Pete’s Dragon: Movie Review for Parents

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Resources for Families

Pete’s Dragon begins with Pete (Oakes Fegley), a 5-year-old who is lost in the forest after he escapes after a car rollover. While walking in the woods, he is cornered by several hungry wolves and then rescued by a kind dragon he names Elliot. Pete is discovered when part his forest is being torn down by developers, and rescued by a Park Ranger named Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard). Grace’s love of the woods was supported by her father, Meacham (Robert Redford) who is known for telling tales of a magic dragon he encountered many years ago in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. This magical and captivating story had my 6 and 10 year old clapping and cheering in their seats, and had me crying happy tears for this sweet duo who won our hearts.

Scariness Factor

There is a car rollover in the beginning of the movie, but it is brief and not shown that Pete’s parents both die in the crash. The forest scene where the wolves corner Pete is not overly scary and Elliot comes to his rescue almost immediately. Elliot reminded my kids of an overgrown Labrador Retriever- furry, lovable and completely enamored with his boy, Pete. Elliot doesn’t speak in the movie, but communicates with whines and snorts. There is a part toward the very end where Elliot does blow fire at a car, but it is established that Elliot is trying to rescue Pete and defend himself against the humans who want to capture him.

Oakes Fegley is Pete and Oona Laurence is Natalie in Disney's PETE'S DRAGON, the story of a boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just happens to be a dragon.
Oakes Fegley is Pete and Oona Laurence is Natalie in Disney’s PETE’S DRAGON, the story of a boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just happens to be a dragon.

Emotional Content

As a parent, I found Pete’s Dragon very emotional! Elliot and Pete’s relationship is very special and you can see how Elliot cares deeply for Pete and how hard it is for him when he realizes that Pete needs a human family to care for him. My children were so thrilled by the story and how real Elliot looked, they didn’t seem to dwell on all the scenes that had me wiping at my eyes. The end of the movie has Pete happily leading his family through the forest to discover that Elliot has also found a family to call his own.

Oakes Fegley is Pete in Disney's PETE'S DRAGON, the story of a boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just happens to be a dragon.
Oakes Fegley is Pete in Disney’s PETE’S DRAGON, the story of a boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just happens to be a dragon.

Official Pete’s Dragon Synopsis

A reimagining of Disney’s cherished family film, “Pete’s Dragon” is the adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just so happens to be a dragon. “Pete’s Dragon” stars (Jurassic World), Oakes Fegley (This is Where I Leave You), Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games), Karl Urban (Star Trek), Oona Laurence (Southpaw) and Oscar® winner Robert Redford (Captain America: The Winter Soldier). The film is directed by David Lowery (“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”), screenplay by Lowery & Toby Halbrooks based on a screenplay by Malcolm Marmorstein and produced by Jim Whitaker, p.g.a. (The Finest Hours; Friday Night Lights), with Barrie M. Osborne (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring; The Great Gatsby) serving as executive producer.

For years, old wood carver Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) has delighted local children with his tales of the erce dragon that resides deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. To his daughter, Grace, who works as a ranger, these stories are little more than tall tales…until she meets Pete.

Pete’s Dragon Activity Packet

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