There’s nothing too wrong with Disney’s 2016 remake of Pete’s Dragon. But there’s little that’s exceptional and worth remembering too.
I must have mentioned in my other reviews that I’m not supportive of movie remakes. They just seem impossible to get right, agree? Regurgitate too much of the original and the remake quickly becomes dreary. Inject too much fresh material and even the most accommodating fan of the original would be incensed. Just what is the right formula, if any at all?
Pete’s Dragon (2016) doesn’t fall into either of these traps. In fact, I must say the new version of Elliot the Green Dragon wasn’t at all the menacing, Smaug-like monstrosity I thought CGI would transform him into. By rewriting the story and adding an updated background to Pete, a deeper poignancy is also achieved. Overall, the remake feels very modern, very refreshing. The absence pf kiddish slapstick also means adults wouldn’t get bored watching it. This is one movie great for bringing the kids to on a weekend night.
Sadly, with the original movie no more than a run-of-the-mill orphan-ends-up-great story, there’s little else that could have been done to further enrich the movie. You know what’s going to happen at the end. You’re never too worried by Karl Urban’s animosity, or about whether Elliot would be dissected by some mad scientist. Pete’s Dragon (2016) ends up being a fun, occasionally moving, predictable small town adventure suitable for a family night out, and no more. I think most enjoy it, but it’s unlikely to be remembered for long. It’s unlikely to end up on most people’s lists of top kids movies too.
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