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Pete's Dragon: Movie Review

Hannah Goodwyn


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Pete's Dragon is sweet. It's got heart and tells a great family-friendly story. It's the perfect follow up to Disney's widely successful remake of The Jungle Book in April.

Taking a big departure from their 1977 classic, this new movie doesn't have any musical numbers and has some decidedly dramatic moments. The storyline is altered from the original, and it's all the better for it.

In this 2016 version, we find young Pete (Oakes Fegley) orphaned and alone in the forest. Small and defenseless, Pete's chances of surviving are slim. That is until the forest's biggest predator finds him. Elliot's a dragon, a huge, green, ferocious-looking magical creature. The two become fast friends and make a happy home in the forest, until strangers from a nearby town show up.

Pete's Dragon is funny. It's heart-warming. It's rated PG, so it's clean enough for kids. The action, peril, and brief language (the reasons its PG) come into play at crucial moments in Pete's young life. Parents of small children should keep in mind that the film includes a few scenes that allude to death, though those plot points are tastefully done by director David Lowery. The magic in the movie is relegated to the special powers the dragon possesses (namely invisibility).

The cast is on point, especially in regards to the young actor cast as Pete. Fegley has wonder in his eyes and a real talent for pulling at the heartstrings. The movie's a kind of throwback, reminiscent of old Disney classics families enjoyed together.

Coming in at 102 minutes, Pete's Dragon ends right on time. It doesn't linger and the overall experience of the film is better for it. Young adults and adults without kids probably won't find much excitement from the movie.

But, on the whole, Pete's Dragon is a pleasant surprise of a movie. If you're looking for a flick to see with your family, it's your best bet.

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About The Author


Hannah Goodwyn served as a Senior Producer for, managing and writing for the award-winning website. After her undergraduate studies at Christopher Newport University, Hannah went on to study Journalism at the graduate level. In 2005, she graduated summa cum laude with her Master's from Regent University and was honored with an Outstanding Student Award. From there, Hannah began work as a content producer for For ten years, she acted as the managing producer for the website's Family and Entertainment sections. A movie buff, Hannah felt right at home working as's