I remember my parents being so excited to show me Pete’s Dragon when I was a kid. I vividly remember we have a bootleg VHS of the movie and when I heard it was about a boy who was best friends with a dragon I was all in! Now, the premise is something that little 7-year-old me should have loved, but I have a bit of a weird relationship with this movie.
How to Download Pete’s Dragon (1977)
You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. Check out also the live-action remake of the film from 2016.
I love the boy and his dragon stuff, however, the songs I could have done without the. Even now as a musical, I have to say that I feel some of the songs in this movie are kind of weak and none of them are all that memorable. I feel if they had scrapped the idea of this being a musical it would have been a much better movie for it!
The premise of the movie is a lot of fun and something all kids will get a kick out of. We have an orphaned boy called Pete who lives with these horrible foster parents that are super mean to him. Pete has had enough and he runs away with Elliot, a big green dragon that no one but him can see.
When I think of classic Disney characters, Elliot the dragon is always one of the first that pops into my head. Pete and Elliot hit the road and eventually come to a seaside town where they try and hide, but Pete is found by a kind young woman called Nora. Nora lives with her weird old man, Lampie who is the lighthouse keeper. Nora takes Pete to stay with her.
Now this all sounds great for Pete, right? Well, Elliot due to his big size causes a lot of trouble, and eventually, people start to get mad at this mean old guy called Terminus who along with assistant Hoagy discovers Elliot is real and set out to catch him. It is a fairly predictable family movie if I am being honest with family and acceptance being the main themes of the movie, but it is still pretty fun.
The animation on Elliot is fantastic and the kid who played Pete, Sean Marshall was amazing, such a shame he quit acting a few years after this. Pete’s reactions to the stuff that Elliot is doing are great and you truly do believe that he can see him. The movie is at its best when Pete and Elliot are together.
My main issue with the movie as I said at the start is the music. I am not saying that the songs in the movie are bad, but they are certainly not all-time Disney classics. I also feel if you cut out the song you could have greatly cut down that runtime as well which would have made the movie better as well.
One thing I do want to mention is that on the special edition High Flying Edition DVD for Pete’s Dragon there is a tremendous documentary about the making of the movie that is just fascinating to watch. The effort to get this thing made was incredible and it is truly very impressive what the talented cast and crew did to pull this off. I still need to pick up the Blu-Ray at some point to see how it looks in HD.
The original Pete’s Dragon is a good movie, but it is one of the rare occurrences where I would say that I greatly prefer the remake over the original. Still, if you have kids, give this a watch with them. To be fair, my wife loves the songs in this movie so my dislike for them is a personal thing so perhaps you may love them too!
- I love the character of Elliot
- The kid who is Pete does an amazing job
- It is a lot of fun when Elliot is causing trouble
- The animation of Elliot is amazing and was groundbreaking stuff at the time
- I have to be honest and say that none of the songs do anything for me in this movie
- The runtime is a bit much for a movie like this