Monday, 15 August 2016

Pete's Dragon 2016 [MOVIE REVIEW]

[May contain spoilers - I'll try my best not to, but to be on the safe side I'd better declare that haha]



From the moment it was announced, I knew Pete's Dragon would be on my 'must see on opening weekend' list. I love the 1977 version, the hybrid style with animated Elliot and the live action Pete, no matter how cringy the iffy acting is or when you can see wires during the 'effects'.
After all of the other recent so-called remakes, as well as the trailer, I felt from the get-go that Pete's Dragon (almost) 40 years on would be rather different...you'll see from my views below just how different or not it really was...
First, have a peek at the trailer if you haven't already!



Before seeing the movie this past Saturday Mam and I decided, this time, to re-watch it's original counterpart, and I'm very glad we did! Having Elliot and Pete's story fresh in my mind really let me appreciate the vastly different storyline as well as how perfectly the casting of Pete was.
The first thing I said to someone who asked me how it compared to the original was - it didn't. While in 1977 it is still a serious story they kept it light hearted with a lot of humor, though with the 2016 movie it is dramatic and extremely emotional with a few comedic instances to lighten the tone a little.
Forget the Gogans and their nasty pursuit of the poor orphan boy, gone is the trouble caused by the kid and his dragon in Passamaquoddy, there isn't even a lighthouse in sight! Yes the plot is completely different and I adored it all. From the opening scene where we find out how Pete came to be alone in a forest and the way in which he was discovered, it all 100% fits and feels perfectly plausible as a true story even. (Yes, I do believe in real dragons!)

So let's talk about our fantastic Disney casting once again. Pete, what a gorgeous little boy! I know the point isn't to compare to the old movie, but Oakes Fegley just had that 'Pete look' to me. He is a little more seasoned of an actor than some of the recent Disney movie's leading children, having starred in a handful of other full-length movies and so his portrayal of the parentless little boy who learnt to survive in the wild with the protection and support of his friend, is not too much or overdramatic but mature and reserved yet effective.
Robert Redford, Bryce Dallas Howard, Wes Bentley and Oona Laurence nicely make up the sweet family who help Pete and Karl Urban is the definition of a baddy!



What's cool with this live action 'remake' is that despite it's primary focus being a fantastical creature, the CGI is not overused. The film is meant to be set in North America but you can thank New Zeland for the magical views and spectacular scenery. The Rotorua Redwood Forest, with it's trees that are older than a century, is now on my bucket list...the ultimate answer to what Kielder is in the North East UK and definitely a believable environment for an Elliot. The Remarkables mountain range with Lake Wakatipu, the town of Tapanui and Battle Hill Farm Park in Wellington are other places where scenes were shot. Can I just live there, please?!
Anyway, my reason for mentioning this is I've seen this movie classed as 'high in CGI', when in fact there is very little. Fans were originally upset at our first peek of Elliot with him not being Barney coloured nor a musical theatre student. He may not sing or dance and is a furry, all over green rather than a flat 2D pink and green drawing, but he is enchanting. With dog-like characteristics which tie into the 'boy and his dog' adventure type theme and deep, glistening eyes filled with emotion, this Elliot is much more lovable and real.

The resounding moral of Pete's Dragon is all about the importance of family, the importance of caring for and protecting our natural world and enjoying being in the great outdoors. Other reviews are saying this is one of the summer's best 'children's' movies but alas, guess who is going to disagree with that yet again? This is not a family friendly, singing and dancing movie with a friendly dragon and easy ways out. It is dramatic, adventurous and contains many threatening scenes both from a scary (life-like) dragon and ignorant, selfish huntsmen. You will laugh, cry, jump and be on the edge your seat at times. A must see for anyone (perhaps over 10 years of age) who is a fan of the fantasy adventure genre, even if you are not a Disney fan and especially if you are not a fan of the original!

Let me know if you have already seen it, what were your thoughts? If not are you going to go see it? Why or why not?


If you enjoyed this, you can check out the rest of my Disney movie reviews below!


14 comments:

  1. This seriously looks amazing!! Definitely adding it to my must-see list!

    Renee | Life After Lux

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    1. Yes, you must!! haa Just take some tissues if you are emotional even the slightest bit.

      xo

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  2. I love reading your reviews :) They are always feel so from the heart.

    I didn't even know this was a film, which you're probably not too surprised at haha

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    1. They probably make no sense and aren't well written but it's more just all my thoughts to look back on my first impressions.

      I think you'd like this version...

      xo

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  3. Oh I can't wait to see this! As soon as the trailer dropped I got chills watching it and knew I'd end up tearing up while watching this. I love the style they chose for Elliot too and there's nothing wrong with still believing in dragons - I know I do! Thank you as well for keeping this as spoiler free as possible, it just ramps the excitement, but keeps the mystery of the film there as well. - Tasha

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    1. You will love it!! We'd be right at home in the forest haha. I'm glad it didn't ruin anything!

      xo

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  4. I can't wait to see this film!! :D

    Amber Love Blog

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    1. Let me know what you think when you do!:)

      xo

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  5. I saw the trailer and it looked immense, it sounds a brilliant film, thanks for sharing!

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    1. It's way better than all the trailers which is weird as usually all the best bits go in trailers! Thanks!

      xo

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  6. I can't wait, I've loved Elliot since I was a little girl. Great view, even more excited now xxx

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    1. I really hope you enjoy it! I bet you'll love this Elliot just as much!

      xo

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  7. I don't think I've ever cried as much at the cinema in years. I was actually sobbing my heart out, as was the entire cinema! I absolutely loved it though. I think it's got a really important message about respecting and protecting nature and to not judge someone/something by it's appearance. Loved it.

    Roxie | The Beautiful Bluebird

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    1. Right?! haha I always cry, in every single movie, but this one I came out with bright red eyes and a sore head! I saw an older lady in front of us with tissues too but other than that it was a load of kids that had no interest... That's a fab summary. Exactly.

      xo

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