Pete's Dragon - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Pete's Dragon Reviews

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October 16, 2014
love this movie as a child growing up :-)
August 29, 2014
Overly long and boring
June 27, 2014
The WORST Disney movie EVER!
April 17, 2014
Pete's Dragon may very well be the best Disney movie out of everything made after Walt himself passed away. This is an incredibly sweet movie with a stellar cast and an outstanding soundtrack. Joel Hirschhorn and Al Kasha were robbed of an Oscar and definitely deserve more credit for these songs. Jim Dale also really cracks me up as the scheming Dr. Terminus. And I found the Maine setting to be really quaint. But what I love best of all is the beautiful friendship between Pete and Elliott. Don't let the critics keep you away, because this is one of Disney's finest films. (First viewing - In my early twenties)
March 21, 2014
I cannot give a fair rating, as watching this film, I am overwhelmed with feelings of nostalgia of being a 5 year old in that magical, magical decade, the 1970s. Memories of this film are wrapped up with my fondness of my Pete's Dragon Lunchbox, that accompanied me to kindergarten until being replaced by a Star Wars lunchbox. And in the summer of 1978 seeing Sean Marshall reprise his role as Pete riding atop the Elliot Float in the Main Street Electrical Parade.
January 9, 2014
Loved this as a kid!
January 1, 2014
A throwaway Disney film, "Pete's Dragon" is distinguished only by strong performances from its adult cast. Helen Reddy brings a sly intensity to her performance, elevating it above what is actually written. Shelley Winters and Jim Dale are entertaining in way over-the-top roles, and Mickey Rooney gives an enjoyable performance as a Disnified alcoholic. Unfortunately, not much good can be said for any other element of the movie. The songs are not only boring, but go on twice as long as they should, since almost all of them have interludes. Surprisingly few of them have anything to do with the matters at hand, and could easily have been rejects from other musicals. For example, the love song Pete sings to his dragon at the beginning manages to be both generic and awkward, sounding exactly like something that would appear in the middle of a musical romance. The animation was probably nothing to write home about even in 1977, and its integration into the live action is far less seamless than what had come before in "Mary Poppins" (1964, mind you!) and what would come again in the future.
½ December 1, 2013
One of my favorite Disney films! I love the characters, story, and the music. It brings out my inner child.
½ November 19, 2013
Pete's Dragon is a cute movie. It is about an orphan boy and his magical dragon who come to town with his abusive adoptive parents in pursuit. Helen Reddy, Jim Dale, and Sean Marshall give amazing performances. The screenplay is well written and the song "Candle on the Water" is incredible. Don Chaffey did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the adventure and fantasy.
November 19, 2013
When looking at the many Disney releases, in the live-action department, some of the best classic Disney films upon first thought include greats as Treasure Island, Old Yeller, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Swiss Family Robinson, and Mary Poppins, with Mary Poppins being viewed as the pinnacle of the Disney library. One that is not rated too high is Pete's Dragon. It's a Disney film that I was not familiar with as a kid (I didn't know this film existed until I saw the dragon character at a light show at Disney world; it's an impressive sight), and like Bedknobs and Broomsticks, it's received criticisms from many who believe Disney only made to try to imitate the success of Mary Poppins (this one less than Bedknobs), with combined live action/animation and musical numbers. But like the vastly underrated Bedknobs, Pete's Dragon is also an underrated Disney treasure that's filled with fun family fun and adventure.

The film is about Pete (Sean Marshall), an orphan boy who, along with his friendly (and mostly invisible) dragon Elliot, runs away from his abusive foster family The Gogans (led by Shelley Winters) to live a more peaceful and less abusive life. They come across the fishing town of Passamaquaddy, where Pete believes is the perfect town to live, but is viewed as a menace by the town when Elliot's invisibility causes a ton of havoc. Pete finally finds happiness when he starts living with lighthouse keeper Nora (Helen Reddy) and her drunken father Lampie (the great Mickey Rooney), though Nora believes that Elliot is just Pete's imaginary friend. While Pete starts to enjoy his new home, The Gogans are still looking for him, and the kooky and sneaky Doc Terminus (Jim Dale) is after Elliot for "medical" purposes.

The film also features Red Buttons as Doc's goofy assistant Hoagie and Jim Backus has a supporting role as the town's mayor.

Visually, Pete's Dragon, though not as excellent as some of Disney's greater works, is a feast for the eyes. The animation on Elliot the dragon is brilliant to look at and while some of the impressive wonders are kind of dated nowadays (look carefully for some of the tricks Disney hid in the Blu-ray release), I still am impressed by the detail Disney put out in this film. The cinematography is excellent as well. Fun trivia; before he left Disney studios, Don Bluth was head of animation department on this film.

Story wise, Pete's Dragon is mostly good. A story about a boy and his dragon is a smart idea, though when looking at it at first glance, it sounds like Disney was trying to imitate Mary Poppins after all. The thing you have to do when watching this film is pretend Mary Poppins never existed and you'll enjoy this film. No, it's does not outdo said masterpiece, but Pete's Dragon is a pretty fun film that's funny and entertaining.

