PETE’S DRAGON (PG)
Living under the protection of friendly fire US, 103 min
Disney’s first pass at Pete’s Dragon in 1977 was one of those something-for-everyone numbers (part musical, part cartoon, and all-round hammy acting fest) that just didn’t add up. So as a remake to right past wrongs, the new version is an unqualified success. The songs are gone, the sub-par animation has been replaced by strikingly photorealistic CGI, and the cast is better than average. Viewed independently of its problematic pedigree, however, this gently meandering affair only just gets by. Young newcomer Oakes Fegley is Pete, a kid who lost his parents in a car crash at an early age, and has been going feral in the forest ever since. If you’re thinking Pete is a bit like Mowgli from The Jungle Book, you are kind of on the right track, save for one pressing point of difference. This kid’s chief guardian is a jolly green dragon. Co-stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Karl Urban.