I’ve been a hardcore Disney fan for a long time, but that doesn’t mean I automatically love everything the Mouse has produced. Specifically, I’ve never been a fan of the original Pete’s Dragon, the 1977 live-action/animation hybrid. While I appreciated the design and animation of Elliott, the film’s titular dragon, I found the whole affair too silly for my tastes topped off with forgettable songs. So of Disney’s recent spate of modern, live-action remakes (Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, Cinderella, and The Jungle Book so far, with Beauty and the Beast due next year), I was by far most enthusiastic about Pete’s Dragon, which I felt was most in need of an update. I’ve generally enjoyed all of the films in Disney’s latest trend so I’ve come to have high expectations, and Pete’s Dragon didn’t disappoint. But what I wasn’t prepared for was its beautiful simplicity, the stillness and subtlety with which it tells its story, or just what a breath of fresh air it is.
I’m as big a Disney fan as they come, but I’ve never been a fan of Pete’s Dragon. It’s not like I hate it or anything, it just wasn’t a movie that particularly interested me growing up. I liked Elliott the dragon well enough, but the story was too silly for my tastes and the songs weren’t particularly great. Pretty much the only aspect of the film I have fond memories of is the Elliott float in the Disney Main Street Electrical Parade. And considering my love of all things dragon, you’d think I would have been more into Pete’s Dragon, but it just didn’t work out that way. And considering the relative obscurity of the 1977 film, I figured I wasn’t alone. So I’ve been surprised by the strength of the backlash against the remake due out in a few months. While I assume most of the rejection of this new version is mostly a symptom of resistance to the Disney live-action remake trend, it’s true that the first teaser trailer was underwhelming. We got a new trailer today, with the film just two months out, that gives us a much better look at the story, the tone of the film, as well as Elliott himself. Take a look below and read on for my comments and screencaps, and then tell me what you think!
Day 1 of the 2015 D23 Expo was a lot of fun, with all of the Disney Animation/Pixar news as well as the Disney Legends ceremony and fun, smaller things like the Muppets! Day 2 focused its larger presentations on live action films and Parks and Resorts, with some exciting news and first looks on both fronts. I lined up early again this morning to get a spot for the Live Action presentation, and I’m happy I got there when I did, because half an hour later would have meant missing out. Clearly people were eager for some Marvel and Star Wars news, not to mention the full slate of films from Disney proper.