The characters in this updated version Pete’s Dragon are great (and I am including Elliot the dragon as a character), Pete and Elliot are shown to be a well matched pair, Karl Urban is the threat to the dragon and he portrays it well, a small minded guy who sees a way to escape his mundane life, and Bryce Dallas Howard is the concerned park ranger who does a decent job at times conveying the necessary heart required for a Disney film.
Directed by David “A Ghost Story” Lowery, it brings a different feel to a Disney film, apart from the obligatory family disaster/death to set things off, it doesn’t shy away from some of the harshness experienced in real life. The relationship between the boy and dragon is really well done and also to highlight the faceless, uncaring authorities that believe they are doing the best thing for this Pete provide an additional threat to what is ultimately a friendship film. The effects and interactions between Pete and the Elliot are also superbly done, making this larger than life beast appear almost realistic (as much as a dragon can be realistic…..)
A decent family film that has a certain amount of heart and manages to pull on the emotional strings that it needs to make it work.