Hey guys. Me and the good friend #UncleBernie just watched Pete’s Dragon and let me tell you, it was fucking awesome. Really good. I actually almost cried. Bernard definitely did. I was browsing Netflix for something to watch and this was one of the recently added flicks. I honestly didn’t know much about it but I was in the mood for something animated and dragons are cool. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a good rating and once I saw that I was ready to go.
I’m gonna try and avoid spoilers but it might be hard. The movie starts out really intense, which I totally wasn’t expecting. If you go into this movie thinking it’s gonna be some little kid frolicking around with his big ass dragon you are in for a wild ride. Pete, the main character, is a cute little five-year-old boy. He’s off on an adventure, driving through the mountains with his parents, riding in his car seat like a little bitch. Kid can’t even read yet. All of a sudden, the car flips and everyone dies (spoiler). Everyone except Pete. Pete hops out of the car because he knows he has to be brave and grabs his book and journeys off into the woods. Bold move by Pete here. If I were him I probably would’ve hung around by the carnage and hoped for the police to show up, but I supposed not every five-year-old is as smart as me.
At this point, I’m sitting on my bed like WHAT THE FUCK. I didn’t sign up for these feelings. I’m six Oreos and a cup of milk deep, and I’m on the edge of my bed. I feel for Pete sorta. It’s time to sack up and be a man, Pete. So he’s off in the dark spooky forest now and sure enough, he hears some loud growling. Not good. Things are not looking good for Pete at all. Wolves. Pete runs through the woods, demonstrating some very impressive speed for a little guy, but the pack of wolves are too quick and skilled and eventually surround him. It looks like its curtains for Pete. I haven’t taken a breath in two minutes. The wolves are closing in and boy are they scary. All of a sudden, something approaches through the trees and the wolves take off! It’s a dragon! It approaches Pete in a manner that says “I’m big and scary but I recognize that you’re a cute little guy so I won’t eat you,” a vibe that Pete can also feel. He looks up at this monstrosity and squeaks, “Are you gonna eat me?” It’s really cute guys. I giggled. So did Bernie.
Now that Pete is saved, the dragon and him are boys. He decides to call him Elliot because that’s the only other name that he knows and they’re off. The movie then jumps ahead six years with a montage of them doing awesome best friend shit. This was definitely Bernie’s favorite part. Really captured our imaginations. Almost had me wishing I were Pete. Pete has grown into a young jungle boy with his dragon sidekick and it looks cool as hell! Bears are afraid of him!
I’ve always been a big outdoors guy and I watch a lot of survival shows so this concept is something I often find myself exploring. I think I could make it out in the woods alone. I can make fires and hunt shit and eat plants and make a cool shelter. My hair would get really long and I would lose a lot of weight and maybe befriend a raccoon named “Earl” or “Nick”. But to have a dragon by your side takes this to a whole new level. It’s safe to say that at this point in the movie, I was fucking hooked. But things are about to change for Pete and Elliot.
Somewhere in the valleys below the mountains, there is an old man, who claims to have seen a dragon back in his youth. He seems pretty crazy, but the neighborhood kids love to hear his stories. Frankly, after what I’ve seen already in this movie, I believe him. Then, his daughter rolls up, who is a beautiful red-haired Park Ranger who some of you will recognize from Jurassic World (but not Zero Dark Thirty because apparently that’s a different actress). She tells her dad to stop scaring the kids and that if there were really a dragon, she would know because she works in the mountains. Frankly, she comes across as a little pompous to me. I don’t really like her. I fuck with the dad though, because he’s a believer. Just because you’re some fancy park ranger doesn’t mean you know everything that goes on in those mountains. Open your eyes and believe for once lady.
So now the plot is beginning to unfold. Pete is the champion of the forest. And down below there’s stories of a dragon and a dude who claims to have seen it, but no one else really believes him. This is where things get even trickier. Turns out, red-hair park ranger lady’s husband is in charge of a company that’s going up into the mountains and cutting down trees. Not good. There certainly seems to be a conflict of interest between him and his wife. He’s cutting down trees with huge machines with no regard for nature or Pete or dragons, and she’s up in the woods looking for owl nests so she can mark which trees not to cut.
The next time she returns to the woods, Pete hears her and sneaks up on her to investigate. At this point, he is pretty much a master of navigating the woods in pure silence. He gets awfully close to her and when her back is turned even goes in and takes a compass out of her bag. Bold move by Pete here but he’s been in the woods for so long, his curiosity got the best of him. The red-haired park ranger (who’s name I can’t remember because of Bernie) hears some commotion behind her, but when she turns around Pete is gone. Oh well.
It’s apparent at this point that Pete has some human nature left in him, because the next time he hears voices coming from the men working in the clearing next to the forest, he gets closer and closer. This time, our friend, Miss Beautiful Red-Haired Park Ranger, is here to make sure her husband’s crew isn’t cutting into shit they’re not supposed to, and she brought some little girl around. I think she is her husband’s daughter, but not hers because modern families. The little girl gets out of the car and starts exploring the work site, and ends up catching a glimpse of Pete in the woods, so she runs into the forest to investigate.
Pete’s gig is up. This little girl is on his tail and I think he likes it. He can’t resist. He hides and she calls out for him and then he pops out again; he’s having fun. He leads her to this huge tree and he’s climbing and she’s climbing and it’s cute and fun and then all of a sudden she falls. Not good. Pete catches her before she falls to her death, but he can’t hold on forever and eventually they both fall to the ground. The little girl is hurt and Pete is sniffing her hair and acting like a real jungle kid. The adults hear her screams and come running. Pete is slow to run and hide and soon enough, they have lured him closer and ultimately bring him out of the woods. Pete doesn’t like this at all, and his dragon Elliot is nowhere to be found.
Naturally, this discovery creates a lot of curiously about where the boy came from, and how long he’s been alone. They wonder how he could’ve survived for this long and their curiosity leads them back into the forest, where the story of Pete and Elliot begins to unravel.
The rest of the movie is a story of a boy who has lost touch with humanity, and the rest of the world’s perception of reality. Imagine being a five-year-old boy, lost in the woods with a giant fucking dragon. You guys are best friends and do everything together and life is sick, and then these people pull you away from that and think they’re helping you, but all you wanna do is go back to your dragon and keep living the life. It’s tough for Pete. He doesn’t know how to be a human and live in a house. He misses Elliot. Elliot misses him. It’s sad and emotional and overall just riveting stuff.
The actor who plays Pete does an awesome job conveying the emotional roller coaster that is Pete’s life. It really carries the movie because you feel for him. You want him to have a family and be happy, but you also realize that Pete is happiest with Elliot, who has become his family.
I don’t want to ruin the rest of it for you because I pretty much just spelled out the first half of the movie, but let me tell you, it’s lit. It will leave you worn out, feeling some combination of happy, sad, energized, and ready to go find a dragon of your own. For Bernie and myself, it was a journey we were not ready for. I was happily surprised, and cannot wait to watch this one again. I think there is definitely opportunity for a sequel as well, which would be super lit. Pete and Elliot forever and ever, bitches.