On August 12, 2016, the Disney Company will release its latest live-action "re-imagining" of one of its earlier films. A tantalizing theatrical trailer has been released, but very little other information about this new version of a sentimental classic Disney movie, Pete's Dragon (1977):
For years, old wood carver Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) has delighted local children with his tales of the fierce dragon that resides deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. To his daughter, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), who works as a forest ranger, these stories are little more than tall tales…until she meets Pete (Oakes Fegley).
Pete is a mysterious 10-year-old boy with no family and no home, who has been wandering around the forest for the last six years and claims to live in the woods with a giant, green dragon named Elliott. And from Pete's descriptions, Elliott seems remarkably similar to the dragon from Mr. Meacham's stories.
With the help of Natalie (Oona Laurence), an 11-year-old girl whose father Jack (Wes Bentley) owns the local lumber mill, Grace sets out to determine where Pete came from, where he belongs, and the truth about this dragon
The film, co-written by David Lowery and Toby Halbrooks and directed by Lowery, began filming in January 2015 in New Zealand. Unlike the original version, this film will be neither a musical nor a comedy and the dragon will be created through CGI effects.
That story line is significantly different than the original 1977 film about a young orphan named Pete who, at the turn-of-the-last-century, tries to escape from a "hillbilly-ish" family named Gogan (with Ma played by Shelley Winters), who bought the boy and are using him to do all their chores. Pete is able to flee, thanks to the help of a huge green dragon with purplish and pink highlights named Elliott who can make himself invisible and is generally seen just by Pete.