Is the new live action Disney Pete’s Dragon film ok for kids?? Check out this Pete’s Dragon Movie Review | Safe for Kids? from the perspective of a parent. This post is sponsored by Walt Disney World. All magical opinions are my own
Pete’s Dragon Movie Review | Safe for Kids? #PetesDragon
Confession. I didn’t like the original Pete’s Dragon movie.
I grew up watching Mickey Rooney and a dolt of a dragon…wasn’t impressed. But with Candle on the Water on my mind – I headed to Walt Disney World’s Fort Wilderness Resort for a magical Pete’s Dragon screening. Should you take your kids to see Pete’s Dragon? Is the movie comparative to the 1977 version? Will Pete and Elliot win the hearts of your family? And what about that PG rating? This non-spoiler parent review of Disney Pete’s Dragon movie will dive head first into every aspect of the film so you can make an informed decision for your family.
On the campgrounds of Fort Wilderness, the scene was set for a movie under the stars.
Fun photo ops.
And oh, Oakes Fegley!
Yes, Pete himself showed up to our magical viewing and was adorable and humble and definitely nervous about his starring role. But as we watched the movie, I could feel the audience’s excitement. And if that wasn’t magical enough, on a hot August night we had the most amazing cool breeze as we watched the movie. It was like Elliot was with us! I couldn’t imagine a more perfect setting to take in Disney’s newest live-action movie, Pete’s Dragon.
The 1970s cartoon dragon needed an update. I was curious where Disney was going to go with this “live action” dragon. Would he look as “dumbed” down as the original? But the end result was everything I would hope in a Disney dragon. He’s fierce. He’s loving. He makes you believe in dragons. The coarse green hair, breathing fire, the eyes – Disney did an amazing job in bringing this main character to life.
This is NOT your cookie cutter movie remake. Thankfully, Disney put away the 1970s story for a much needed modernized tale. I would sum up the story line with two words “simply Disney.” There’s nothing that’s overbearingly complicated. There’s nothing outrageously technology focused and digitized. The story simply shows the love of a boy and his dragon, the true friendship that develops (as equals, I must point out. No doted dragon here.), and belief in the unbelievable.
While I was sorely disappointed that there was no remake of Candle on the Water (at least a little nod to the song would have been perfect), I can fully appreciate each character in the story and watch again and again without getting annoyed. Bryce Dallas Howard is wonderful. Robert Redford is amazing. Oakes Fegley is a surprise. It’s a child-like film in every sense. It’s beautiful. It’s delicate. It delivers awestruck wonder.
That PG Rating
As with any Disney movie, my biggest concern as a parent is that PG age rating. Should your kids watch the newest Disney live-action movie? Columbus took a chance and so did I. For this “out of the ordinary” screening, I did bring along the whole family. Intently soaking in the dialogue while holding my 3 year old in my lap, I was curious how my two kids would react to a ginormous dragon on the screen for over 50% of the movie.
Adult themes. There’s a theme of loss, grief and death in this film. This can be upsetting to kids.
Language. The story is innocent and delicate. There are no swear words (YES!), keeping with the original film.
Violence/Suspense. There are a few pieces of the movie to keep in mind before taking your kids out to see this one. One, there’s a big, scary dragon. If your child is easily scared by a green dragon (you may want to preview a few trailers with them first), this is not the movie for them.
Secondly, this dragon makes an unusually scary noise. Please note, the noise is not meant to be “scary.” It’s Elliot’s normal noise throughout the movie. But with Elliot being the star of the show – it is a loud and creepy rumble of a noise.
There are a few scenes with men carrying guns on the hunt for a dragon. The guns do go off, with the intention of hitting a dragon as well. So I would definitely keep that in mind.
What child age is recommended to watch Pete’s Dragon?
How old should your kids be to enjoy Disney’s new live action Pete’s Dragon? Depends on how sensitive they are to “realistic” looking dragons. While some kids may be more sensitive to scary looking animals, my 3-year old daughter had no issues. As far as my toddler’s review of this movie, I took notes so I could accurately tell you in her own words.
“I love it. I like that dragon. I can’t ride on that dragon. It’s too high. But Pete can ride on that dragon.”
As you can see, my 3 year old was left in awe. She loved it. She’s been talking about “that dragon” ever since. My 7 year old took a bit longer to sink everything in. He definitely liked it. But he did admit the dragon was a little scary. Would he watch it again? Absolutely.
Plan on taking your family to see the new Pete’s Dragon movie? Don’t forget to grab your 25 pages of FREE Pete’s Dragon Coloring Sheets & Activities. Simply put, Disney’s cautious holding back in the new live-action Pete’s Dragon movie made the child-like innocence and the delicate fairy-tale relationship whisper into my heart. It’s that beautiful connection to the child in us all that made my family fully appreciate the new Pete’s Dragon – with open arms. I believe in dragons.
Will you be taking your family to see Disney’s Pete’s Dragon?
I was invited to attend an exclusive Walt Disney World press event in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians for more kids movie reviews from a parent perspective.