Trailer Tuesdays: Pete’s Dragon 2016

I’m not sure how I feel about this remake. If I had to guess, I’d say cautiously optimistic, but not overly so. Although I take some issues with the original, I love the 1977 version of this movie and thus far the 2016 version looks as if it’ll be similar in name only. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, per se. After all, remakes need to be different enough to set themselves apart from the original. But if this trailer is anything to go by, the 2016 Pete’s Dragon looks as if it’s going to be much darker and serious, and that’s my biggest problem with it thus far.

The original Pete’s Dragon was a bright happy movie. Even if it did touch on some darker themes, like child abuse, the entire narrative and the way it’s presented leave an audience with a hopeful feeling. Pete, after being orphaned and abused by his new caretakers, finally finds himself a loving family. During his adventures, he’s accompanied by a bright green cartoon dragon that is literally his own imagination come to life, and he and everyone around him occasionally burst into songs about belonging and being loved.

In the new version, Pete isn’t raised by the abusive Gogan family. Instead, he’s been lost in the woods for the past six years with no one but the dragon, Elliot, taking care of him. This is a change that does make sense to me. After all, the remake takes place in modern times, and the idea that a family could get away with literally buying a child and enslaving him is much harder to sell—although, I suppose, it wouldn’t be entirely impossible.

One of the big themes about the original, though, was family. As such, as much as I hated the Gogans, they did have a place in the story. Pete escaped them only to find people who loved him and would stand up for him and protect him, the way the Gogans should have. The two families were juxtaposed against each other, and the Gogans ended up being the primary antagonists. Not only does the remake lack this conflict, for a movie that’s not going to have a child-abuse and slavery storyline, its tone is so much darker, and I have to question why. The trailer opens with shots of misty forests straight out of a Twilight or a horror movie, and when two of the characters are talking about Pete, they’re standing in a needlessly darkened room. Even the dragon, though thankfully still cartoonish in appearance, is a significantly darker shade of green.

Part of me is concerned that I’m being too hard on this remake, since my judgement is clearly clouded by my love for the original. Hopefully future trailers will make me more optimistic about this movie, because I really do want to go see it when it comes out in August.


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This entry was posted in opinion, Reviews, Trailer Tuesdays and tagged , , , by MadameAce. Bookmark the permalink.

About MadameAce

I draw, I write, I paint, and I read. I used to be really into anime and manga until college, where I fell out of a lot of my fandoms to pursue my studies. College was also the time I discovered my asexuality, and I have been fascinated by different sexualities ever since. I grew up in various parts of the world, and I've met my fair share of experiences and cultures along the way. Sure, I'm a bit socially awkward and not the easiest person to get along with, but I do hold great passion for my interests, and I can only hope that the things I have to talk about interest you as well.

5 thoughts on “Trailer Tuesdays: Pete’s Dragon 2016

  1. Hmm…so, it’s a feral child á la Jungle Book, only not in India, and rather than wolves and other animals, it’s a dragon. I dunno…

    I have to say, my favorite part of the original movie is Dr. Terminus, who got some great songs and other numbers in the original. I wonder what–if anything–will be replacing him, too? And no Helen Reddy…that’s a loss, I have to say! (I like musical numbers!) 😉

  2. I really don’t know what to think about this. I love the original for its music and cheerful feel to it. My hopes fell ill when I heard ithe remake wasn’t a musical, but now they’re on life support.

  3. Pingback: Trailer Tuesdays: Beauty and the Beast Teaser Trailer | Lady Geek Girl and Friends

  4. Pingback: Trailer Tuesdays: Pete’s Dragon 2016 Official Trailer | Lady Geek Girl and Friends

  5. Pingback: I Sure Did Watch the Pete’s Dragon Remake | Lady Geek Girl and Friends

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