Pete's Dragon (1977) - Rotten Tomatoes

Pete's Dragon (1977)

Pete's Dragon (1977)

Pete's Dragon




Critic Consensus: Boring and slow, this is a lesser Disney work, though the animation isn't without its charms.

Pete's Dragon Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Based on a story by Hollywood old-timers Seton I. Miller and S. S. Field, Pete's Dragon divides its time between its flesh-and-blood characters and an animated green dragon. Pete (Sean Marshall), a lonely orphan boy in turn-of-the-century Maine, runs away from his abusive foster family. He stumbles upon a lovable dragon named Elliot, and the two become inseparable companions. Elliot is visible only to Pete, leading the townsfolk to assume that the boy is a trifle tetched. Pete finally finds happiness with his "new" family, lighthouse-keeper Lampie (Mickey Rooney) and his daughter Nora (Helen Reddy, who sings and sings). British comic actor Jim Dale co-stars as the wacky dentist Dr. Terminus. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovimore
Rating: G
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Kids & Family
Directed By:
Written By: Malcolm Marmorstein
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 16, 2001
Buena Vista Pictures


Jim Dale
as Dr. Terminus
Shelley Winters
as Lena Gogan
Jean Kean
as Miss Taylor
Jim Backus
as The Mayor
Jane Kean
as Miss Taylor
Robert Easton
as Store Proprietor
Roger Price
as Man with Visor
Robert Foulk
as Old Sea Captain
Ben Wrigley
as Egg Man
Joe Ross
as Cement Man
Al Checco
as Fisherman
Henry Slate
as Fisherman
Jack Collins
as Fisherman
Joe E. Ross
as Cement Man
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Pete's Dragon

Critic Reviews for Pete's Dragon

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (3)

An enchanting and humane fable.

Full Review… | November 14, 2007
Top Critic

The dragon itself grunts, grins and goofs around, but isn't half as appealing as its creators obviously hoped. More character and better animation would have helped.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

You don't often see children's musicals as ambitious as this one any more.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Saddled with an absurdly overlong running time (128 minutes!) and a raft of forgettable songs...

Full Review… | August 14, 2015
Reel Film Reviews

Offbeat live-action/animation mix with lots of drinking.

Full Review… | January 2, 2011
Common Sense Media

The animation is much the best part of Pete's Dragon, a film not surfeited with great & timeless elements.

Full Review… | December 15, 2010
Antagony & Ecstasy

Audience Reviews for Pete's Dragon

As a Disney animation enthusiast, not having seen this live-action/animation mix until now was my biggest sin (this and actually having seen a few of their direct-to-video sequelized offenders). Elliot the dragon is quite an endearing creation, but when he's not on the screen (and that happens too often), the whole film falls flat with no "real" star big enough to carry the thing. Coreographer Onna White tries to infuse some of the energy that made "Oliver!" so memorable, but the mundane songs she has to work with (the sole exception being the poignant "Candle on the water") make matters hard. It is technically accomplished, but it is another reminder of the sad time when Disney stopped making films for families and started making films for children. At least it gave us one of the coolest floats at Disney's Electrical Parade as one of its sole legacies.

Matheus Carvalho
Matheus Carvalho

Super Reviewer

Good heartwarming musical adventure filled with thrilling plot twists, this film is a wonderful blend of live-action and Disney animation. This is a sort of a children's version of Harvey and another attempt for repeat the Mary Poppins magic. There are a LOT of songs, even for a Disney musical.
Settings look wonderful. I wonder if Passamaquoddy exists for real. Nevertheless, Passamaquoddy is one heck of a name.
Jim Dale as the unscrupulous Dr Terminus, and Red Buttons as his dim side-kick, are genuinely funny villains. The blending together of animated Elliot and the living, breathing actors is very good - especially for 1977 - though in a shipwreck sequence near the end the special effects are utterly dreadful.

Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer


I will never fully understand what disney was thinking when they decided to make a live action movie with an animated dragon. If only all homeless slave orphaned kids had imaginary friends to distract them from their terrible lives. This seems like it should have been more bizarre than it really ends up being, but it's still worth seeing for the nutso logic.

Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

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