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‘Pete’s Dragon’ (2016) Update: First Trailer Released

Almost forty years ago, Disney released Pete’s Dragon, a mix of live action and animation about an orphan boy who runs away from his abusive parents, his only friend a cartoon dragon that helps him escape but does nothing but cause all kinds of mischief wherever the boy goes. Now, Disney is bringing the dragon back and have just posted a teaser trailer. Take a look and then read on.

We’ve already covered a lot about this remake, and little has changed about what we know, though this first trailer does offer more hints about what to expect. That begins with our first look at the boy, played by Oakes Fegley. Shirtless with long scraggly hair, it’s hard not to immediately think of Mowgli in The Jungle Book (who incidentally will be making his Disney reboot this year as well). We half expected to see Bagheera make an appearance. That changes when we hear the the echoes of the titular dragon in the woods, sounding more like a newly emerged kaiju than a Disney cartoon, making it clear that the makers are going to give this dragon a more grounded feel, confirmed with the dragon’s actual appearance at the end of the clip. Ain’t no little pink wings on this Elliot.

In the original, Elliot (the dragon) didn’t speak a recognizable language, mostly grunting and huffing sounds that only Pete could understand. It’s not clear if that is going to be the case here, but given the realism being targeted here, it’s a good bet something similar will (hopefully) be done for this film. Elliot was also capable of being invisible, something that made Pete look like he was the source of some fibs and tomfoolery in the eyes of the townspeople, but again, there’s no indication that this ability will be part of the reboot, unless we take the intriguing ‘motion poster‘ Disney posted as hint to that, or that Elliot may in fact just be something in Pete’s head as the dragon wisps in and out of the frame as if on the whim of a dream. Maybe both.

Enter the adults. Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World) plays a park ranger who discovers Pete and Robert Redford is her father. She is the skeptic, finding the tale of a dragon protecting the boy in the woods an obvious work of imagination Pete is using to cope with his loneliness, but her father has been prattling on for years about the legends, sightings of a great beast circling the skies in the north Maine woods. Here too is where the reboot differs from the original, as both Howard’s and Redford’s characters are not in the 1977 version and the setting is completely different, as well as the timeframe. The previous took place in the 1900s while this latest is set in the 1980s. There’s also no look at the villain(s), though surely much more is coming in terms of posters and trailer. Either way, this has some great potential to be a fun story for children, and any fan of the legendary creature. Stay tuned as we’ll continue updates as they are available.

Pete’s Dragon opens in August, 2016.

Are you excited for this reboot? Let us know in the comments below.



David Lowery


S.S. Field (story), Toby Halbrooks (screenplay)


Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford, Karl Urban

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