Tarra Matthews Managing Editor
File this simultaneously under “YES! I am so excited for this!” and “Oh you BETTER not mess this up!” A fan of Disney’s less mainstream movies, Pete’s Dragon was in my top 10 favourite movies growing up and now it is the latest project that Disney has green lit for an update.
The original Pete’s Dragon was released in 1977, part of the era of films released following Walt’s death when the studio was trying to redefine its place in the industry. Pete’s Dragon also marked the beginning for Disney using Dolby Surround Sound in its feature films. The film, a mixture of live action actors and animation, told the story of abused orphan Pete, after he runs away from his adoptive family and follows as he befriends giant green and pink dragon, Elliott. The film starred the iconic Mickey Rooney, Jim Dale, Sean Marshall, and Shelley Winters.
Now Disney is remaking the classic film for the modern age and here is what we know so far. First, writer/director David Lowery and his co-writer Toby Halbrooks (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) are on board to pen the update. That’s right, they are going to re-frame the story for the modern generation because
apparentlya story about an early 20th century orphan escaping abusive parents isn’t SOMETHING enough for today’s families (If it is a time period thing can I point out how successful Les Mis was? Or are we not going there?)
Additionally, there have been reports that the Pete’s Dragon update will not include music/songs like the original. HOLD UP A HOT SECOND and let me remind the world that Pete’s Dragon had the song ‘Candle On The Water’ (sung by Helen Reddy) and it was NOMINATED FOR AN ACADEMY AWARD.
Updating Pete’s Dragon without ‘Candle On The Water’ or its other songs like ‘It’s Not Easy’ would be like updating Mary Poppins without ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!’ You just don’t do it!
There’s been no news on who will be directing the update but once the new screenplay is done, we should hear more about that and then casting announcements. So far Jim Whitaker has been announced as producer.
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