Watch Kids' Reviews of
PETE'S DRAGON (2016)

What to know: A perfect family film that brings the latest advances in filmmaking to this classic tale.
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
Recommended age 8-18
103 minutes
FeatureFilm
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
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PETE Click to play video trailer
Over the years, special effects have gotten better, acting more emotional, camera techniques more unique, and stories so much more exciting. Pete's Dragon is a perfect example of the progress in the world of filmmaking.

This film, at its core, is an adventure of two friends - a boy and his dragon. There is much more to offer though. Pete's Dragon offers exciting and spectacular action, yet includes some comedy to keep things bright and highlight the complex relationship between a child and his big friend.

The story begins when a young boy named Pete (Oakes Fegly), age five, gets into a car accident and sadly, both his parents pass away. Pete is now stranded in the woods and everything changes when he meets a green dragon he names Elliot. They live happily together for six years until Pete is discovered by other people and now must make a huge decision. Should he live with Elliot in the woods or go live with humans?

Pete's Dragon truly makes Elliot come to life. Not only is his skin and fur deeply detailed, his expressions look natural and the way he moves is very realistic. It makes you want to get a dragon of your own! The creators made it so we see the actors interacting with Elliot and hugging him, despite the fact that his image was added in post production. The CGI is seamless and makes you truly believe he is a real life dragon. The actors interacted with Elliot emotionally even though he isn't actually there when they shot their scenes. What is equally impressive is that the young kids deliver a level of talent equal to adult actors. I also greatly enjoyed the cinematography. The scenes of Elliot flying through the clouds with Pete on his back and seeing the town, woods and mountains below are simply spectacular.

My favorite scene is when Pete and Elliot play in the woods and are having a blast. I love this scene because it truly shows that no matter the difference of age, height or even species, they are best friends. I also enjoyed this scene because it shows the peaceful beauty of the forest and represents the fantastic visual effects they created for Elliot moving around the forest.

This movie is recommended for kids, but not too young kids. I recommend it to ages 6 to 18. Adults will enjoy it as well, but very young kids may find it a bit too intense at times. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars for its beautiful cinematography, spectacular acting and very realistic special effects. It's in theaters now so, go check it out.

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

I liked watching Pete's Dragon. I enjoyed watching this film because of its fantastic animations and great pacing. After a terrible car crash, Pete (Oakes Fegley) is the only survivor. He is found and raised by a dragon named Elliot in the woods. Elliot is a huge, green, compassionate and joyful dragon. Six years later Pete is discovered by Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) a forest ranger who wonders how is he the woods by himself. He says that he lives in the woods with a dragon. Grace sets out to investigate if his story can be true. To find out what happens, you have to go see the movie.

What I enjoy about this film is the animation of Elliot. The CGI's are very realistic, for example the look of the fur and the detail of his chipped tooth ate perfect. This film makes it look like there is a real dragon in the woods. The pacing of this film is great, it isn't rushed, choppy or slow. I didn't feel like I was watching a movie for an hour and a half. This movie didn't make me feel empty like other films I have seen. I additionally like the sets, the town looks beautiful. Another thing, the cast performances are fantastic. Robert Redford's performance is superb, I enjoy his performance as Grace's father. He is a great character and Oakes Fegley is amazing as Pete. His performance shows a new side of this character that is different when compared to the original version.

The directing is well done. The director and writer (David Lowery) turned this remake into a fantastic piece. The entire art department made the CGI's great and I give them props for all their hard work.

However, one thing I didn't like is that some scenes were predictable. I knew how some scenes were going to turn out. I didn't feel surprised when certain things happened in the film. Besides that this film is great.

The moral of the film is just because someone or something is different, doesn't make them a monster. When people see Elliot they immediately are afraid, they want to hunt him down and eventually want to use him. Even though Elliot is very friendly, and compassionate dragon.

I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this to kids ages 6 to 18 and I think adults might like this as well. I also recommend this to people who like children, family, action and adventure movies. Make sure to see this film on Friday, August 12. Coming to a theater near you, this movie won't disappoint you.

Reviewed by Ryan R., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

This latest retelling of Pete and his friend Elliot the dragon does not disappoint. The visual effects are so darn believable it's mind boggling. The story, of course, follows the traditional one with perhaps a few new elements thrown in to juice it up a bit. The performances by Oakes Fegley, Bryce Dallas Howard and Robert Redford excel in their down home simplicity. I particularly enjoyed Oona Laurence's portrayal of Natalie, Pete's BFF from the first time she spots him as a wild kid in the woods. Truthfully, I went to see this to escape the 100+ degree heat into an air conditioned theater and it completely knocked my socks off! I highly recommend it for parents and grandparents to share with their kids and grandkids. Just be aware that there are some disturbing images that make it questionable for kids under age 7. Kudos to Disney for delivering a very believable fantasy.
The adventures of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just so happens to be a dragon.
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