WARNING: This Review May Contain Spoilers

What I am about to say was originally going to be a paragraph of its own but I realised there wasn’t much more I could say than this: Disney didn’t make a frame by frame remake! That’s because it would be explained in more detail by the sections that followed so I decided to open with my joy and give Disney a little bit of credit, especially as this is the third film of theirs I have decided to cover and so far (oh yeah, there will be more Disney related remakes), is the only one that wasn’t frame by frame.


                This is probably the biggest difference between the two versions. In the original film, our first meeting with Pete and his dragon, Elliot, is as they are running away from his foster family – the Gogans. We are also made aware that Pete is an orphan but are unaware of the circumstances. Here’s where the remake has decided to fill us in. It is shown to us that he is orphaned when he and his parents end up in a crash trying to avoid a deer in the road and Pete ends up as the sole survivor. This also leads into him meeting Elliot, which had me believing that the dragon was genuinely going to be imaginary this time.

Animation vs CGI

                Here I want to talk specifically about the production of Elliot the dragon. What amazed me watching the original film is how little the green-screening stood out. A lot of the time, having watched so many films from this modern age with their technology – things like this do look more obvious and end up making the film dated. Thankfully this wasn’t the case as often as I expected. Yes, the flying looked a little bit odd but really, that was about it. I guess what I’m trying to say is that both looked pretty good, all things considered.

Elliot the Dragon

                This time, I wanted to talk about Elliot’s character. My favourite part is that he clearly has his own language in the original film with his huffs, rumbles and clicks. I worried a little that they were going to make Elliot talk in the remake but thankfully they never crossed that line. Truthfully, I prefer the original Elliot to the remake – mainly because he came across a lot goofier than the remake. I feel like they tried in the remake for example when Elliot jumps on the sprinkler hose when he’s looking for his human friend, Pete.

Musical vs Non-Musical

                I think the lack of songs changed the tone of the plot for the remake. It came across a lot more serious whereas the original definitely felt like the children’s film that it is supposed to be. This isn’t a criticism, because I actually found it quite refreshing that they tried to take the film in a different angle to the original.

Villains of the Story

                In comparison to the original film, I don’t believe there is an out-and-out villain in the remake. As mentioned already, the original film has the Gogan family – the nasty foster family of Pete who only wanted him so he can do all their chores. In addition to them, there is Doc Terminus. His villainy is directed specifically at Elliot himself and tries whatever he can to kidnap him, including handing Pete back to the Gogans. All the remake has is Evan, who is possibly set up as the Doc Terminus character of the remake as he also tries to take Elliot for himself but sees the error of his ways in the end when his brother Jack and sister-in-law Grace end up in danger due to his actions.

In Conclusion

                It’s very rare that I say this, but I actually enjoyed both versions of Pete’s Dragon. Like I said, this is probably because they take two different views of the same story and no matter what, you can’t help but love Elliot the Dragon!

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