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Pete's Dragon (2016)

2:23 | Trailer
The adventures of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliott, who happens to be a dragon.


David Lowery


David Lowery (screenplay by), Toby Halbrooks (screenplay by) | 3 more credits »
4,187 ( 328)
3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bryce Dallas Howard ... Grace
Robert Redford ... Meacham
Oakes Fegley ... Pete
Oona Laurence ... Natalie
Wes Bentley ... Jack
Karl Urban ... Gavin
Isiah Whitlock Jr. ... Sheriff Gene Dentler (as Isiah Whitlock)
Marcus Henderson ... Woodrow
Aaron Jackson ... Abner
Phil Grieve ... Bobby
Steve Barr ... Deputy Smalls
Keagan Carr Fransch Keagan Carr Fransch ... Doctor Marquez
Jade Valour Jade Valour ... Nurse Merriwether
Augustine Frizzell ... Mrs. Swanberg
Francis Biggs Francis Biggs ... Mr. Swanberg


A young boy, Pete, is found in a forest where he's been living for six year after an accident took his parents' lives. A ranger, Grace, takes him in and asks him how he survived all by himself. He says he had a friend named Elliott and draws a picture of a dragon, saying it's Elliott. Grace takes the picture to her father who claims that years ago he encountered a dragon in the forest. Grace takes Pete back to the forest and he shows her his home and Elliott. A man sees Elliott, and when he tells about his experience and isn't believed, he sets out to capture the dragon to prove it. Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Some secrets are too big to keep.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for action, peril and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official Site





Release Date:

12 August 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pete's Dragon See more »

Filming Locations:

New Zealand See more »


Box Office


$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,514,095, 14 August 2016

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS (DTS: X)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Robert Redford used Alex Hunt's Essential Movie Blog as artistic inspiration during the production of Pete's Dragon (2016) See more »


Around 01:26:47, it's twilight. Around 01:27:22, it's daylight. See more »


Sheriff Gene Dentler: [from trailer] You can't say 'dragon' over the radio.
See more »


Go North [Dragon Song Redux]
Lyrics by David Lowery and Toby Halbrooks
Traditional Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Somehow, this version is just as long, slow, and devoid of movie magic as before.
9 August 2016 | by GoneWithTheTwins_comSee all my reviews

After a sudden accident separates young Pete (Oakes Fegley) from his parents, the boy is stranded alone in the woods - but only momentarily, as he soon encounters a giant, friendly green dragon, whom he names Elliot. Years pass without incident, until loggers begin encroaching further into the forest, threatening Pete and Elliot's simple, isolated lifestyle. When lumberjack manager Jack (Wes Bentley), his daughter Natalie (Oona Laurence), and his girlfriend Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) discover Pete near a harvesting site, they take him back to their house for the night and promise to help Pete look for Elliot in the morning. But while the well-intentioned family attempts to reunite the boy with his magical companion, fearful townspeople - led by Jack's brother Gavin (Karl Urban) - hunt the creature for their own avaricious purposes.

It begins with a somewhat terrifying opening scene, which demonstrates both the best and the worst aspects of this redux of a much-loved '70s venture. A lost, scared, tiny child is rescued by a benevolent creature, as gentle as it is enormous. But getting the boy to that point is an aggravatingly overused gimmick of camera viewpoints and predictable tragedies that works to nullify the poignancy of a mighty guardian and a helpless orphan. This mixed approach to storytelling tactics resurfaces frequently later on, as adults become villains, humans immediately confront unknowns with fear and hatred, and an anti-deforestation message is infused into the already tiresome family-friendly morals.

It may not be difficult to best the success of the 1977 picture, but this 2016 re-imagining certainly attempts to fall into the same traps. This version is equally overlong, slow, and inundated with music; no less than three car-ride sequences showcase songs presiding over wide eyes staring out windows. It's as if the filmmakers couldn't come up with any other way to segue from one location to the next. And though the computer-animated Elliot is crisper, sharper, and far furrier (the whole dragon is covered in bristling hair to replace the purplish mop perched on the traditionally-drawn predecessor), he's also not as cute or endearing. And his actions and behaviors are virtually equivalent to a standard dog.

Perhaps this film's genericness is its biggest detractor. Every human character acts and reacts exactly as they've done before in everything from "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" to "King Kong." The government wants to control the situation; hunters want the fame for catching a monster; and children just want to return the beast to its home and freedoms. The plot also borrows from "Tarzan" and "The Jungle Book" (particularly with the addition of a love interest - or a romantic curiosity for the boy), while following the exhausting, commonplace paths for conflict, the stopping of villains, and the exhibition of Elliot's propriety in helping even those who would hurt him.

In all of this ordinariness, a few repeated lines hold significance, a couple of decent laughs find their way into the script, and many of Pete and Elliot's interactions prove genuinely emotional. But with the updates in special effects, environments, and the general sincerity of acting, it's more difficult than before to accept the existence of a chameleonic dragon and his tranquil touch (and his extreme intelligence and understanding of English). This, of course, also makes it more inconvenient to merely dismiss Pete's increasing proficiency with the language, despite his not communicating with anyone else for such an extended period of time. It's all meant to appeal to the very young, but it's the kind of subject matter - and production - that could inspire a decent theme park ride more than one's imagination or sense of wonderment.

  • The Massie Twins

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