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Vic's Flick Picks

Pete’s Dragon

(4 popcorn boxes)

The 1977 Disney version of Pete’s Dragon was an adorable mixture of animation and live action. My children loved it, mostly because the dragon was so goofy. This rebooted version of Pete’s Dragon is all live action. I was worried that it would lose the whimsical charm of the original. Luckily, it is still charming.

  But how do you win over those who loved Mickey Rooney and Helen Reddy in the original? Obviously you get top-notch actors – Karl Urban, Wes Bentley, Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford – and remember to keep the delightful relationship between Pete and his dragon.
  As in most Disney classics, our young Pete is orphaned at age five in a car crash that leaves him stranded in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. He survives with the help of his dragon, Elliott.
  Years later Pete is discovered by young park ranger Grace (Howard) and brought to civilization. Grace’s fiancÚ Jack (Bentley) and his daughter take Pete in, but all Pete wants is his dragon. 
  Of course, there has to be a villain of the piece, and that comes in the form of Jack’s brother, Gavin (Urban). Jack and Gavin own the local lumber company. We know he’s evil because he disregards Jack’s wishes to stay out of the deep forest and never cut old growth trees. 
  Yep, Elliott lives in the old growth. 
  I’ll try not to give too much away….Gavin finds Elliott and disastrously captures him. Pete and friends try to help him escape. But will they succeed? 
  Oddly, my favorite scene involves Jack and Grace in a truck crossing a bridge – a very tall over-the-gorge bridge – while Elliott is breathing fire. Evil Gavin sees Jack in trouble and without a second thought runs out onto the burning bridge to save him. Not so evil deep down, I was choked up.
  Four boxes for Pete’s Dragon. I was a little confused about why Elliott has fur, but technically, how realistic can you get with a dragon? Besides the early scenes when Pete loses his parents, nothing stands out as too scary for youngsters. I recommend this for any age, but it is rated PG for action and peril.
  Check this week’s issue of the Frankenmuth News for a complete listing of shows and times.

    Robert Redford! A friend of mine mentioned she can’t remember the last movie Robert Redford released….it was actually this 2015 film which co-starred Nick Nolte.

  Will Smith and Margot Robbie appear together in this mostly boring 2015 crime caper. Focus.

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(c) 2006 Frankenmuth News