It’s been a while since I’ve done a film review, so here’s my thoughts of Pete’s Dragon…

For some, they grew up with the original 1977 Disney film, which was a mix of live action and animation. I however did not, but a few years ago my friend who grew up loving it encouraged me to watch it. Unfortunately, I did not get it and I just really didn’t rate it.

Then came the announcement of this 2016 remake, still being a mix of live action and animation. Initially, I was surprised by this, as I didn’t think there was much of a demand, nor did I think there was much of a story to go by. That said, I couldn’t help being pulled in by the new adaptation, which looked far more exciting.

First off, I’m going to say there’s very little correlation to the original; only the key points of a friendly dragon friend, and a lost boy looking for a loving home. Which pretty much sums up the story in the simplest form.

If you love “lost boy” type adventure stories like that of The Jungle Book or Tarzan, then this will be the film for you. The tale is one of a young boy, Pete (Oakes Fegley), who is raised in the forest by his saviour and best friend Elliot (the dragon) – and soon the two stumble into the world of the humans, which runs them into a few troubles, as well as some blessings.

The bond between Elliot and Pete is so special, and comes across so beautifully. Elliot is crafted in an almost dog-like manner, so you see him as this creature that is both a pet and guardian to Pete. He’s friendly, loyal, cheeky, strong and fiery. That said, all of the characters have qualities that make you love and loathe them.

Similarly, the casting is brilliant. Of course you have the obvious stars of the film, which are the two child actors – especially Oakes Fegley as Pete. Equally. Bryce Dallas Howard as Grace is the nurturing mother figure we all want or strive to be I’m sure – she completely wins you over with her portrayal of that character.

Stylistically, the sets, costumes, CGI, music, shots and all of those little details help make it that extra bit magical. Everything is crafted so well and completely immerses you into their worlds and story.

Overall, it completely exceeded all expectations. It seemed to have a wide appeal, as lots of parents were there with kids of all ages – one child even came in clutching an Elliot plush toy! For me that’s such a joy to see, that even before the film they have reason to get excited about these brilliant characters Disney create. It was bursting at the seams with emotion, comedy, seat-gripping drama, action and adventure and heart-warming moments. I honestly think this could be one of the underrated gems for 2016 films. I thought it gave an exciting adaptation which was brilliantly done, and captured all that it needed perfectly – definitely a family friendly worthwhile watch! And I think you’ll all be left wishing you had an Elliot!

Out now. Rating: ★★★★

Have you seen Pete’s Dragon – original or modern version, what were your thoughts on either of them? What have you seen recently? Let me know below!