PeTe’s DRagOn

How To Hug Your Dragon

SFX - - Reviews -

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.

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