally engaging the characters are, leaving one to care for them quite a bit. But it helps how terrific the assembled cast are.

Emerging as a talented young performer, Oakes Fegley impresses as Pete. He wonderfully showcases the boy whose life in the wild resulted in a feral side, while finding it difficult to accumulate to life in the wider world. His friendship with Elliot is heartwarming, as they depend on one another while living in the forest.

Bryce Dallas Howard delivers a likeable presence as Grace, looking to protect the young Pete, while determining the truth about Elliots presence, which is said to be true by a warm Robert Redford. Oona Laurence deserves a special mention, wonderfully acting as a protective older sister to young Pete.

At first glance, Karl Urban can be written off as the antagonist, merely motivated by greed. But while the prospect of making money may blind him, he does prove to care for others, be they his family, or a child he first encounters.

Having not seen the original, this reviewer is unable to compare Pete's Dragon with the 1977 original. Yet as a film standing in its own right, the result is a heartwarming tale that brings an abundance of sweetness. Pete's Dragon is an unexpected gem, and everything The BFG should have been.