Retro-review: Pete’s Dragon

Posted: July 15, 2016 by Micah in Movie Reviews
Tags: , , , ,

Well Internet, here we are, back again staring over the long precipice of another glorious weekend. But first… because I told you I would and I am nothing if not partially, kind of, moderately, a man of my word (sometimes,) here’s a review of the original (1977) version of Pete’s Dragon.

Micah Retro-reviews: Pete’s Dragon


Pete’s Dragon: Cause clearly your kids aren’t having enough nightmares.


The Plot: So umm… There’s this kid named Pete and he lives with a bunch of hicks in the mountains (the Gogans) who (I’m pretty sure according to a later song) bought him in some sort of horrifying child sale???? So Pete runs away from them as they sing a horrifying song but then they are brutally beaten by an invisible dragon monster named Elliot who then whisks Pete away to literally the only place in America worse than living in the woods with abusive hicks: Passamaquoddy. While in… that place, Pete gets adopted by a woman named Nora who proceeds to send the young hick adopted boy with the invisible dragon to school where he is promptly socially abused, and then the invisible dragon destroys the school house causing literally hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.


Yeah, I wouldn’t trust these people to care for a cockroach. Let alone a living human child… or a non-living human child.  


So once Pete has caused untold chaos in the town Nora tries to adopt him but is stopped by Pete’s original Hick family/slave owners who proclaim that they legally own Pete in a horrifying song called “Bill of Sale” and for some reason they are not instantly arrested for (and stay with me here) BUYING A HUMAN CHILD. And just to add to the menagerie of horror that is this film an extremely weird medicine man shows up and sings on entire song about how he wants to murder Pete’s lovable town-destroying dragon, and literally chop him up and sell him piece by piece. No: it’s a real thing.

So after Elliot is nearly caught, chopped, up and murdered; and Pete is nearly abducted again by the people who (if you’ll recall) BOUGHT him, some dude in a ship comes back and he’s Norma’s husband or something and then everything is fine. Except for the fact that this movie happened.


Oh, also: this dragon bakes apples?? Who the heck bakes apples?? The monster.  


In Conclusion: I don’t know if the makers of Pete’s Dragon realized they were introducing a generation of children to the idea that they could be bought by hicks or that some Dr.’s were complete lunatics who wanted to capture and chop up there imaginary friends: but they certainly did that thing. I mean this movie is legitimately terrifying, and not just because Mickey Rooney is in it (though that certainly doesn’t help.) Of all the weird 70’s Disney movies (and there were a lot of them) Pete’s Dragon is the one that most completely terrified me, while at the same time convincing me that the world was a horrifyingly dark place where I could be randomly bought by horrifying nightmare hicks from the backwoods, and where my imaginary friends would be murdered and sold for parts. Thanks Disney.

So there you go guys, my advice? Maybe wait for the new movie which (as far as I can tell) is free of nightmare-hicks and homicidal doctors. Though I mean you can never really tell these things can ya? Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next week!

  1. Reading this made me laugh.

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