Pete's Dragon. A Camp Bestival movie treat

One of the things I like at Camp Bestival is watching movies in a tent in a field. It has that childlike joy of the Saturday morning pictures with the added benefit of being able to have a beer as you watch.

Petes dragon 1977
This year I was pretty excited to discover the movie they chose to show was Disney's Pete's Dragon. I assumed it would be the old Micky Rooney version from 1977 which I love (I own it on VHS!) , but imagine my excitement when it was the 2016 version with Robert Redford! (released in the UK on 12th August)

I was a teensy bit worried that glossy CGI would spoil the joy of Elliot the Dragon but I need not have worried, his face even resembles the cartoon version, and his expressions and quizzical noises just as good and sweet as the original.

The film started pretty slowly, and there are a lot of 'in the dark' scenes (they may be easier to watch without sunshine leaking in around the edges of the tent), and obvious omissions are the rough hillbilly family that used Pete as a meal ticket in the original, in this version he is just a lost child. There is also a fairly well signposted 'eco message'.

The plot bumps along following fairly closely to the original though, and both DD and I wept at both sad and happy scenes even though we knew the ending!

The finale of this new version was better than the 1977 version in my opinion.

You can watch the trailer here.

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 with no family and no home who 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. Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon” opens in UK cinemas on 12th August 2016.

Smaller children may prefer the 1977 version, with a colourful clowning dragon and plenty of musical numbers, but older children and adults will no doubt enjoy the more realistic (!) 2016 version.

Pete’s Dragon flies into UK cinemas on August 12, 2016

Petes dragon movie 2016