A Wondrous Piece of Magic | Review of ‘Pete’s Dragon’ (2016 Film)

By Cynthia Ayala

Pete’s Dragon starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford, Oakes Fegley & Karl Urban
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

The adventures of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just so happens to be a dragon.


What a wonderful film. It’s no surprise why critics have been praising this film. It has a very sad opening, about a boy who loses his family while in the woods. And who come’s to save him, to be his protector? Elliot the dragon of course, and he’s the perfect dragon.

The story had heart, and that is the biggest selling point of the novel. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, but rather a heartfelt tale of a boy and his dragon. Elliot is much more than a pet, he’s his family and the film captured that beautifully. Pete is an orphan who doesn’t know much about the town that is on the outside of his forest. So the story takes him away from everything he has ever known and thrust him in this new world where people are chasing him. He’s a kid on his own and no one knows where he came from or how he even survived. And absolutely no one believes that a dragon took care of him for six years in the wild.

With that there is already an air of mystery within the story for the characters and for the audience, it’s all about following them on this adventure to solve the mystery. However, there is more to it than that. There is magic in the movie, not just literally, but figuratively too. It’s all about keeping the mind open and keeping fear at bay. It’s okay to fear the unknown, but to try and destroy it because it’s strange and new, that leads to heartbreak, and the film really tapped into that tugging at the heartstrings.

The writers of this film captured the heart of the story, they captured all the love and the meaning of family in the film, making is a fantastical masterpiece. The writers also knew just how to lighten the film with moments of hilarity, both subtle and obvious. This movie had so many laughable moments to keep the film from being too heavy on the drama.

Besides the story, the acting was phenomenal. This cast was perfect for this film and they knew about to bring their parts to life, they knew how to capture the moments perfectly to tie up the meaning of family and understanding in the film. They elevated the already strong story to make it even grandeur. This was an all-star cast and it shows with their ability to act and their ability to carry the film perfectly.

At the end of the day, this is a movie about believing in the impossible, about believing in magic. And with all the heart in it, this makes for a perfect family film. (★★★★ | A)

—Film Credits—

Directed by David Lowery

Screenplay by David Lowery & Toby Halbrooks

Based on Pete’s Dragon by Malcolm Marmorstein

Starring: Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford, Oakes Fegley, Oona Laurence, Wes Bentley & Karl Urban

Rating | Length | Genre: PG | 1 hr 43 min | AdventureFamilyFantasy

Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

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