Last night on The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60, the show that celebrated Disneyland's 60th anniversary, the official US teaser trailer for the "reimagining" of Pete's Dragon was released. This Pete's Dragon is not the musical cartoon mixed with live acting from 1977 that many of us grew up on. The plot may be vaguely similar, but like other Disney remakes, it's not exactly like the classic film.
In the trailer that was released, we see Pete looking a little more like Mogli from The Jungle Book than he does the orphan in the Disney classic, who ran away from his abusers and spent a few months on his own. Instead, it seems that Pete, played by Oakes Fegley (This is Where I Leave You), has been out in the woods for six years since his parents died in a car crash, and Elliot the dragon has been living there with him.
The film takes place in a logging village- as opposed to the original's fishing town. Apparently, the logging industry is going to threaten Elliot's home in the forest. Remember Lampie, played by Mickey Rooney? His character's replacement will be an old wood carver, Mr. Meacham, played by Robert Redford. He'll still be the story teller who will entertain children with the stories of a dragon who lives deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest.
His daughter, who we used to know as Nora (Helen Reddy), will now be Jurassic World's Bryce Dallas Howard. She'll be known as Grace, and will be a forest ranger who used to think her dad was just telling stories, until she comes across Pete in the woods.
This film will miss the musical element that the old one had. We'll be missing out on "Candle on the Water," "Passamaquoddy," and "A Dragon, A Dragon." Instead, we'll see a police car chase with Pete surfing on a moving school bus, and jumping off a cliff (which reminds me of the trailer for The Jungle Book).
We get a brief glimpse of the CGI character of Elliot the Dragon. I don't know if I can picture him to be the jovial animated character in the classic. Also, he is furry. The cartoon version wasn't furry. It's interesting to see how differently dragons are depicted in different films. Some seem to be more lizard-like, but as the case in the movie- The Neverending Story- Falcor, the luck dragon, looked to be more like a dog than what one might think of as a dragon.
David Lowery, best known for Ain't Them Bodies Saints, is the director and co-writer, along with Toby Halbrooks. Also co-starring in the film are Wes Bentley (Hunger Games), Karl Urban (Star Trek: Into Darkness), and the young child actress, Oona Laurence (Southpaw). Pete's Dragon is based on a story by Seton I. Miller and S.S. Field.
Look for Pete's Dragon to come to theaters in the U.S. On August 12, 2016. Here's the trailer if you haven't seen it yet.
Let us know your thoughts on this new Disney remake. Here's the classic: