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Pete's Dragon (1977)

G  |   |  Adventure, Family, Fantasy  |  3 November 1977 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 15,575 users  
Reviews: 80 user | 45 critic

An orphan boy and his magical dragon come to town with his abusive adoptive parents in pursuit.



(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Elliott (voice)
Walter Barnes ...
Al Checco ...
Fisherman #1


In New England in the early 20th century, Pete is a nine-year-old orphan escaping from his brutal adoptive parents, the Gogans, with his only friend, a cartoon dragon named Elliott. They successfully escape to Passamaquoddy, Maine, and live with Nora, a lighthouse keeper, and her father, Lampie. Elliott is sought for medicinal purposes by the corrupt Dr. Terminus. Written by Matthew Anscher <ansch002@acpub.duke.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Brazzle Dazzle Brilliance! See more »


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

3 November 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pete y Elliot el Dragon  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Unlike most Disney films, the original soundtrack album was released by Capitol Records because Helen Reddy was signed to them at the time. She recorded a single version of "Candle on the Water" with a different arrangement that was released as a single, and both it and the film version of the song were on the album. The single did not make the pop charts but reached #27 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart. Walt Disney Records acquired the rights to re-issue it on CD in 2002, but only the film version of the song was kept, while the single version has appeared on CD on Helen Reddy compilation albums. See more »


During the song "Brazzle Dazzle Day" when Lampie, Pete, and Nora start cleaning the top level of the lighthouse, there's a couple inconsistencies with the glass door being opened and closed as the shots change. See more »


Lampie: [trying to sneak past the lighthouse into Elliot's cave]
[drunk, shouting]
Lampie: Shussh! We don't want- we don't want Nora... to hear us!
Hoagy: Ssshh!
Lampie: Huh?
Hoagy: SSSHHH!
Lampie: [pause, still shouting] We don't want Nora to hear us!
See more »


Referenced in MADtv: Episode #11.19 (2006) See more »


Finale: I Saw a Dragon / Brazzle Dazzle Day
Music and Lyrics by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn
Sung by Helen Reddy, Sean Marshall, Mickey Rooney, and Company
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the last representatives of an era
16 December 2010 | by (Portugal) – See all my reviews

"Pete's Dragon" is not the last Disney classic combining live-action and animation (although the dragon is really the only cartoon in it), but it's one of the last in the traditional sense. That is why it looks older than it really is. It's from 1977 but in many ways it looks like something from the 60's or even the 50's. This means that even in 1977 it already looked dated, an impression that is even stronger considering "galactic" movies like '2001: A Space Odyssey', 'Star Wars' and 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' and "galactic" TV series such as 'Star Trek' and 'Battlestar Gallactica'.

But the dated style for its time isn't really a fault. It's just temperament. Actually, "Pete's Dragon" has a charm of its own. It's a timeless classic. This was one of my childhood films.

Settings are authentic and owners of a great and natural beauty. I wonder if Passamaquoddy exists for real. Nevertheless, Passamaquoddy is one heck of a name. Not as difficult to spell as "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" (and by no means as difficult as to say it backwards, which is "dociousaliexpiisticfragicalirupus" but that's going a bit too far, don't you think?), yet still a little difficult to pronounce at first. Takes its time to learn how to pronounce. But it's not as hard to spell as Doc Terminus wants to make us believe (ha ha ha).

The dragon Elliott is cute and very friendly and sweet. If he was real, he'd make a wonderful pet.

The kid is cute. What ever happened to Sean Marshall? He was both a very talented actor and a gifted singer. In other words, he was an authentic actor and singed like an angel. Speaking of music, this movie has immensely charming songs. "Candle on the Water" is soft and very relaxing. "It's Not Easy" is very touching and beautiful. "Boo Bop Bop Bop Bop (I Love You, Too)" is quite cute. "Brazzle Dazzle Day" is a feel-good and very optimistic song. "There's Room for Everyone" is another wonderful and nostalgic song. "Bill of Sale" has a different nature than all the songs previously mentioned, but it's just as great and memorable.

Jim Dale is hilarious as the sly as a fox and corrupt Dr. Terminus and Red Buttons is priceless as his follower Hoagy. Hoagy is the typical Disney follower of a villain: mostly harmless, not truly evil or threatening, just a poor guy who made the wrong friend. That's real acting in both cases!

Charlie Callas makes very well Elliott's sounds. Helen Reddy and Mickey Rooney are great too. The actors who portray the Gogans are quite convincing in their roles. The Gogans are dirty and creepy, they aren't nice and likable people, but there are moments when they're funny. Pete's teacher isn't a nice and likable person either, but the actress convinces in her portrayal.

Title in Portugal: 'Meu Amigo o Dragão'.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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