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Pete’s Dragon Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by on Nov 28, 2016
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Check out Kidzworld’s Blu-ray review of the recent re-make of Disney classic Pete’s Dragon out for the holidays on home entertainment. Is this magical film a must keep, give or both?

By: Lynn Barker

In Pete’s Dragon, young Pete is orphaned in the woods but he is befriended by a mythical creature. After six years with his flying, furry “bestie” beastie, boy and dragon are discovered. Will this mean acceptance and love for both or danger?

Elliot first encounters very young, orphaned PeteElliot first encounters very young, orphaned PeteCourtesy of Disney

Orphan Child

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.

Elliot and Pete playing in the woodsElliot and Pete playing in the woodsCourtesy of Disney

Six Years Pass

In the Pacific Northwest, local wood carver Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) tells children the tale of the Milhaven Dragon, a huge 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 tales of the dragon to a group of kidsMr. Meacham tells tales of the dragon to a group of kidsCourtesy of Disney

Enter More Humans

Pete and Elliot watch Grace walking in the woods but she doesn’t see them. Pete steals her compass. Also in the woods nearby are lumber mill owner/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

Elliot Discovered

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.

Pete introduces Natalie to ElliotPete introduces Natalie to ElliotCourtesy of Disney

Capturing a Dragon

Finally, Gavin and his friends shoot Elliot with tranquilizer darts, 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?

Elliot gets transported on a flatbed truckElliot gets transported on a flatbed truckCourtesy of Disney

Special Extra Features

  • Notes to Self: A Director’s Diary – features young director David Lowery talking about his love and respect for the early Disney version of the film and his intimidation at coming from making small Indie movies to working with big name actors. We see the director with kids in the film doing stunts on set, working with “fake” on set dragons and more behind-the-scenes stuff. Very relatable for tweens and teens!
  • Making Magic is about creating and developing dragon Elliot and more about what was actually on set for the actors to relate to (one thing was a ginormous Elliot plastic pool blow-up). The actor kids call Elliot “green, cute, very big and fluffy”.  The director thought of his cats and also gave “dog-like” movement to Elliot. Fun extra.

Pete and Natalie see Elliot capturedPete and Natalie see Elliot capturedCourtesy of Disney
  • Disappearing Moments focuses upon the deleted, alternate and extended scenes shown in movie montage fashion. Very enjoyable there are some very nice scenes here!
  • Bloopers – Always one of my fave extras, this is way too short but features actors goofing off set to music, line blowing, face making, laughing etc. A fun watch.
  • 2 Music Videos are included and these are really nice. You watch the singing and playing intercut with scenes from the film. These are two very nice, entertaining tunes.
  • Audio Commentary is extra special because it not only includes the director and co-writer but the two young leads of the movie Oakes Fegley and Oona Laurence. Everybody seems to be having fun remembering various scenes and on set details. Worth a listen for sure.

Director David Lowery on location in New ZealandDirector David Lowery on location in New ZealandCourtesy of Disney

Wrapping Up

Pete’s Dragon is warm and furry and loveable just like dragon Elliot. Sure, the plot has been done a lot: 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.

Grace and her dad are delighted that Elliot is realGrace and her dad are delighted that Elliot is realCourtesy of Disney

We all need a sweet ‘80’s throwback film supporting love and respect for all creatures great and small, including plant life, during these times of political and environmental uncertainty.

Jack and brother Gavin check out the dragon rumorsJack and brother Gavin check out the dragon rumorsCourtesy of Disney

The movie looks and sounds great on this Blu-ray and extras are short but all quite enjoyable. This new version of Pete’s Dragon is a terrific bet for a holiday gift or an addition to your home collection. We go four stars.

Pete’s Dragon Blu-ray Rating: 4

Pete’s Dragon Blu-ray CoverPete’s Dragon Blu-ray CoverCourtesy of Disney

Buy Pete’s Dragon in stores now!

Have Your Say

Would you love to have a dragon as a best pal? Do you believe that protecting the woods and the creatures inside is very important? Leave a comment below!