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Cute and lightweight 

Cute and lightweight 
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Highlights

Close on the heels of ‘The Jungle Book’, Disney Pictures have re-imagined a lesser known live action/animation musical from the vast repertoire of children’s classics. But unlike the original 1977, the new 3D version of ‘Pete’s Dragon’ dispenses with animation and song interludes.

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Close on the heels of ‘The Jungle Book’, Disney Pictures have re-imagined a lesser known live action/animation musical from the vast repertoire of children’s classics. But unlike the original 1977, the new 3D version of ‘Pete’s Dragon’ dispenses with animation and song interludes.

Skillfully adapting the short stories by SS Field and Seaton I Miller, director David Lowery weaves an array of influences, ranging from early adventure from Carroll Ballard’s ‘The Black Stallion’ to Steven Spielberg’s animal adventures.

A correct amount of magic or fantasy is added to this story of an orphaned boy and his best friend, who just happens to be a dragon. The titular 11-year-old Pete (Oakes Fegley) is the lone survivor of a car crash in which his parents perish (a familiar plot these days).

Alone in a remote forest he becomes a wild child. But an unlikely friendship develops between Pete and the green, furry, surprisingly gentle beast who protects him from any harm.

But their idyllic friendship is threatened when a deforestation crew arrives on the scene. Urban development is surely on their minds. Thankfully, a brave ranger Grace (Boyce Dallas Howard) is on the scene with her fast-spinning-tales father (Robert Redford) and a young step-daughter Natalie (Oona Lawrence) who have to fight the local lumber mill owner and the locals who are keen on capturing the dragon for the circus.

Fetchingly shot at locations in New Zealand, the film is saturated with memorable set pieces such as the school bus to escape from the clutches of pursuers. Its 102 minutes of compact fun and games and the dragon design is never allowed to overshadow the human characters, especially the two children.

Oakes Fegley and Oona Lawrence steal the show and Bryce Dallas Howard provides apt support. The soundtrack is punctuated with snatches of country and folk ballad that imbues zing and makes ‘Pete’s Dragon’ 3D ideal fare for both children and adults.

Film Name : Pete’s Dragon
Cast : Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley, Oona Lawrence & Robert Redford
Direction : David Lowery
Genre : Fantasy
Likes : Oakes Fegley, Oona Lawrence and production design
Dislikes : Hardly any

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