How To Hug Your Dragon
released OUT NOW! PG | 103 minutes Director david lowery Cast Oakes Fegley, Bryce dallas Howard, Karl Urban, Wes Bentley
Bearing only superficial similarities to the jolly 1977 Disney musical of the same name (it contains a boy named Pete and, er, a dragon), this is an adorable romp with a great cast, pretty CGI, lush landscapes and enough sweetness to fill a beehive.
A cross between How To Train Your Dragon and Spike Jonze’s Where The Wild Things Are (only this time aimed firmly at kids), it’s the story of a sprog named Pete (an excellent Oakes Fegley) who finds himself stranded and alone in the forest after a car crash kills his parents. Saved from a pack of wolves by a dog-like dragon he names Elliot, Pete goes on to live a happy life as a little mini-Tarzan alongside the green furry beast, up until evil loggers threaten his world and Park Ranger Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) takes him home and reminds him of what a mum should be like.
At times a touch too scary for little kids – Elliot may be a nice dragon, but occasionally he’s bloody menacing – this is a heartwarming family adventure that only suffers from two issues: a predictable plot and an absence of wit. What it lacks in one-liners, however, it makes up for in slapstick gags about dragon snot, so children won’t mind all that much. Jayne Nelson
The director celebrated wrapping on the New Zealand shoot by jumping off Kawarau Bridge, birthplace of bungee.
Your starter for one: identify Pete. Identify the dragon.