I don’t think the Disney Corporation have ever heard of the phrase ‘If it ain’t broke…don’t fix it!’. They seem to be on a quest to try and improve on perfection by employing the use of that very modern (sometimes overused) digital wizardry called CGI.

Although this sounds as though I don’t agree with these new versions and I hate to admit it but so far the results have been amazing. The Jungle Book completely surpassed my expectations.

Now the 1977 family Disney film Pete’s Dragon has been given the CGI facelift.

The story has changed slightly from the original but is still the same heart-warming tale of the relationship of a young 11-year old Pete (Oakes Fegley) and his twenty- foot tall Dragon called Elliot.

The film starts with the 5-year old Pete going on an adventure with his Mom and Dad. But tragedy strikes when they have a freak accident while driving through the forest and Pete finds himself lost and alone in the dark woods.

It’s here that Pete is saved from danger by a curious giant dragon who adopts the boy and shows him the way of the wilderness.

Flash forward 6-years and Pete spots a young woman inspecting the large trees. The woman is Forest Ranger Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) who is making sure the lumber mill workers don’t cut down the wrong trees.

Meanwhile her Father, with the odd name of Meacham, scares the local children about tales of the Millhaven Dragon that is rumoured to wander the local forest and breathe deadly fire from his jaws. Meacham is played by Hollywood Legend Robert Redford who adds some gravitas to the film and can’t do any wrong in my books.

This is a nice little film and the CGI is actually well done. Elliot the dragon still has the ability to disappear at will in a Predator type of ‘now you see me now you don’t’ way. The designers have made a nod to the original cartoon dragon characteristics by giving Elliot the big protruding bottom jaw and the childlike quality.

It’s a nice change to see Karl Urban as a bad guy, well sort of as a Peter Coyote ET character. But his brother Jack (Wes Bentley) Graces fiancé  is a bit of a wet fish, I don’t know what she sees in him.

While watching this movie I realised how timeless the period was. Director and co-writer David Lowry, who is more known for independent films, has conceived this Hicksville town where people wear a lot of lumberjack shirts, use old fashioned phones with the plastic receiver resting on the cradle with a ring, ring tone. And Natalie introduces Pete to music by playing a vinyl LP on a record player. It could be set anywhere from the 50’s to current day.

Personally I would have liked to see more of The Sundance Kid (that’s one for the over 30’s)

A very enjoyable adventure.

In UK cinemas from August 12

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