Movies for Kids 2016, Disney Pete’s Dragon review
Disney Movies for Kids 2016 – Pete’s Dragon
Pete’s Dragon is a new remake of an old classic. Before you read any further, you should know that this review will include a few spoilers so that you can make the best decision if this movie is appropriate for you and your children. All opinions in this review are our own. I attended an early screening of this movie with my 8 year old daughter. We also brought a friend and her 2.5 year old son with us. The 2.5 year old loved most of the movie. Keeping the 3D glasses on his face was the hardest part. If you try to watch a 3D movie with no glasses it is quite blurry! This did not seem to bother him at all though. He was moving around at the slower parts, but he enjoyed all the excitement and was not scared at all. I am not sure I would pay extra for 3D, there were not that many amazing 3D effects that I saw.
Is Pete’s Dragon too sad or too scary?
It starts off very sad: The first 2 minutes of this movie are extremely sad. The movie begins with Pete, a 5 year old boy, sitting in the back seat of his family car while his Dad is driving and his Mom is in the passenger seat. Pete’s Mom tells him they are driving on an adventure and then informs him that he is “The bravest boy I have ever met.” I guess we should have seen disaster coming after hearing this line. Pete begins to slowly read a book aloud to his parents as they head off on an exciting adventure. A few seconds later, a deer comes out of nowhere and hits their car. The next scene shows the car upside down in the woods. Pete is standing next to it, crying, gathering his backpack and favorite book. My daughter and I were both in tears within minutes of the movie starting. But a few seconds later, a dragon named Elliot, walks out from behind a tree, scares away the wolves that were nearby and saves Pete’s life.
Scary for kids: This movie is quite scary for young children. There is one particular scene when the “bad guys” tried to “kill the dragon”. At this point in the movie you had already fallen in love with Elliot the dragon and you could see how much Elliot had taken care of and raised Pete from a young age. Pete had finally felt safe enough to tell his new friends that they could meet Elliot. While they were having this touching first meeting, the “bad guys” (led by Karl Urban) came out of nowhere with guns, arrows, ropes and more, and attempted to kill or capture Elliott. Elliot was crying and trying to get away from them. This scene felt like it lasted a bit too long and my 8 year old had her hands over her ears and her eyes tightly shut. She was scared for Elliot and Pete. I think my daughter loved Elliot just like she loves our dog, and when she saw the “bad guys” trying to hurt Elliot she was really upset.
Happy Ending: (Do not read this if you do not want to know how the movie ends) Does this movie have a happy ending? Yes, it does. As my daughter put it , “I am so happy that it all ended happily.” The movie definitely ended on a happy note. In the closing scenes we see Pete, looking a little bit older, with a hair cut and nice clean clothing. Pete was hiking with his family and it felt perfect. And what about Elliot the dragon? The last scene shows Elliot in a beautiful canyon, flying around with many other dragon friends who looked just like him. Both Pete and Elliot ended up with the happy ending they both deserved. We left the theater feeling warm and fuzzy and knowing that everyone was where they belonged at the end of the movie.
Who stars in the movie Pete’s Dragon?
Robert Redford made a nice cameo as the wise old Grandfather He played such a sweet character and really saved the day at the end of the movie. He had one of my favorite lines in the movie as well, “If you go through life seeing only what is in front of you, you will miss a lot!”. Robert Redford was the perfect person to play the Grandfather. All the acting performances were wonderful, but Robert Redford was one of our favorites.
Bryce Dallas Howard played the Mom figure, Grace. When Grace was a young girl, her Dad (Robert Redford) claimed he saw a dragon in the woods. He even drew a picture of the dragon that Grace had kept through the years. How movie-perfect that Grace was the forest ranger, and the one who found Pete in the woods and then eventually saw Elliot first as well. Grace was warm and caring and she immediately fell in love with Pete and gained his confidence and trust throughout the movie. Grace was the perfect Mom, anyone would want her to find them if they were lost in the woods.
Oakes Fegley played Pete and he was just perfect in his role. Oakes effortlessly portrayed a scared orphan living alone in the forest. He gave a believable performance as a typical 11 year old boy which is often hard for child actors to do. I expected him to be angry with Grace for plucking him out of his home in the woods. Instead, he warmed up to Grace and quickly confided his secrets to her. Watching the relationship between Pete and Grace grow was heartwarming.
Pete’s Dragon has a little bit of everything, including magic
Movies usually come and go. You go see a movie, you enjoy it and you move on. This movie was different, in that we found ourselves still thinking about it two days later. By the end of the movie we were really sad it was over, we were invested in the story, and we wanted to know more. What happened over the next 20 years, did Pete and Elliot reunite once a year? It is hard to find a movie that has it all: excitement, sadness, love, family, touching moments, and scary scenes. Elliot the dragon was completely computer generated, but he felt real to us. Elliot was caring, he had feelings, and he was truly magical. He could even turn invisible when necessary, I can think of a a few times where I wish I could become invisible! Elliot also appeared very dog-like, he did many things that our dog does: he had a big wet nose, similarly shaped teeth, chased his tail, enjoyed running after Pete, and he had gentle paws that he occasionally licked. We fell in love with Elliot the second he scooped Pete up and saved his life. We were never scared of Elliot and we knew he would not hurt Pete. Even though the movie skipped ahead 6 years after the first car crash scene, we could easily picture how Elliot took care of Pete throughout the years that were not shown in the movie. Their base camp in the woods was playful and practical. The love between Pete and Elliot was boundless and the relationship between Pete and Elliot was magical from the start.
Before or after you go see the movie, you can print a few coloring pages from the link below.
Read More Movies for Kids 2016 reviews we’ve shared on our blog. Click here
Check out this funny behind the scenes clip from Pete’s Dragon:
and you can watch the official trailer for Pete’s Dragon here:
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PETE’S DRAGON flies into theaters everywhere on August 12th and is rated PG.