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Pete's Dragon  (DVD)


Stars: Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford, Oakes Fegley, Oona Laurence, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban

Director: David Lowery

Ancient rural woodworker Robert Redford (with improbably coloured hair sporting enough facial creases to double for the Grand Canyon) enjoys telling the children of his Pacific Northwest forest town about the legendary green dragon that lives unseen in the surrounding woods. Naturally, nobody believes him – including his forest ranger daughter Bryce Dallas Howard.

That is, until she meets mysterious 10-year-old youngster Pete (Oakes Fegley) who claims to be living in the forest with his friend, Elliot the dragon. Slowly she comes to believe the boy (who ended up an orphan when his parents died in a car crash) was adopted in the forest by Elliot and brought up to resemble Tarzan as a youngster.

And then, when forest ranger Howard and her boyfriend Wes Bentley set out to save the forest from predatory lumberjacks, Pete – and Elliott – set out to save the day – and the environment…

Young Fegley comes over as feisty and likeable, the adult roles are pleasingly played and the show is stolen, not surprisingly, by Eliot who, strangely for dragons who are usually depicted as scaly and reptilian, boasts a furry greenish coat, flies convincingly up into the skies and has the very useful ability to become invisible when the occasion demands it…

Alan Frank

USA 2016. UK Distributor: Walt Disney. Colour.
99 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 05 Dec 2016