Just a few short weeks ago, Disney released a brand new trailer for their next live action hybrid retelling of a classic film, Pete’s Dragon, which ironically is the third live-action retelling this summer, fresh off the heels of The Jungle Book and Alice Through the Looking Glass. Whether or not this new wave of Disney retellings is getting tiresome is a different discussion altogether, but what was shown in Disney’s latest trailer, much like The Jungle Book before it, shows that maybe we shouldn’t be too quick to judge this film.
Understandably, and rightfully so, the original Pete’s Dragon is a sentimental piece that is close to many Disney fans’ hearts, and for anyone that’s seen the film, that shouldn’t be too hard to understand, as it’s one of Disney’s most charming and visually impressive films of the era. Naturally, those that grew up with the original film might be skeptical about this new film and how it’s so different from what the original film is so beloved for. Up until Disney released the second trailer for Pete’s Dragon just a few days ago, it was Disney’s oddest remake decision yet, and all indications didn’t really match up to anything too promising. But just like The Jungle Book before it, the trailer for Pete’s Dragon shows that this film might have a few tricks up its sleeves that are worth caring for.
Pete’s Dragon adds a unique, clever style to this new take on the story. It doesn’t quite look the goofy animated film that is the 1979 Disney movie, but this movie still looks like it has the heart and soul of Pete’s Dragon, although unique in style, still true to the beloved source material, once again like the two Disney live-action remakes before it, The Jungle Book and Cinderella. Undoubtedly, Pete’s Dragon is Disney’s strangest gamble as of yet, whereas recently Disney has been focusing their projects towards their more recognized brands and stories and guaranteed hits. The Jungle Book is has gone on to break $1 billion at the international box office, but on the opposite end, Alice Through the Looking Glass is a miserable failure for the company, barely expected to break even domestically of its $170 million dollar budget. Essentially Disney’s gamble on Pete’s Dragon will be the outcome about how invincible these live-action remakes have become, from a studio brand that has never been stronger. The Disney live-action remake powerhouse clearly isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, as clearly indicated by the recent Beauty and the Beast trailer out in March of 2017, and last month’s announcement of Mary Poppins Returns, but Pete’s Dragon will definitely be the deciding factor on what direction these movies are heading in beyond 2016.
There’s a lot that can make Pete’s Dragon a hit among critics, and my hopes are high that the film can achieve them. Though it doesn’t quite have the largest fanbase of the massive library of Disney movies, many fans cherish Pete’s Dragon for it’s dazzling creativity, and it’s perfect poignant emotion and goofiness. There’s a lot about Pete’s Dragon that truly pushed live-action hybrid technology to the limit, remaining impressive to this day, blended with an impressive soundtrack and fun characters, Pete’s Dragon marks an underrated, yet still cherished classic Disney movie. In order to make the Pete’s Dragon remake popular with new audiences while still maintaining everything that made the original special will be a tough challenge for the film crew. The style already differs from the original, but much like The Jungle Book, the change in pace and change in story direction should still manage to craft a perfect new retelling of the film so long as it maintains the humor and wonder that the film originated from.
Time will tell if Pete’s Dragon was a bet worth taking for the studio but for the time being, but until then, we eagerly await to see how Disney’s latest remake will unfold on the big screen. Disney continues to tease a movie that looks particularly intriguing, and given their recent track record leading up to Pete’s Dragon leaves us optimistic about the outcome. Pete’s Dragon has lot going for it, and if The Jungle Book has taught us anything, it’s that Disney’s live action department has more than just a few tricks up their sleeve. We’re excited to see how Disney can push the boundaries even further with the addition of this new film.
Pete’s Dragon opens in theaters nationwide beginning August 12th 2016. Purchase your tickets now through Fandango.com