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.
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
When Pete climbs onto the school bus, that is a reference to when Pete followed the school children in the original movie. See more »
Near the end, Meacham (Robert Redford) can be heard saying that "the North star shines brightest of all". This is a common misconception. In reality, the North star is only about 50th brightest (its exact placement is impossible, because it's slightly variable). See more »
I'm out in those woods every day. And while I have seen bears and bobcats, and just about every type of bird you can imagine, I have never seen... a dragon.
Just 'cause you don't see something, doesn't mean it's not there.
And just because you say it's true, doesn't mean it is.
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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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