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Pete’s Dragon Movie Review

Reviewed by on Aug 11, 2016
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld saw the fantasy adventure Pete’s Dragon. Is it fun? How cool would it be to be friends with a dragon? Check out our movie review!

By: Lynn Barker

In Pete’s Dragon, when little Pete is orphaned in the forest, he fears for his life. When a very large animal appears, will Pete be dinner or has he found a new bestie?

Pete reads a book to friendly ElliotPete reads a book to friendly ElliotCourtesy of Disney

Left Alone

When he is a very young child, Pete (Oakes Fegley) is stuck in a deep woods alone after a deadly car crash. Wolves threaten him but something huge, green and furry befriends him. At his age, he isn’t sure what it is.

Pete is afraid of other humans in his woodsPete is afraid of other humans in his woodsCourtesy of Disney

Six Years Later

In the Pacific Northwest, local wood carver Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) tells children the tale of the Milhaven Dragon, a huge dragon creature he actually saw in the deep woods many years ago…but nobody believes him, including forest ranger daughter Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard). Meanwhile, Pete has grown and mastered all the skills needed to live in the woods. He and his dragon, whom he has named Elliot, chase, fly and play.

Mr. Meacham tells kids about seeing a dragonMr. Meacham tells kids about seeing a dragonCourtesy of Disney

The Other Humans

Grace tramps through the woods using a map. Pete and Elliot watch her but she doesn’t see them. Pete steals her compass. Also in the woods nearby are lumber mill owner who is also Grace’s fiancée, Jack (Wes Bentley) and his sour brother Gavin (Karl Urban) who is gung-ho to start chopping down trees. Jack’s daughter Natalie (Oona Laurence), about Pete’s age, finds him in the forest and, looking for her, the others find Pete. Gavin wants to hunt whatever strange animal is out there. Pete is taken to town and put in the hospital but runs away and ends up at Natalie’s house.

Natalie tells Grace and Jack where she saw PeteNatalie tells Grace and Jack where she saw PeteCourtesy of Disney

Seeing Elliot

Along with her dad and Natalie, Grace takes Pete to his woodland home under a huge tree where he introduces them to Elliot. They are stunned but realize the dragon is friendly. Gavin finally sees him too and is determined to catch and make money exhibiting Elliot. Later, flying to town and seeing that Pete is happy with Natalie and her family, Elliot sadly goes deep into the woods.

Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) sees ElliotMr. Meacham (Robert Redford) sees ElliotCourtesy of Disney

Bagging a Dragon

Finally, Gavin and his friends shoot Elliot with tranquilizer darts and he passes out. They strap the dragon to a flatbed and bring him into town to hide him in a barn…. still unsure what to do with him. With the help of Mr. Meacham, Grace, Jack and Natalie, Pete frees his dragon. Will Elliot be okay? Will Pete stay with his new human family or disappear into the woods with Elliot forever? 

Pete plays with ElliotPete plays with ElliotCourtesy of Disney

Pete’s Dragon Trailer


Wrapping Up

We saw Pete’s Dragon in 3-D which didn’t make the film as visually dark as adding 3-D usually does so we recommend it. The movie is very charming and you quickly grow to care about the doglike and furry rather than covered with scales, Elliot. This dragon is funny and goofy-lovable.

Pete introduces Natalie to ElliotPete introduces Natalie to Elliot

Unfortunately, the plot carries the same formula as hundreds of films featuring kids and animals; Kid loves an animal, that animal is threatened, kid has to help hide or save it. It would be nice if some new adventure twists were added but it worked for the classic E.T. and hey, although very predictable, the formula still works.

Gavin (Karl Urban) and his loggers want to catch ElliotGavin (Karl Urban) and his loggers want to catch ElliotCourtesy of Disney

In an era of terrorism and political hate mongers, a sweet ‘80’s throwback film supporting love and respect for all creatures great and small, including plant life, provides a short but refreshing and heartening vacation.

Pete (Oakes Fegley) checks to see if Elliot flies abovePete (Oakes Fegley) checks to see if Elliot flies aboveCourtesy of Disney

All the major actors do fine jobs. I loved Robert Redford as a grizzled woodsman and woodworker who once saw a dragon long ago. Bryce Dallas Howard is the young mom everybody wants; beautiful and caring and the kid actors make us believe that THEY believe in magic.  The movie has a wonderful ending.  Take everybody and go!  You will come out feeling great. We go four stars. 

Pete’s Dragon Movie Rating:4

Pete's Dragon PosterPete's Dragon PosterCourtesy of Disney

Pete’s Dragon is in theaters now!

Have Your Say

Do you wish you had a dragon as a pal? Do you hope they really live in the deep woods? Talk dragons below.