Pete’s Dragon was a Disney favorite in 1977, and now the classic animated film is being remade for a new audience. Disney will be releasing a revamped, live-action/CGI version of the iconic classic on August 12, and the iconic, family-friendly motion-picture studio is finally releasing some teasers for the upcoming reboot.
On Friday, the Pete’s Dragon motion poster was released by Disney, as a prelude to tonight’s release of the first, full-length trailer for the much-anticipated family film. The release of the Pete’s Dragon motion poster was deliberately timed to lead into the release of the first Pete’s Dragon trailer, which took place during the Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60 broadcast on the ABC network at 8 p.m. EST.
For those who don’t remember, or who have never seen the original Pete’s Dragon, the film is about a young orphan boy named Pete who befriends a dragon named Elliot. The dragon has been a legend in the forest for quite some time, but is believed to be nothing more. Until Pete and his best friend are discovered, and the legend becomes something real.
In the upcoming, live-action remake of the 1977 Disney animated classic, the role of Pete will be played by Oakes Fegley, reports Collider. The Pete’s Dragon cast will also include Oscar-winner, Robert Redford as the “woodsman,” the beautiful Bryce Dallas Howard as Grace, Robert Redford’s on-screen daughter, and the young woman who discovers Pete’s existence and learns the secret of Pete’s dragon, as well as Wes Bentley and Karl Urban.
As Collider reports, the new Pete’s Dragon trailer may have left some people wanting more. The trailer, released by Disney this weekend, gives potential movie-goers only a brief view of the dragon’s back. This has already left some to wonder why live action is being utilized at all, given the animated nature of the dragon in the clip.
The film is also a much more modern rendition of the 1977 version of the Disney classic. In the newly-released trailer of Pete’s Dragon, viewers are treated to cars and tractor-trailers and a modern town, imagery that had no place in the original version of the Disney film. The Pete’s Dragon trailer also depicts Pete as a half-naked, almost feral-looking child, a bit of a departure from the original.
The 2016 remake of Pete’s Dragon is directed by David Lowery, who co-wrote the screenplay for the new adaptation with Toby Halbrooks. The pair, along with Disney, accomplished their state-of-the-art CGI effects with the visual effects expertise of New Zealand company WETA. WETA was founded by Peter Jackson, a well-recognized name in the computer animation field.
This rendition of Pete’s Dragon isn’t the only or even the first of Disney’s forays into the live-action genre in recent years. The touted animation giant, which has been producing family-friendly animated films for decades, has gotten into the live-action market over the last few movie seasons. Disney has cornered the remake market by producing films that hearken back to the animated originals, but have their own original flavor. This has been largely accomplished by working with noted directors and producers, and giving those professionals a bit of creative leeway.
In 2015, Disney released a live-action version of the beloved classic Cinderella. That film’s director, Kenneth Branagh, applied a highly theatrical artistic touch to the classic film in order to make it feel like new.
In April, just months before Pete’s Dragon is scheduled to be released, Disney is slated to release a live-action version of the classic family movie The Jungle Book. Directed by Jon Favreau, the new adaptation of The Jungle Book is expected to be a visual masterpiece and a huge money-maker. Pete’s Dragon is expected to bring in roughly half as much, but is Disney believes the remake will be a good gauge of the viability of future live action projects.
[Image Courtesy Of Jesse Grant/Getty Images]