“Pete’s Dragon,” a reimagining of Disney’s cherished family film centered on an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot — who just so happens to be a dragon — came home back on Nov. 29 on Digital HD, Blu-ray™, Disney Movies Anywhere, DVD and On-Demand. And the timing couldn’t be better: Today’s announcement ushers in tomorrow’s World Dragon Day and the heartwarming adventure arrives just in time to entertain the entire family this holiday season.
Families will be captivated by this magical movie followed by never-before-seen bonus features, including a revealing look at director David Lowery’s personal diary kept during the filming of “Pete’s Dragon,” the design process behind the lovable dragon Elliot, deleted scenes, a tour of the film’s breathtaking production location of New Zealand, audio commentary by filmmakers and actors and hilarious bloopers.
“Pete’s Dragon” stars Bryce Dallas Howard (“Jurassic World”) as Grace, a forest ranger in the Pacific Northwest who happens upon 10-year-old Pete, played by Oakes Fegley (“This is Where I Leave You”). Oona Laurence (“Southpaw”) is Natalie, the 11-year-old daughter of Jack, a lumber-mill owner played by Wes Bentley (“The Hunger Games”). Karl Urban (“Star Trek”) is Jack’s bumbling brother Gavin and Oscar®-winner Robert Redford (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”) portrays Mr. Meacham, an old wood carver who delights the local children with tales of a fierce dragon.
The film is directed by David Lowery (“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”) from a screenplay by Lowery & Toby Halbrooks based on a screenplay by Malcolm Marmorstein and produced by Jim Whitaker, p.g.a. (“The Finest Hours”), with Barrie M. Osborne (“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”) serving as executive producer.
Writer/director Lowery reveals, “I look back on childhood as an adventure, and I wanted to capture that on screen in the smallest—but also the biggest—way.” The big—the creation of an irresistible 24-foot tall, green, furry dragon that can breathe fire and turn invisible—is brilliantly tackled by the team at the Academy Award®-winning visual effects company Weta Digital (“The Hobbit” films and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy). But it’s the small moments between characters that so beautifully convey the film’s powerful message: the importance of friendship, family and finding one’s place in the world.
Bonus features on the Pete’s Dragon Blu-Ray include:
- Notes to Self: A Director’s Diary – Director David Lowery narrates the personal diary he kept through the filming of “Pete’s Dragon” in this intimate and fascinating look at the movie’s making.
- Making Magic – Discover fun facts about what went into designing this spectacular, lovable dragon.
- “Disappearing” Moments – The director shares a montage of the film’s “lost” scenes.
- Welcome to New Zealand – Experience the wonders of New Zealand and learn why it’s a magical place to visit … and to make a movie.
- Audio Commentary – Gain an insider perspective from director David Lowery, co-writer Toby Halbrooks and actors Oakes Fegley and Oona Laurence.
- Music Videos
- “Nobody Knows” by The Lumineers
- “Something Wild” by Lindsey Stirling featuring Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
Pete’s Dragon is a live-action remake of the original 1977 semi-animated musical film. It’s a remake that manages to vastly improve on the original, although truthfully, I didn’t think the original film was particularly fantastic. The 2016 version of Pete’s Dragon, however, is both heart-warming and enchanting. It is a fantastical adventure the whole family is sure to joy.