Friday, August 12, 2016

Pete's Dragon is simply sweet

Movie Title: Pete's Dragon

Grade:  B

Rating:  PG, 90 minutes

In a Nutshell:   Disney is on a live-action roll!  This is a charming family movie for all ages. 

In fact, it’s the adults who will probably get the most out of it, feeling like children again.  It’s very touching and a simplified version of the 1977 original.  

Uplifting theme: 
  • “There’s magic in the woods if you know where to look for it.” –  Meacham (Robert Redford)
  • “If you go through life only seeing what’s right in front of you, you’re going to miss a lot.” – Meacham
  • Family, belonging
  • “Just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not there.” – Meacham
  • Why we love and need a faithful pet.

Things I liked:
  • Little Levi Alexander, who played the young Pete, is absolutely adorable.
  • Oakes Fegley does a great job as Pete.
  • Popular Mormon YouTube artist Lindsey Stirling created the song “Something Wild”, which is featured in the movie.  Did you know she is the highest paid female YouTuber?!  Her newest album “Something Wild” just dropped last Monday. Andrew McMahon sings the vocals. 
  • Beautiful forest scenery.
  • Sweet ending.
  • I liked that Elliott, the dragon, didn’t look sugary sweet, but had just the right amount of scariness and believability.
  • The car accident was handled well in the beginning, although young children may be frightened by the scenario.
  • I saw it in 3D, but it’s just as good without the added 3D element.
  • Great blend of CGI and real humans.
  • I’m always happy to see Bryce Dallas Howard.  Her emotional performance got to me.
  • Who doesn’t love Robert Redford?
  • You get to see the dragon.  A lot.  Yay.

Things I didn’t like:
  • If you're looking for a remake of the original musical movie, you will be disappointed.  
  • The relationship development between Grace and Pete seemed too fast.  It seemed unrealistic that Pete would so quickly leave the only friend he had ever known for most of his young life (Eliott) to go with Grace, whom he had just met.
  • Karl Urban’s character, Gavin, was too one-dimensional.
  • There was a little bit of humor, but there could have been more.
·       The film has an E.T. quality about it, as most of the adults in the town don’t understand magic or friendship.  I’m not sure why I put that in the “Things I didn’t like” section.  Maybe because that idea is no longer original?

Interesting lines:
  • “That’s the other thing about an adventure; you have to be very brave.” – Dad (Gareth Reeves)
  • “You might be the bravest boy I’ve ever met.” – Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard)
  • “It was like magic.  There’s no other word to describe it.  It was magic.  It changed the way I see the world.” – Meacham

Tips for parents:   

  • No profanity.  Very clean.
  • Your kids are probably going to want a pet now.
  • Good time to buy the book so your kids can relive the magic over and over again.
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