Full disclosure: if I saw the original movie as a kid, I don’t remember it. This version of Pete’s Dragon starts out in the most Disney manner ever, with Pete (Oakes Fegley) losing his parents but being rescued by Elliott. Pete lives in the forest for several years with Elliott, until he’s found by Grace Meacham (Bryce Dallas Howard), a forest ranger who reminds him of his mother.
Look, I’m not going to surprise you if I tell you what happens. Bonds will form, there’s danger, happy ending, lots of tears if that’s your thing. It’s a well-made movie, and Elliott is beautifully animated. It moves a bit slow on occasion, so if you have younger children who are fidgety, keep that in mind. The cast is rounded out by Wes Bentley, Karl Urban (as the closest thing to a villain, he wants to capture Elliott), and Robert Redford. All are very earnest, I guess is the best way I can describe it.
Pete’s Dragon is a great way to spend an afternoon with your family, and hey, sometimes you need that.