(This review may contain spoilers).
I have a vague recollection of the story of Pete’s Dragon, but since my memory wasn’t very clear, I didn’t go into the movie with any preconceptions.
The opening scene was a really sad one, even though it did do a good job of showing Pete’s relationship with his parents and something of his education level before he ended up in the woods. I smiled when he was trying to read his book… and it was bittersweet to see how much of an impact that book had on him.
While I was somewhat confused by how the characters were all connected to each other to begin with, it was good to see their relationships, including how close Pete and Grace became; but I also liked seeing Pete as a child, rather than just acting like a wild creature.
I would have liked a little bit more detail of the relationship between Jack and Gavin, especially since I recognised both of the actors. I didn’t much like Gavin, even though it was good to see he wasn’t made out to just be a villain… at least by the end of the movie.
I especially liked seeing Pete get spooked by some of the things he wasn’t familiar with, but considering he was old enough to be reading (or trying to) by himself before the crash, I didn’t feel it made sense for him to be quite as ignorant about balloons or even record players… though the way he was startled by the phone ringing made sense, as it would have been a sound he hadn’t heard in a long time.
I really liked Elliot. I thought the design of the dragon was really well done and it was cool to see that he acted more like a dog. There was a lot that was really sweet about Pete and Elliot interacting with each other.
All in all, this was a really sweet movie and although there were some dark scenes, I felt those were at an acceptable level for children. I might not plan to buy this movie on DVD, but I wouldn’t mind seeing it again.