For years, old wood carver Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) has delighted children in the sleepy town of Millhaven with his tales of the fierce dragon that resides deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. To his daughter, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), who works as a forest ranger in these very woods, his stories are no more than tall tales…until she meets Pete (Oakes Fegley). Pete is a mysterious 10-year-old with no family and no home to speak of, who claims to live in the woods with a giant green dragon named Elliot. And from his descriptions, Elliot seems remarkably similar to the fabled dragon from Mr. Meacham’s stories.
Though some of the scenes can be a bit sad or scary for younger viewers, Disney knows how to handle these scenes well. The car crash at the beginning was shown in a non violent way that made a connection to the story beautifully. Overall, my kids loved the story and loved the live action film! I personally loved seeing how Pete evolved. This story shows what being brave looks like in several of the characters. Of course friendship was also a big theme of this film. Seeing how Pete and Elliot loved each other and would do anything for one another warmed my heart.
Even with a few scary parts, this is a happy tale with a happy ending. I thought the actors did an amazing job playing the characters and bringing the emotion through the screen. I loved seeing them all interact with Elliot. If you like adventure, and have a soft spot, you will love Pete’s Dragon!
See Pete’s Dragon in theaters everywhere August 12, 2016.
For fun printable Pete’s Dragon activities, click here.