With The BFG live action remake on its way later in 2016, along with the Pete’s Dragon reboot it was starting to look like Disney might be at risk of running out of new stories to make into films. However, from the look of the trailer below, this is going to be a very different kettle of fish to the 1977 live-action and animation original, so maybe there’s something to be said for creative reinvention after all.
It takes a much less overtly fantastical and jovial slant on the concept of a young boy and his invisible dragon friend and as a result it’s given itself a pretty good chance of success. Bringing things right up to date and setting it in a small town in modern-day America, it looks like the real life incarnation of How To Train Your Dragon and it could be a crackling re-imagination of the original.
The Pete’s Dragon (2016) UK release date has been confirmed for the 12th August 2016, which is the same date as it’s slated to arrive in the States. While the film is a mix of live action and CGI animation, it’s only being released on 2D in the UK, although from the look of the trailer below, we’d have to say that it doesn’t look like there’s enough CGI craziness to warrant watching it in 3D anyway.
It’ll be out in the UK on the same weekend as the great white shark attack intensity of The Shallows and the supernatural science fiction of Spectral, so the Disney movie is shaping up to be the big release that week.
The plot looks a bit like Tarzan meets The Jungle Book, Dragonheart and Family Ness with a young boy named Pete being discovered by a forest ranger called Grace, who grew up listening to her dad’s tall tales about a a dragon that lives in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Living away from society, the boy has managed to survive all these years out in the open forests, but he’s adamant he’s had the help of his dinosaur friend Elliot to keep him from harm.
Disney has assembled a pretty impressive cast that includes Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World) as Grace and Robert Redford (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) as her dad. Newcomer, Oakes Fegley, takes on the role of young Pete, and the rest of the cast includes Wes Bentley (Interstellar), Karl Urban (Star Trek Beyond) and Oona Laurence.
The film has been directed by David Lowery, who has also co-written the screenplay with Toby Halbrooks. Jim Whitaker has produced the film for Walt Disney Pictures.
The film hasn’t been certified in the UK as of yet, but the trailer has been rates as PG by the British Board Of Film Classification. The original movie was rated as U, but with a slightly more serious looking story and dragon action, it looks likely that the PG rating will carry for the 2016 movie, along with the trailer.
Before seeing the trailer, we were fairly dubious about the prospect of Pete’s Dragon (2016), but with a very fresh take on a classic, it’s got a pretty good shout of reintroducing it to a modern day audience. The cast is pretty strong, the story is an interesting reboot concept and the setting looks very cool, however, it’ll all come down to the performance and CGI behind Elliot, Pete’s dragon pal. If he’s as epic, magical and lovable as he should be then this could go on to be a classic in its own right.