What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that several characters in this movie get quite drunk. There are some fight scenes (though they are mild) and a scene of a teacher hitting a student.
What's the story?
This Disney musical about a boy and his dragon centers on Pete, an orphan who has been sold to an abusive backwoods family. Pete is befriended by Elliott, a rotund, friendly, and often mischievous dragon. Together they run away to a small Maine town, where they meet Lampey the lighthouse keeper (Mickey Rooney) and his daughter Nora (Helen Reddy). Of course the bad backwoods family comes looking for Pete, and there is another complex subplot involving a quack doctor (Jim Dale) and his often-drunk sidekick (Red Buttons) who have their own plans for Elliott. There is a disastrous first day of school for Pete (in which his hands are hit with a stick by his teacher), many mishaps involving the mayor, and some wet cement that gets mucked up over and over again.
Is it any good?
The interaction of people and animation in PETE'S DRAGON is surprisingly good, but the movie itself falls rather flat. The biggest problem is the songs, which are utterly forgettable, which is not a great feature for a musical.
The story is a good one and there's a certain sweetness to the proceedings, but also a combination of predictability and noisy chaos that will make this better viewing for kids than for their parents. The message, about finding love and security in a crazy world, is a good one, and children will find this an entertaining and enjoyable viewing experience.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about what they'd do with a dragon of their own.
Discuss Pete's situation and how sometimes people have to find their real families.