In a city of humanoid animals, a hustling theater impresario's attempt to save his theater with a singing competition becomes grander than he anticipates even as its finalists find that their lives will never be the same.
Pete, a boy, is found in a forest. Apparently he's been living there for six years after an accident took the lives of 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 sees Elliot and when he tells about his experience and is not believed, he sets out to prove it by capturing the dragon.Written by
Grace tells Pete she was "not much older" than him when her mother died. Later in the film, her father says that Grace was "maybe 5 or 6, just before [her] mother died", whereas Pete is about 11. However, Grace actually meant that she lost her mother at about the same age Pete lost his parents. Pete was 5 when that happened (and by that point Grace already knew that), so she was correct. 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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