The Magic Is Back!
This is one remake that is so cute when it’s cute that your heart melts. And even though it takes time to take off, the story remains as endearing as ever. You fall in love with the idea of magical creatures and come away knowing that this movie, though made with stock characters who do predictable things, is really a wonderful remake.
It’s now become a Disney property, watching parents die. Wonder what effect it has on kids to see movie after movie (right from Bambi onwards) where parents die and the child has to overcome many a difficulty in order to become heroes of their own lives.
So we have this adorable saucer-eyed toddler place his trust on to a magical creature when he realises that his parents are no more. Your heart goes out from the seat in the theatre into the screen and to the forest where he’s lost.
But as Disney movies have taught you, the dragon will be friendly. So friendly it glows green when touched. The child calls him Elliot, after the book he was reading right before the accident.
Did you say Elliot? The 2-D animation film Pete’s Dragon goes out of your consciousness and it is replaced with Steven Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra Terrestrial This film turns out to be a massive homage to E.T.
Right from how the dragon turns green on touch, and E.T’s finger glows when he touches to heal, to kids on bicycles at the end of the movie.
There are bad guys too, who want to capture E.T… I mean… The Dragon, and the kids (here with a help of an adult who believes in magic - Robert Redford!) rescue the dragon and save him from possible experiments…
You love the little boy - who is at once fierce and at once cute - who keeps you glued through the sometimes good, sometimes a drag film. You wish there was a little more to the story than ‘Never thought there were dragons in a forest I know like the back of my hand’. But you come away happy because you realise no matter how grown up you are, you believe in magic.
(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)