Now the film is back, sans the usual “Platinum” packaging with PETE’S DRAGON – THE HIGH-FLYING EDITION, which arrived at retail last week.
The story of an orphan (Pete, played by Sean Marshall) and his invisible best friend, Elliott (a kind-hearted fire-breathing dragon), this 1977 film was nominated for two Academy Awards, numerous Saturns, and a Golden Globe. The duo finds themselves on the run from Pete’s adoptive parents, landing in a coastal town where they take shelter in a lighthouse cared for by a young woman and her father. Pete and Elliott have a habit of creating mischief, and naturally a good-natured adventure ensues – but not without placing the titular dragon in peril due to some rabid townsfolk.
Combining live-action with animation, the film looks great on DVD even though the overall presentation is very dated. Still, new audiences of youngsters should be captivated by the music and story, even though Elliott never looks as good on-screen as he appears on the film’s slick DVD cover art.
Of greater interest to older viewers will be the film’s bonus features, which offer a significant improvement over previous releases. For those interested in the technical aspects of then-impressive animation, or the genesis of the film’s highly-regarded music, the bonus features are a must.
3 out of 4 stars