It’s been a long time since Disney’s delivered a movie that could be considered a full package without the help of Pixar.
Of course, this is a remake—that, too, one based on a book—but with a treatment such as the one delivered, the usual criticism regarding the likes of sequels and adaptations can be put to rest. This iteration of Pete’s Dragon focuses more on the aspect finding home for both characters as opposed to the more one-sided story seen in the original version,
Most remarkable is the portrayal of the dragon, Elliot, in the movie. While obviously made to look as kid friendly as possible without falling into the abyss of “excessively cute” that Toothless of How To Train Your Dragon was a victim of, Elliot is more clearly capable of instilling fear and this is used to great effect in scenes throughout the movie as well as the climax itself.
In fact, Elliot may be the best on-screen dragon since Falkor of 1984’s The Neverending Story. But fiercer. A lot fiercer.
The coolest thing about the movie however, is that despite having a cast that includes Bryce Dallas Howard, Karl Urban, and Robert Redford at no point do these veterans overwhelm the younger cast or be turned into the protagonists of the film. In fact, the one antagonistic role, played by Karl Urban, is diluted to the point of being more of a catalyst to the story than an actual villain. Which may sound like a bad thing, but is actually refreshing and casts a more realistic light on the character than the traditional evil-just-‘cause-I-am types that are often seen in Disney movies,