Pete's Dragon

A lighthearted, feel good film that had the joyous exhilaration of How To Train Your Dragon, the wide-eyed wondrous awe of The NeverEnding Story with a large smattering of the trademark Disney family wholesomeness.

Elliott was a wondrous creation by Weta Digital and was deservedly a character unto its own.

Kudos to director David Lowery on his first big budget film. He managed to make a remake feel slightly original, yet paid sufficient homage to the original and the brand. Although ultimately it felt like a typical Disney film in the end, the process of getting there, especially in the first act was at least refreshing.

The child actors were good, but Oakes Fegley somehow lacked the innocent naivety required for such a role. And his interactions with the digital Elliott, though touching was even less believable than Neel Sethi's portrayal of Mowgli in Jon Favreau's The Jungle Book.

Oona Laurence continued to shine and she will be a talent to watch out for as she grows.

Bryce Dallas Howard was a miscast. She appeared too cold and her familiarity with the children too forced to make the emotional pathos worth it.

Robert Redford, on the other hand, just exuded gravitas and lent the film such weight with his presence.

Not much to say about the other male co-stars Wes Bentley and Keith Urban other than flat, one-dimensional and boring. Although Urban would make a great Gustav in a Disney's live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast.

The music was strongly country-themed but the cinematography by Bojan Bazelli was stunning. Especially of the forest in its myriad greens and lights and shadows.

Pete's Dragon was a family and child-friendly, Disney schmaltzy-aw shucks film.


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