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Pete's Dragon (1977)

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

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Writers:

(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
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3,109 ( 147)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sean Marshall ...
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Willie
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Paul
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Elliott (voice)
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Captain
Al Checco ...
Fisherman #1
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

His name is Elliott. He's 20 feet high, 40 feet long. He can become invisible at the drop of a hat, or spew red hot flames. In fact, there's only one way to bring this awesome beast under control... rub his tummy. See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 November 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pete y Elliot el Dragon  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ken Anderson, who created Elliott, explained that he thought it would be appropriate to make Elliott "a little paunchy" and not always particularly graceful when it comes to flying. See more »

Goofs

When Nora and Pete are singing 'It's Not Easy' and Nora sings the line 'Life is lollipops and raindrops', she mimes the word 'rainbows' instead of 'raindrops'. See more »

Quotes

Grover: Hey Ma, w-why don't we get ourselves another orphan, huh?
Lena Gogan: Because I done paid our last $50 for Pete, plus $.50 legal fees, and we ain't got another $50 plus legal, that's why. Ya understand?
[Willie and Grover look at each other then shake their heads]
Lena Gogan: Well, here's somethin' you *will* understand: you're gonna have to start workin' the farm with your own two hands, less'n you spot that little twerp!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Oz the Great and Powerful (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

The Happiest Home in These Hills
(uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn
Sung by Shelley Winters, Charles Tyner, Gary Morgan, and Jeff Conaway
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User Reviews

 
One of the best underrated live-action Disney films
23 January 2008 | by (The world of artists) – See all my reviews

"Pete's Dragon" is an enchanting Disney tale that combines live-action and animation. The dragon is the only animated character, but that doesn't change the fact that this is a perfect combination of live-action and animation. This is definitely one of the best live-action movies produced by Disney. One of my favorites. It's cute and charming.

It looks dated, but that's not a major flaw. Actually, that's part of its charm (which is timeless). There are plenty of beautiful vistas: a lighthouse, mountains, green places, the endless sea and more. Passamaquoddy is a strange name, but the village is nice.

The dragon Elliott is cute and lovable. He almost resembles Puff the Magic Dragon and has a funny way to communicate. His sounds are awesome. Elliott is a good and innocent dragon, but big and clumsy. Pete is a cute and lovable kid. I enjoy his friendship with the animated dragon.

There is a nice cast in the film. Sean Marshall is excellent as Pete - he is a very underrated former child actor. Helen Reddy is great as Nora. Mickey Rooney is funny as the silly but comical Lampie. Jim Dale is priceless as Doc Terminus. Red Buttons is very convincing as Doc Terminus's sidekick Hoagy. Shelley Winters plays well her role (the wicked Lena Gogan, the leader of the Gogans).

This is an underrated film. Yet, it's a nice old-fashioned one. And nostalgic too because it's a reminder of other times and also of my own childhood.

There are some cheesy moments, but nothing too serious or enough to ruin the movie. One of the few things I don't like about this movie is Pete's teacher. She is so mean, even more when she does that corporal punishment thing to Pete.

Hoagy is one of my favorite characters. I don't consider him a villain. He's not a bad guy, he's just a poor devil who chose the wrong friend. He is hilarious even in his name. I don't know why, but 'Hoagy' sounds funny to my ears. Classic humor is another solid point of this movie. Many of Doc Terminus's lines are funny, as well as the fact that he never says "Passamaquoddy" correctly.

About the songs, I like most of them very much. My personal favorites are "Brazzle Dazzle Day", "It's not easy", "Candle on the Water", "Boo Bop Bopbop Bop (I love you, too)", "There's Room for Everyone" and "Bill of Sale". These songs are great. Timeless classics.

This motion picture is one among many examples of great underrated films. Many times I get more surprised with a less popular and less appreciated film than with one of those films that most everybody loves. It doesn't always happen, but most of the universally loved films end up being overrated and turn out to be disappointing because we create too much expectations on them, while a not so known and valued movie I may not expect that much from it but turns out to be a pleasant surprise. That only makes me respect and admire these less valued movies even more.

This should definitely be on Top 250.


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