Pete, a boy is found in a forest. Apparently he's been living there for six years after an accident took his parents. A ranger named Grace decides to take him in and when she asks him how he survived all by himself, he says he had a friend, Elliot, with him. He draws a picture of Elliot and it's a picture of a dragon. 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 them where he lives and Elliot. A man saw Elliot and when he tells about his experience and is not believed, he sets out to prove it by capturing the dragon.Written by
Pete spends about 85% of the movie barefoot, both in town and in the woods. See more »
Several vehicles are too new to be in 1983. The Park Ranger Jeep Cherokee driven by Grace was introduced in late 1983 but the model in the movie has rear shoulder seat belts which would make it a 1990 model or later. See more »
There's magic in the woods, if you know where to look for it.
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This updated version wasn't quite what I was expecting, though surprisingly good. The dominant theme is friendship and family and they explore this through a rather subtle tension. Pete loves Elliot, but he also needs a family (which he finds in surrogate form through Bryce Dallas-Howard, her fiancé and his young daughter).
The threat feels shoehorned in, as Karl Urban's inexplicably vengeful logger decides to hunt down the dragon and do...well, he hasn't really thought that one through. It's a weak plot device that sells the story a little short, but is ultimately forgivable. I had a sizeable lump in my throat at several points in the film, and I'm not one for sentimentality. Director Lowery handles the emotion well, particularly through an inspired folksy soundtrack.
There are distinct shades of ET here, as a boy comes to terms with the impossibility of a critical friendship. Not a lot really happens in this movie, but what you get is well paced and thoughtful.
Well worth a watch.
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