Skip to Content

Disney Please Stop the Remakes! Pete’s Dragon Made Me Cry

Thank you for sharing!

Disclaimer: I received complimentary admission to a screening of Pete’s Dragon to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own.  

I wore out my Pete’s Dragon VHS as a kid, two times!!  I loved the music, the dancing, the lovable dragon, and the story which I related to so much. My childhood wasn’t perfect and maybe a friendly little something would of made my life better. Disney had to remake/re-imagine my favorite duo and honestly they did a poor job!

In the last few years Disney has had the horrible idea to remake their classic, lovable movies. Cinderella is my favorite Disney princess. The Cinderella remake was ok, but not everything I hoped for. It was beautiful and still paid respect to her character.  I can not say the same about Pete’s Dragon. I actually cried a lot in new version of this movie because they changed my Elliot and Pete so much in a negative way.

petes-dragon

5 Ways the Live Action Pete’s Dragon Fails to Honor the Original

  1. Pete was made into a “Wild Child” type character. Pete was an orphan in the original and went through several homes and the last one was pretty abusive. He was raised by people though, just not nice ones. Pete is polite, tries to obey rules, and reaches out to people. In the new movie his story starts out very differently and makes it look like Pete was raised by Elliot. Pete acts like an animal, steals, and shys away from people. That is not the Pete I feel in love with as a child.
  2. Elliot was made into a monster. I rewatched my copy of the 1977 Pete’s Dragon this week and Elliot is very lovable. He is a mischief maker. Sure he protects Pete, but never scares people other than the ones that want to hurt Pete. Even when he is “scaring” those people it is VERY playful. Elliot swishes his tail to make some people fall into the mud or water. He makes scary, silly faces. When he breathes fire, nothing actually catches on fire. When Elliot “flipped” out in the new version, it crushed my image of the lovable, fun dragon that Elliot IS. I was crying so hard. Below is the “scariest” Elliot gets in the original.                      
  3. Elliot remains hunted in the new version. Elliot was deemed a town hero at the end of the original. The townspeople sing a song all about him. In the new version Elliot has to leave because he is not safe where he is and is relocated. Elliot gets visited by Pete and his new family. Elliot leaves in the old version to help another child in trouble.
  4. They forgot the music in the new version. The live version Jungle Book (which was also just an okay movie) got their well known tunes put into the film.  The Original Pete’s Dragon had the best songs! The song Candle on the Water even won an academy award for best original song. My favorite songs are It’s So Easy and It’s a Razzle Dazzle Day!             
  5. It only told Pete and Elliot’s Story. They missed Nora’s beautiful love story. The story that Elliot helped with. The story that added another storyline into the movie. They missed developing the villains story which again added depth to the original. In the original, you had the Grogans and the traveling conman side stories. The new movie has hints of other story lines, but they are never developed.

I know that the original Pete’s Dragon has themes and scenes that would be considered taboo for kids movies now. Drinking, smoking, and child abuse are strong themes in the movie, but as a child that went through some abuse myself I related to it. I understand changing the story some to make it more “PC” for this generation, but to change it so much that only the names are the same is wrong.

Disney, you tell wonderful original stories that make you one of the BEST movie creators! Zootopia, Frozen, and probably Moana are wonderful movies that will last a long time because they are original.  My hope is that since Disney is in this remaking kick, that they honor and do justice to Beauty and the Beast coming out February 2017.

My biggest money saving tips for this movie is to skip it and buy the Original Pete’s Dragon and share that one with your children! [su_button url=”http://amzn.to/2bbmBIL” rel=”nofollow”]Buy Now on Amazon[/su_button]

petes dragon original

If you like the classic Disney movies, check out my review of The Reluctant Dragon!

511hQuEL2LL

Thank you for sharing!

Michael Williams

Saturday 15th of May 2021

I actually thought the remake was good, to me, out of all of Disney’s remakes, Pete’s Dragon was the only one worth making. I did see the original version, and to be honest, it was kinda cringe. The second song of the film. A few were ok.

Skye Hendrie

Friday 23rd of April 2021

I cannot say enough how sick of and disgusted I am with Disney's remakes. They are absolutely destroying the old Disney legacy. I refuse to ever again watch a Disney movie made in the twenty-first century. I don't even understand why remakes are necessary... are movie people really that bored? These movies already exists and their perfect!!! Pete's Dragon (the real one) is a wonderful, amazing movie and I've always loved it. They shouldn't have even bothered changing it. May these old classics always live on and always trump the poor excuses for remakes!!!

Michael Williams

Wednesday 19th of May 2021

@Skye Hendrie, in my opinion, out of all the remakes, Pete's Dragon is the only one that's actually good. And the movies Disney should remake are there worst films. The 1977 Pete's dragon was good, but didn't age well. It was pretty much the only Disney film worth remaking to be honest

Mathias Geden Rømer

Friday 4th of August 2017

Go fuck yourself, the first movie was fucking shitty ;)

Pixie Dust Savings

Tuesday 8th of August 2017

Wow, not very Disney like language, lol. Have a Disney day!

Nick Wilde

Wednesday 31st of August 2016

I totally agree. At first I went to see it and loved the way the dragon looked and the new action but now I hate it and will only share the original not the new with my children. You know now that I think of it if I had known the way the Pete's Dragon remake would ruin the original I would never have seen it. It's not funny and Elliot is a savage beast whose only good act protects a boy and actually does torch people. The real Elliot is a dragon who scares people without harm. Scary faces and pranks and stuff. Not almost killing like in the remake. That stupid Redford killed my classic childhood movie. And the dragon song is horrible in the soundtrack because in the original again the Dragon is a metaphor for God. The original has a beautiful religious connotation this new version of course does not. The new version is demonic honestly. I'm coming to this realization now and will never ever watch the remake again. Which isn't even a remake. At least Jungle Book stayed true to story.

Angeleys151

Thursday 18th of August 2016

I also loved Pete's Dragon as a kid and still love it today. Part of why i loved Maleficent was that they had a new take on an old classic. The new Cinderella by contast was pointless in my opinion because there was nothing new about it.

It cant be surpring then that i LOVED this new Pete's Dragon. It told a new story and made it less cartoonish and silly. I personally love silly, and musicals, but to be more comercially successful in this generation that was the smart move. I also liked the idea that Elliot needed Pete as much as Pete needed him. For me, that added a level to their friendship and made it less like Elliot is an imaginary friend.

Yea, it missed out on the songs and rich story lines of the original, but they could never have gotten away with either the Gorgan or the con doctor story line in this day amd age. The result was making the new story more linear, and less complicated.

Even though they were veey different, there were some some tributes to the original in the new movie. While Elliot and Pete were playing they gave Elliot purple higlights. The original, while set in the early 1900s, was made in 1979; this is the time frame the new movie is set in. In both movies the old father is the first to see Elliot but no one really believed him. The others have slipped my mind at the moment.

In my opinion the new movies stands on its own and doesnt make the original less enjoyable and vice versa.

Pixie Dust Savings

Thursday 18th of August 2016

Thank you so much for sharing your opinion! I am glad you liked the movie, I know some others that loved the movie as well. Yes, there were some slight similarities to the movies, but not many. For me, I will stick with the classic version as seeing Elliot burn a bridge and almost kill people broke my hurt.