Pete’s Dragon Blu-ray Review
“Pete’s Dragon” is technically impressive, but headache inducing.
The plot: Pete (an orphan child who has been adopted by a cruel family) decides to run away from home with dragon pal Elliott (who can make himself invisible to the world). While on the run, Pete stops off in a small fishing town called Passamaquoddy where he (and Elliott) immediately cause trouble. Thankfully, Pete manages to befriend a kind woman named Nora who acts as a mother figure to him. Pete’s good fortune doesn’t last for long, however, when his cruel family finds out where he lives. On top of that, a scamming Doctor wants to try and exploit the dragon for profit. Naturally, all of these stories come together in the end, but what will happen to poor Pete and Elliott?
By looking at the credits of this live-action/animated Disney flick, you’d think it would be a well regarded classic. After all, how can you go wrong with a cast that includes Jim Backus, Mickey Rooney, Shelley Winters, Jeff Conaway, Jim Dale, and Red Buttons with animation done by Don Bluth? Alas, everything that can go wrong with this film does. Despite a impressive mix of animation and live-action, “Pete’s Dragon” is a painfully overlong, off-the-wall film that feels even longer thanks to endless song interruptions. It doesn’t help that viewers have to witness Shelley Winters singing (it’s worse than it sounds), barrel dancing, skipping people, cloying songs, a boat car, an obnoxious town name constantly being name dropped as a joke (or as a song), and one of the cheesiest endings in cinema history.
The film, which is presented in 1.66:1 1080p, looks infinitely more colorful, but the animation flaws are more apparent in hi-def as well as Elliott looks rather grainy. Still, the scenery is gorgeous here and it’s worth the upgrade if you are a fan of this film.
With the 5.1 DTS-HD audio track, the songs are louder than ever. Whether that’s a good thing or not is up to you.
* Disney trailers.
* 2 “Pete’s Dragon” trailers.
* A deleted storyboard sequence titled “Terminus and Hoagy Hunt Elliott.”
* “Original Song Concept: Boo Bop Bopbop Bop (I Love You Too)”- Storyboards and vocals for the song.
* “Brazzle Dazzle Effects: Behind Disney’s Movie Magic”- A behind-the-scenes featurette about the special f/x and animation of “Pete’s Dragon.
* DVD Copy.
Summary: Unless you’re a nostalgic adult wanting to re-watch this movie or a kid who loves dragons, there’s no reason to watch (or re-watch) “Pete’s Dragon.”
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