I Want a Dragon: Pete’s Dragon (2016)

Pete’s Dragon reawakened my child-like wonder of the world. It is the story of a magical friendship that’s so wondrous it can only live for a short time. And though I knew exactly what I was in for, every step of the way, it softened my adult facade. When the inevitable time came, I teared up.

In a time of terrible remakes, Pete’s Dragon proves remakes can be fantastic.

Once again I want a dragon. When I was 11 Falcor fueled that desire. Just six years ago it was Toothless. Now it’s Eliot. I mean, who doesn’t want to be free from the oppression of the everyday, to literally soar high in the air or race along a river canyon? I was so touched by Pete’s Dragon that the night I saw it I had a dream I was riding on my own dragon.

Pete’s Dragon taps into that universal need to be free. That part of us that we have to give up in order to function in adult society. The freedom that only comes from the wide open nature of a child’s imagination, a mind open to every possibility because everything is still possible. This is the very heart of Pete’s Dragon. For those of us who are adults, we are like Meacham (Robert Redford), though older and wiser, well beyond the naiveté of youth, we all still carry those wonderful fantasies from our childhood. To reconnect with them is amazing, albeit fleeting.

Yeah, it’s trite to talk about the wonder of a child, to allow oneself the right to splash in the rain puddles or finger paint again, but when you see it you’re hard pressed to not be moved. That is exactly what Pete’s Dragon presents. This kind of movie can be sappy and has the tendency to be overwrought. Still it is nice to cut loose, even for an hour or so, and let yourself enjoy a simple pleasure, like the love between a boy and his dragon.

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