PETE’S DRAGON (PG)

Liv­ing un­der the pro­tec­tion of friendly fire US, 103 min

Townsville Bulletin - Townsville Eye - - FLICKS -

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.

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