This weekend was the last weekend before my nephews and niece had to go back to school, so Erick and I thought it would be fun to have one last hurrah before the bell rings. I had seen a preview for Pete’s Dragon on the Disney Channel and asked the kiddos if it would be something they wanted to see. After a nearly unanimous “YEAH!” was shouted across my Mom’s dining room table, we were set and excited for our morning adventure!
Coffee and tea in tow, Erick and I met my Mom and the minis at the theater at 9:15am for the first 9:30am showing. Erick and I actually LOVE these early morning showings better than the evening ones. You can grab brunch, ease into the day, and avoid crowds! After getting seated and doling out the popcorn into smaller brown paper bags for everyone to share, the movie began.
Less than 20 minutes in, I could tell this movie was going to have a more serious tone and more advanced story-line than other Disney films. Yes, it had a happy ending (sort of), but the relationships were more complex than good guy / bad guy, making it closer to real-life situations than a complete fantasy.
Adding to the realism, the graphics for the dragon in this film were fantastic. I wanted to reach out and pet the dragon Elliot’s fur. I could see every individual follicle and it moved in the wind just like my own hair. The detail of it all really added an emotional connection to the dragon and boy Pete that was missing from the movie’s original predecessor. Remember the version below?
I’ll admit, I DIDN’T remember the animated version until I started searching pictures for this blog. I knew the title sounded vaguely familiar, but nothing clicked until that moment.***Warning! Spoilers ahead.*** With the help of modern-day graphics and technology, watching the moment Elliot and Pete become separated becomes absolutely heart-wrenching… and doubly so when the hunters find Elliott! I am getting torn inside just writing this, and let me say, I am not the type to cry at Disney movies. If you watch this movie, you cannot help but fall in love with Elliot and a gain a strong longing to protect him. You become invested in the characters just as much as they were invested in each other.
The lure of mystery is presented when the actors also made me question that if you can’t see something, does it really make it untrue. It put into play the importance of family and how in the blink of an eye, you can lose that family. It put you in someone else’s shoes (or something else’s shoes in the dragon’s case) and made you wonder if you were doing more good and trying to help others around you, or if you were bringing them down. Deep for a Disney movie, I know, but also very insightful and am overall great family movie.
If you are looking for a captivating show full of whimsy and wonder, made for the young and young at heart alike, Pete’s Dragon is a contender. Curl up, grab your popcorn, and maybe some tissues too. This one is good!
Have any of you all seen it? Any other family movies you recommend? <3
Photos courtesy of Disney.