Pete’s Dragon

SOME SECRETS ARE TOO BIG TO KEEP.

When a lumberjack crew find an 11-year-old boy (Oakes Fegley) deep in the forest, they have no idea that he’s been living there for the past six years with a friendly dragon. The Disney animated version from 1977 may not be one of their great classics, but this live-action remake is impressive. Maintaining a sweet and adventurous tone that will appeal to kids and their parents, its portrait of the woods is imaginative, and Elliott the dragon looks great – kind, but quite capable of showing what a mighty creature he can be. The filmmakers build a lot of tension toward the end; overall, it’s easy to draw comparisons with E.T. (1982). Charming performances by Fegley as little Pete and Robert Redford as a perfect grandfather.

2016-U.S. 102 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Jim Whitaker. Directed by David Lowery. Screenplay: David Lowery, Toby Halbrooks. Short Story: Seton I. Miller, S.S. Field. Cast: Bryce Dallas Howard (Grace Meacham), Oakes Fegley (Pete Healy), Wes Bentley (Jack Magary), Karl Urban, Robert Redford, Oona Laurence.

Trivia: Michael C. Hall and Casey Affleck were allegedly considered for roles.

Last word: “[The bedroom scene between Pete and Howard] was a really tough scene to shoot because the set was built in a warehouse that we randomly had to find a location to shoot that in and build the set very quickly. Because of the time we had to shoot it, Bryce wasn’t able to do any of her takes with Pete — she had to do them all with a double. That was scary, because I don’t know if any of the shots are going to match if the double’s head is in the right space according to what Pete’s coverage was. I didn’t know if Bryce’s performance acting opposite a completely different kid who wasn’t actually acting would work, but she’s amazing. She nailed it.” (Lowery, Slashfilm)

 

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