Disney’s remake of Pete’s Dragon is one of the better movies of this summer. This summer has been mainly dominated by uninteresting sequels and stretched franchise extensions but even if that weren’t the case, Pete’s Dragon would have emerged victorious.
The remake by Disney grasped onto something that a lot of other Hollywood movies never understood. When you are trying to revive a film, always search for movies that come with nice premises but were executed in a poor manner.
Pete’s Dragon of 2016 is perhaps not flawless, but still succeeds since in a summer full of bombast, it is satisfactory to be quiet. In a story that focuses on the importance of friendship, it is not afraid to let its characters experience real loss and risk.
Firstly, the movie is about real people, and the mysterious dragon which brings them together is a secondary aspect. David Lowery is the Director of Pete’s Dragon, and he never worked on a film that was this big before. However, compared to most other major studio summer releases, Pete’s Dragon is still relatively small.
Lowery was interested in the ideas of the community. He focused on the ways in which people come together to assist or harm each other. The movie takes place in a vivid movie small town which feels as if it was taken from the 1980’s.
At the same time, it includes enough dose of modernity to bring out a strangely timeless quality. Lowery was also interested in the way human beings get things done together. His characters incorporate a refreshing lack of judgment.
You might have expected that Karl Urban, a logger who plays the role of the film’s main villain, would be cutting down woods, burning and slashing until there’s nothing left at all. Instead, Lowery presents him as a man who simply wishes to stand out in the crowd and make a name for himself.
He organizes a hunting party when he hears about the dragon, and Lowery takes good time in bringing it together. Pete’s Dragon has a lot of moments which show people doing things, like checking for signs of disease on trees, woodworking, attaching huge payloads to the back of trucks and much more. The film creates a perfect surrogate family for Pete, the orphan to fall into. However the movie has its flaws.
The plans of the villain suddenly come out of nowhere and get dispatched rather quickly. On top of that, there are lots of unnecessary close-up shots of the dragon making funny faces. The kids will love this movie as there are loads of stretches where Elliot and Pete wander about in the woods, keeping each other company.
The dragon appears to be a little too cute, but it somehow manages to resemble every pet you have ever owned. All at once, it is your pet, parent, progeny but at the same time, it never sings. Truly speaking, it doesn’t need to.
The film scene was looking pretty good this year. In February, we had Deadpool which showed that there was still some life left in the superhero genre. Disney followed with Zootopia, an excellent movie, focusing on the friendship of a fox and a bunny while tackling some serious issues like American race relations and police brutality.
Then it all crashed with the arrival of Zack Snyder’s Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Warcraft: The Beginning didn’t make the slightest bit of sense whatsoever. ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ featured a stupid time-travelling plot, while X-Men Apocalypse showed another Hollywood movie where the whole world gets destroyed with little to no consequences whatsoever.