Our family is super excited for the August 12th theatrical release of Disney’s Pete’s Dragon! In 1977, Walt Disney Studios released the live-action/animated musical “Pete’s Dragon,” the endearing tale of a young boy and his friendship with an animated, green dragon, starring Mickey Rooney, Helen Reddy, Red Buttons and Shelley Winters.
“There are so many people who grew up with the original film, and the idea of that movie became a leaping-off point for us,” says Jim Whitaker, producer of the newest version. “We knew that this very simple idea about a boy and his dragon still had the potential to become a really special film.”
It’s not just the studio executives that saw the original as an integral part of their childhood. “It was one of my favorite films as a child,” Bryce Dallas Howard, who stars in the film, said. “One of my earliest memories of watching a movie is watching ‘Pete’s Dragon.’ There’s something singular about that film…I don’t know what it is, but it immediately touches the inner child in me.”
Another of the film’s stars, the incomparable Robert Redford, was also a fan so he was eager to jump on board as Mr. Meacham. “The dragon is a symbolic creature from mythology and mythology was a big deal for me as a kid growing up, so I’m a big believer in its importance,” says Redford. “I grew up in a working class environment where there were not a lot of options for entertainment, so you had to kind of create your own. And it was about a greater world and greater characters and greater creatures than I knew, so therefore, it was very, very attractive to me.”
Obviously, they’re not the only fans of the story of Pete’s Dragon as the excitement for the film’s opening this August builds. To get your kids excited for this imaginative retelling of a classic story, we have a FREE downloadable activity packet for your family!
“I think the story crafted here is very human and quite interesting,” says Redford. “It is an intimate story of a father, a daughter and a boy who has survived an accident and gone into the woods, and it has a lot of magic, but at its core, it’s a very emotional, human story.”