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ikkegoemikke's Movie Reviews (496)

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Pete's Dragon (2016) 
Mission accomplished Disney
3/4 stars

"You know, when I was a little girl…I wanted to live in the forest more than anything. I love being out there. It was so fun, with the squirrels and the birds and the trees… So, when I grew up, I made it my job to protect the woods, and everything in them. Which I supposed includes you."

I've just written down my opinion about "Beauty and the beast" and I realized that I've been watching "Pete's dragon" a couple of times already, along with my 7 year old daughter, without telling anything about it. Some catching up to do I guess. Let me just pull a short and powerful piece of opinion out of the hat. As I mentioned before, I always appreciate a live-action rendition of a Disney cartoon. Now, the 1977 version was actually already a sort of a mixture of an ordinary movie and pieces of drawings (and late Mickey Rooney starring in it as well). The dragon in this newer version looks lifelike and fortunately it doesn't have that pink wig anymore, but it lights up like a green lantern whenever Pete touches it.

There's only one way to keep my kids interested while watching a Disney movie. Try to suck them into the story instantly and immediately show them that specific item which was the initial cause for them to watch the movie anyway. So no long-lasting digressions at the beginning, please. And that's why my impatient daughter liked this Disney so much. It didn't take long for the dragon, who set himself the task to look after poor Pete (Oakes Fegley), to reveal himself. Before my daughter knew it, she was watching breathlessly how trees were smashed down and she saw this immense green dragon appear (a cuddly kind of dragon thanks to his soft looking fur). An additional positive element is the fact that the fatal accident isn't portrayed explicitly. As a result the curious question "What happened to Pete's mom and dad?" was asked lots of times. But this incident was forgotten quickly as soon as the adventurous pace was switched into a higher gear.

The rest of the film isn't very original and contains the known theme with young people who still believe in fairy tales and are amazed by these fairy tale-like events without thinking of any financial gain. And of course they have to contend with adults whose intentions aren't so good when it's about these miracles. Indeed, money or fear are usually motives to capture the fantasy. In "Pete's dragon" it's Gavin (Karl Urban) who wants to make money out of Elliot, by using him as a sideshow attraction. Of course there are still adults who believe in legends and fairy tales like Meacham (Robert Redford). And then there are those who begin to believe in it after a while, like Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Jack (West Belley). And all this is supplemented with youthful enthusiasm, adventurous experiences and terribly exciting action. On child level, that is.

Oh well, ultimately I've enjoyed myself with this simple youth movie. A moment of relaxation and a feeling of childish amazement. And at the same time enjoying the applied modern techniques and graphic magic. The moment Pete and Elliot were chasing each other and Elliott splashed into the flowing river, was a beautiful scene. And as an adult, I also appreciated the acting of Robert Redford, Bryce Dallas Howard and of course Oakes Fegley. But do you know what pleasured me the most? That moment my daughter looked at me with such smiling eyes, full of sparkles, and asked me convincingly if we would watch it again one time. Mission accomplished Disney!

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