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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 »
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:

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:

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:

$40,100,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Walt Disney Productions See more »
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

The story was set in the fictitious eastern seacoast town of Passamaquoddy. The movie set, however, was constructed on the west coast. This explains why the sun appears to be setting in the east in the scene early in the movie in which Nora exits the lighthouse after putting Pete to bed. See more »

Goofs

When Pete is riding the invisible Elliot in the opening scenes through the forest, the wires holding him up are visible. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Terminus: [talking to the Gogans after Elliott crashed their boat and they fell into the water and now they're sick] Excuse me folks, I witnessed what happened today and I'm completely sympathetic with you.
Grover: [offensively] What's "sympathetic" mean?
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 MADtv: Episode #11.19 (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Every Little Piece
(uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn
Sung by Jim Dale and Red Buttons
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Amusing and entertaining film that combines live adventure with animation
3 April 2011 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Endearing animated monster movie about a lively dragon and his little friend . The story takes place in Maine circa 1908 , the starring are an orphaned 9-years-old boy named Pete (Sean Marshall) and his sympathetic dragon Elliot . Freckly Pete flee the overbearing foster Gogan family (Shelley Winters , Charles Tyner), who all utilize him as a slave instead of a kind child. When Pete can successfully escape from them with his protective dragon , his only friend , that only can see , then they stumble into the town of Passamaquaddy- an ocean front dock town plenty of fishermen, drunks and rare people . Pete's arrival does not fit well with the townsfolk , as his pale green dragon Elliott accidentally causes town destruction and rioting among the school teacher , the Mayor (Jim Backus) , the citizens , among others . Expecting to be an outcast yet again, Pete is cared by the loved Nora (Helen Reddy) who lives in a lighthouse with her daddy Lampy (Mickey Rooney ). And when a phony con disguising as a Dr. Terminus (Jim Dale) and his pal (Red Buttons) arrive in the little town , they see Elliott the Dragon as the ultimate profit to his fortune and money.

Enjoyable story that mingles animation with live action . This is a likable sort of a kiddies' adaptation of ¨Harvey¨ and another attempt for repeat the Mary Poppins magic . The dragon Elliott steals the show , as itself grins, grunts and botchers around.The primitive but efficient animation is by Don Bluth who subsequently would direct successes as Nimh , Anastasia and Titan A.E. .Colorful and evocative cinematography by cameraman Frank Philips . Agreeable choreography and beautiful songs and musical score by Irwin Kostal. The motion picture is professionally directed by Don Chaffey (Jason and the Argonauts, Lassie , million years B.C ).The children will get a kick out of this Disney musical . Rating : Acceptable and passable.


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