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Pete's Dragon (1977)

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

Director:

Don Chaffey

Writers:

Malcolm Marmorstein (screenplay), Seton I. Miller (story) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,778 ( 799)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Helen Reddy ... Nora
Jim Dale ... Dr. Terminus
Mickey Rooney ... Lampie
Red Buttons ... Hoagy
Shelley Winters ... Lena Gogan
Sean Marshall Sean Marshall ... Pete
Jane Kean ... Miss Taylor
Jim Backus ... The Mayor
Charles Tyner ... Merle
Gary Morgan ... Grover
Jeff Conaway ... Willie
Cal Bartlett ... Paul
Charlie Callas ... Elliott (voice)
Walter Barnes ... Captain
Al Checco 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:

Brightest, liveliest musical: It's real! It's fantasy! It's fun! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 November 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pete y Elliot el Dragon See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$39,588,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$39,588,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby (RCA Photophone Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first Disney film involving animation in which none of the Nine Old Men - Disney's original team of animators - were involved. See more »

Goofs

Reflection in glass used to crush the Mayor's cigar. 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 »

Alternate Versions

This Disney film has a troubled history as far as the many different versions released over the years. It originally ran 134 minutes. After its premiere engagement in Hollywood, it was cut down to 121 minutes before it premiered in New York. When it was released in Europe, it ran 105 minutes, with the following edits: -"Candle on the Water" (which survived only as an instrumental passage over the credits replacing the original overture) and "The Happiest Home in These Hills" were eliminated entirely. -Verses from "I Saw A Dragon," "Passamashloddy," "There's Room For Everyone," and "Every Little Piece" were cut. -21 scenes were shortened. This version was used for the original home video release in 1980, while every video since then has run 128 minutes, restoring the songs and the majority of dramatic material. However, when Disney re-released it in theaters, it was the European cut. Even further cuts were made for the TV version of the film, which premiered on "The Disney Sunday Movie" in 1986. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pushing Daisies: The Legend of Merle McQuoddy (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

It's Not Easy
(uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn
Sung by Sean Marshall and Helen Reddy
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the best underrated live-action Disney films
23 January 2008 | by Atreyu_IISee 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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