Pete’s Dragon Blu-ray Review
Pete’s Dragon was just released on Blu-ray, and many people are likely to purchase the Blu-ray due to childhood nostalgia for the film. Before doing so, if you’re one of these people, I’d strongly recommend you to rent it first and give it another viewing. It’s not as good as your memory may recollect. In fact, Pete’s Dragon is not good at all. It’s downright bad.
Before you assume that maybe our tastes simply differ, let me be clear: Pete’s Dragon is bad for a variety of reasons, at least one of which is likely to ring true for you: 1) too many and too frequent contrived songs that are entirely out of character for those singing the songs; 2) said songs kill the pacing of the film; 3) a variety of “cheap animation tricks” that are overused to show off the not-at-all-groundbreaking use of live action plus animation; 4) over-use of the “my dragon is invisible” bit; 5) a story that is way too long and uninspired; and, 6) terrible acting all around, with the exception of Elliot, and that’s only because he never talks.
Elliot is about the only redeeming quality of the film, and even he is not all that impressive. Sure, he’s cute, but you’re far better off looking at a screenshot of the film than watching the movie to ‘absorb’ that cuteness. Actually, about the only redeeming things about Pete’s Dragon are the look of Elliot, the copious alcohol consumption oddly glamorized in the movie, and the fact that the coolest Main Street Electrical Parade float exists because of this movie.
Video & Audio
If for some reason you still want to buy this Blu-ray, fear not, as the audio and video quality do not disappoint. Video quality is pretty solid, with the exception of scenes featuring Eliot, which are often muddled, grainy, or poorly colored. This could be a result of the animation itself, but it seems like something could have been done to clean it up.
Audio is similarly good, but nothing overly impressive. It does its job without overpowering or sounding uneven.
Pete’s Dragon has about 35 minutes of extras, 25 minutes of which are a special effects “movie magic” documentary focusing on how Disney made Pete’s Dragon. None of the others are noteworthy. I didn’t watch any of these special features, as having to watch the movie itself was torture-enough.
In closing, don’t buy Pete’s Dragon, even if you want to–rent it first instead. If you’re on the fence about Pete’s Dragon, stay far, far away. Even if you have kids, don’t buy it (unless they live in the 1970s or 80s and are likely to be impressed with this sort of thing.) Save your money and watch this video of cats meowing instead. It’s better, shorter, and free!
Buy this Blu-ray/DVD on Amazon by clicking here. Share your thoughts about it in the comments!
And can we talk about how it’s the darkest Disney movie ever? Abused child escapes his tormentors and is so psychologically scarred that he creates an imaginary friend as a coping mechanism plus a woman who is pining away for her lost love with her alcoholic father. There’s a lot of heavy stuff going on here.
I agree – my wife and I had just a fond nostalgia for the movie and she rented it to share with our daughter. Luckily, I only saw a few minutes of it. It was bad. She and my daughter pushed through it over the course of two nights, but even the 4-year-old wasn’t impressed.
So…I completely agree with you…this movie was on tv here a few weeks ago, I thought…oh…Disney movie I’ve never seen…I shall watch it.
Yeah…I got though about 30 minutes, even though I wanted so hard to watch it, well, let’s just say…that didn’t happen. I decided I valued sleep more, so I turned it off and went to bed.
Then…the next morning, I promptly erased it off the DVR.
Needless to say, I will not be buying Pete’s Dragon on DVD or Blue-Ray…
Tom, I could not agree with you more. I saw this movie when It came out (I was 7). I was a big Disney fan even then, and I remember being dissapointed by it even at that age. As someone posted previously, this movie came out the same year as Star Wars, and boy what a difference in the quality of film making.
HAHA! I definitely LOLed at this review. This movie was on TV a couple months ago and me and my brother attempted to watch it…we were like “oh yeah haven’t seen this in forever, let’s check it out!” …we made it about 30 minutes before we were super confused and just totally over the whole story…we tried to give it a shot, but I have to say I definitely will not be making this purchase!
After hearing a lot of disagreement on our Facebook page, I decided to look up some actual, current reviews of Pete’s Dragon from critics just to make sure I wasn’t being too harsh. Yeah, I wasn’t. At all.
Of course, the audience here is biased towards Disney, so I shouldn’t be too surprised, but anyone saying this is actually a good movie (and not simply one they enjoy as childhood nostalgia) is crazy.
I’m with you Adam. I know all of what Tom says is true, but… I love the movie anyways 🙂 “Candle on the Water” is one of my favorite songs and I love the crazy Doc as he sells crap to the town folk
I’m glad someone else besides me doesn’t like it. I remember seeing it in theaters when I was a kid in 1977–I was eight at the time–and thinking that “Star Wars” was more of a movie. But that’s just me. I love many Disney movies, but most (and I do not intend to insult anyone; please forgive if I do) of the Disney animated features in the 70s and until Great Mouse Detective in the late 80s were lackluster, when compared to what came before and [most] of what came afterwards. Again, that’s simply my opinion. But there was one Big Movie in 1977, and it had nothing to do with an animated dragon. The thing that really ticked me off when I saw it at the time was that I remember that the comedy felt flat all the time. Anyway, thanks for the great site.
Big movies in 1977…clearly you’re talking about Eraserhead, right?!? 😉
I know Pete’s Dragon can drag a bit, but come on! This is one of my top 10 movies of all time. Man… I thought everyone liked it. Guess I was wrong.
Of course… maybe my love for PD is due to my childhood love of it. Oh well.
I guess my first question would be…have you only ever seen 10 movies in your life?!? 😉
Just kidding. Glad someone enjoys it.