*contains minor spoilers*
Photos courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and Buenavista Distribution
It is a severe understatement to say that Disney is very good when it comes to animal movies. Fresh from their success with the reimagining of The Jungle Book (which has grossed almost 1 billion dollars already, by the way), they now give us a modern take of 1977’s Pete’s Dragon.
Pete’s Dragon (2016) is about a boy named Pete (Bet you didn’t see that one coming! Hehe.) and his unlikely friendship with Elliot, the fluffy green dragon. With no parents to guide him, Pete grows up in the woods with just Elliot as his companion, until loggers start cutting down trees close to their home.
Dragons are pretty much in fashion nowadays, thanks to pop culture shows like Game of Thrones (Daenerys and her Dracarys moments) and Pokemon (Dragonite and the issue of Charizard NOT being a dragon). However, none of them are quite as cute and adorable as Elliot. Although frightening when first show onscreen, we slowly realize he is a creature full of warmth. He actually looks like a big puppy who just wants to play and snuggle. Just look at those eyes!
Enter Pete (Oakes Fegley). Tragedy and loneliness bring people together, or in the case of Pete and Elliot, boy and dragon. Only a toddler when he meets Elliot in the forest, Pete grows up with his innocence intact. He has no human selfishness to speak of and is content of how things are. Both loyal to each other, Pete and Elliot are the perfect pair. They actually remind me of Savage Garden’s Animal Song: “Animals and children tell the truth, they never lie. Which one is more human? There’s a thought, now you decide.”
The adult lead in Pete’s Dragon is Grace, a kind forest ranger who gets attached to Pete when she sees him alone in the woods. Bryce Dallas Howard is just perfect for the role. She has a beautiful face and gentle voice that you can’t help but trust. No wonder Pete didn’t have a hard time getting close to Grace!
Pete’s Dragon is very relatable and makes us think about how we are as human beings. It explores the importance of family. It tackles coping with survival, loss, and letting go of the ones we love. We are resistant to change but at the same time curious of what lies ahead. Sometimes, we tend to be materialistic, and we forget that everything is not about us.
As adults, our usual state is disbelief until proven otherwise. When things are revealed to us, we then try to control what we don’t understand. We become used to what we know and don’t give a chance to what we DON’T know. When did we stop using our imagination? When did we stop believing in the impossible?
One thing that Pete’s Dragon does so well is make you cry. (Yeah, I said it! I’m not taking it back. Hehe.) I lost count of how many times I shed a tear while watching this film. I can’t speak for everyone, but I felt an intense emotional connection with Elliot, so much so that the next time I see a shooting star, I will seriously wish for him to be real.
More than just a fantasy movie, Pete’s Dragon is a story about the unbreakable bond between a boy and his furry friend. It challenges us to open our minds and hearts to things we are not aware of. You can say that in real life, no one has ever seen a dragon. Are we 100 percent sure that they don’t exist, then? How we see the world is limited, but the world itself isn’t.
Let’s just learn to believe again and revel in the unknown. How to start? Go ahead and watch Pete’s Dragon!