Acting wise, the film is excellent. Sean Marshall is good as Pete, though he can't really sing, but has good personality enough for me to like this character. Shelley Winters, though goofy and cheesy, like her hillbilly clan, is entertaining as the matriarch of the abusive family that's after Pete. Helen Reddy is excellent as Nora, with the kindness and understanding that would fit the ideal mother that everyone should have. Mickey Rooney, like always, is entertaining, this time as the town drunk, and is delightfully funny, particularly his reactions to seeing the dragon for the first time. Jim Dale is truly hilarious (and the scene-stealer here) as the villain Doc Terminus, with absolute perfect hilarity and goofiness to come out of a kooky character. Red Buttons is also memorably awesome as the sidekick Hoagie, and last but not least, Jim Backus has an enjoyable small role as the mayor.

And last, musical wise, the songs were actually (mostly) good, considering they weren't written by Disney's regular songwriters, The Sherman Brothers. There were a couple of cheesy and atrocious numbers, such as the cheesy hillbilly song "The Happiest Home in These Hills" and the horrifically bad (and creepy) "I Love You Too", a love song between the boy and his dragon. Freaky! But thankfully, the rest of the songs are entertaining, including Mickey Rooney's entertaining bar-tune "I Saw a Dragon", the catchy "It's Not Easy", the memorable "Passamaschloddy", sung by a kooky Jim Dale, the Oscar-nominated and the best in the film, sung phenomenally by Helen Reddy, "Candle on the Water", the inspiring "There's Room For Everyone", the awesome villain tune "Every Little Piece", the catchy Muppet-sounding "Brazzle Dazzle Day", and the entertaining Gogan tune "Bill of Sale". Also, Irwin Kostal creates an amazing and memorable score along the way.

No it's not the greatest Disney movie in the world and Mary Poppins might have been the winner when it comes to a delightful story, but Pete's Dragon is filled with fun animation, funny comedic touches from Mickey Rooney, Shelley Winters, Jim Dale, and Red Buttons, the musical numbers are mostly entertaining (The Sherman Brothers could have wrote a better love song), and the film is an underrated Disney musical extravaganza that deserves more attention. While it may seem goofy and childish, the fun and cutesy Disney moments left me with a smile on my face due to how entertaining this film is. Man I must have a soft side.
August 7, 2013
Say what you want about this film. My kids loved it!
July 6, 2013
watching right now!!!una d mis favoritas...
July 4, 2013
It wasn't bad of a disney movie.
½ June 28, 2013
Great memories of it, but re-watching it, it wasn't quite as great as I remembered.
May 22, 2013
This movie has great songs, great comedy from Jim (Dale) and I still can't say Passamaquoddy!!! My childhood is full of great endearing films like this and although its not anything outside of Disney's norm it still is one of teh true greats with heart, effection and great CGI which I believe is better than even some of todays and is definitely on a par with that of the CGI work in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The film scares, cares and doesn't try to be anything other than a good, clean, family film and that is why I love it!!!
½ May 13, 2013
Throughout the years, there have been a variety of films that have attempted to successfully blend live-action and animation. Over 35 years after it was made, Pete's Dragon is still the best of them all and one of Disney's finest films.

This story centers around Pete (Sean Marshall), an orphan boy who is on the run from his abusive foster family. Accompanying him on his journey is Elliot, a large green dragon who he stumbled across. Elliot has the ability to turn invisible, only letting himself be seen by Pete. When the two stumble into the small town of Passamaquoddy, the folks there think Pete is a liar and jokester, disregarding his claims of an invisible dragon. After he gets taken in by a lighthouse-keeper (Mickey Rooney) and his daughter (Helen Reddy), Pete tries to save Elliot from a wacky con-artist (Jim Dale) who wants to capture and sell him.

Yes, this movie is old (and you can easily tell), but that doesn't take away from its magic. You have a real all-star cast featuring the great Mickey Rooney, Jim Dale, and Red Buttons. Although young Sean Marshall never went on to do anymore acting, he was the perfect pick for the role of Pete. A common complaint about this movie it's run-time, which is probably justified. It does run a tad long, but it's nothing that will ruin the fun. As a musical, this is one of the best. The songs are really great and catchy, surely staying in your head for days after watching it. You also have to love the chemistry between Pete and Elliot. It's hard not to get choked up at the very last scene.

Pete's Dragon has always gone overlooked and will never get the recognition it really deserves. I grew up watching this and will be sure that my kids do as well. Even as an adult it's a great deal of fun. A really great family film! 4 and a half stars.
April 21, 2013
love this movie its one of my favs in my dysney collection
March 31, 2013
Too cute, and cuddly to my liking (The only dragons I like are Dragon's Tales)*
March 13, 2013
Great idea, but they just couldn't pull it off properly - even with some great actors. You see, Uncle Walt passed away few years earlier. Still, its better than most of the crud on Disney Channel these days so go ahead and watch it with some kids.
March 12, 2013
Pete's Dragon is a charming film which is probably good for children, but it is a total bore of a film, overlong, slow and far too stretched.
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