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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:

Featuring Elliott, the fearsome, frolicking, fun-loving dragon! 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

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

When Hoagy (in disguise) clutches a dollar bill during the song "Passamaquoddy" it is of a mid-20th-century design. 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 Mystery Science Theater 3000: Riding with Death (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

I Saw a Dragon
(uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn
Sung by Mickey Rooney, Helen Reddy, and Ensemble
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Originals are Better
14 August 2016 | by Hollywood_YodaSee all my reviews

With the release of the newly updated version out this past Friday, I wanted to write about the original Disney masterpiece, Petes Dragon. It was a great memory as a child, watching this magical film and singing the songs. I realize that not everyone is a fan of musicals or Disney films in general, but this was one of the last true musicals, up there with Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Mary Poppins.

I like the original, it has depth and feeling. Remakes just make me feel like I'm paying for a story I already know. Some remakes can be good, but the original Petes Dragon isn't even that old of a film. And I know Disney has a history of remaking a lot of their own films, but Petes Dragon? It's a classic.

This film has so many memorable moments, from the characters to the sets to the music. Mickey Rooney as Lampie was great, probably his most remembered role ever. And Helen Reddy as Nora was excellent, and her song Candle on the Water is beautiful. And Doc Terminus, played by Jim Dale was hilarious and charming. He is a real treat to watch in any Disney film.

If you love Disney films, watch the classic and give it credit where it's due.


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