Disney has continued its revamping of children’s classics (from Beauty and the Beast to The Jungle Book, they’re ploughing through their back catalogue) by giving the 1977 version of Pete’s Dragon a serious new makeover.
For starters, director David Lowery has done away with the original’s slapstick comedy and places Robert Redford and Bryce Dallas Howard, recently recovered from the trauma of 2015’s Jurassic World, at the centre of a more mysterious retelling of Seton Miller and S.S Field’s story. Think less bedraggled hillbillies being flung into mud, and more atmospheric shots of Redford gazing into forests. And throw in an arguably cooler dragon (although any enchanted fan of the original may miss the pink hair).
But we still have Pete (Oakes Fegley), and his invisible dragon Elliott surviving alone in the woods until they are discovered by a forest ranger. Their discovery leads to carnage and adventure around the (severely modernised) city of Passamaquoddy.