Petes Dragon - Candle on the Water
| The original Pete's Dragon is an awkward, somewhat uncomfortable mash of animation and live action which was very much a product of its time. The new adaptation is a nostalgic love letter to the old genre of a child and their pet stories which find their way into our hearts again and again. It is an emotional roller-coaster, the kind of lovely little story which will make you smile teary smiles.
Filmed in a lush wilderness, Pete's Dragon not only renders its dragon in a lovely, unique way, it films its human costars that way too, and its incredible environment. Pete's Dragon is a beautiful film in all ways. Yes Elliot, the magical creature at the centre of this tale is lovely, his surprisingly furry frame manages to be majestic, wild, and fantastic. The world he lives in is just as inspiring beautiful. The film doesn't hit you over the head with its conservation message but it's all there.
Unlike the earlier film which told jokes about child exploitation, the new Pete's Dragon focus more clearly on the theme of lost souls finding families. There is the misunderstood monster story, a story which children should always get to experience in such a lovely manner, but the main story is about finding home. It is told well enough that anyone of any age can enjoy it.
There are cases where the remake surpasses the original film and I think it would be hard to deny that this is one of those times.
And Okkervil River's cover of the iconic Candle on the Water is as lovely as the rest of the film.