: : : Pete's Dragon

Story

This story of a winsome orphan and his guardian dragon features an Academy Award-nominated score and song, Helen Reddy's "Candle on the Water." The combination of a live-action story with an animated figure was innovative in 1977, and the green dragon with pink wings will still charm youngsters today. However, its plot has the boy running from a nasty family to whom he's been sold into slavery, as well as an evil magician who tries to steal the dragon for his parts. These dark story lines may scare or bore younger children, who only want to see Elliot the dragon belch fire and give Pete rides on his back. And older children who might appreciate the plot may scoff at the relatively crude animation. This leaves a rather narrow audience window of about ages 3 to 7. A cast of veterans includes Shelley Winters, Mickey Rooney, and Red Buttons, who all turn in the hammiest of performances. Acting newcomer Reddy demonstrates both why her acting career never took off and why her singing career did. (Lines like "You're a bunch of superstitious ding-dongs" don't give her much help.) However, her sometimes awkward performance as the lonely lighthouse keeper who gives the boy a home provides the film with its heart. Bottom line: it's a keeper for diehard Disney fans, dragon lovers, and those who remember this movie fondly from their childhood. --Kimberly Heinrichs

DVD Features

  • Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Reluctant Dragon animated short
  • "Where's Elliot?" game
  • Excerpts from Disney Television shows
  • Disney Family Album w/ Ken Anderson - supervised character of Elliot
  • Development Art Gallery
  • Behind The Scenes Art Gallery
  • Advertising, PR & Merchandising Gallery

Cast

Mickey RooneyLampie
Shelley WintersLena Gogan
Jim DaleDr. Terminus
Helen ReddyNora
Sean MarshallPete
Red ButtonsHoagy
Sean MarshallPete
Jane KeanMiss Taylor
Jim BackusThe Mayor
Charles TynerMerle
Gary MorganGrover
Jeff ConawayWillie
Cal BartlettPaul
Charlie CallasElliott (voice)
Walter BarnesCaptain

  • Genre: Animated Movies
  • Director: Don Chaffey
  • Producer: Buena Vista
  • Length: 134 min
  • Aspect ratio: 1.66:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaNov 3, 1977
  • Ratings
    North AmericaG
    EuropeU
    AustraliaG
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaJan 16, 2001
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