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Pete's Dragon | 2016 | PG | - 1.3.1

A young boy (Oakes Fegley) orphaned in an automobile crash is adopted by a forest dragon (voiced by John Kassir). Six years later, the boy is discovered by a forest ranger (Bryce Dallas Howard) and loggers, giving rise to renewed regional rumors of dragon sightings and childlike hopes for magic. Also with Robert Redford, Karl Urban, West Bentley, Oona Laurence and Isaiah Whitlock Jr. Directed by David Lowery. [1:42]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - A boy about age 10 lives in a forest wearing only a long loin cloth.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A deer runs across a two-lane highway, causing a car to swerve and we see a small child in a car seat staring into the camera as papers and children's books float behind his head in slow motion; we see the little boy at night with a tear streaked face standing outside a smoking car that is on its roof as four wolves walk slowly toward him and animals howl, loud thumping sounds come from a nearby forest, and a large dragon walks forward.
 A dragon is about 40 feet long and covered with green fur; his jaw has a large lower fang, a broken off fang and the rest of his teeth are shorter and sharp and his back has a set of pterodactyl wings; he can become invisible and show up as a transparent ghost-like entity (he becomes invisible several times when unknown humans approach him).
 A boy wakes up in a hospital and escapes through a window, runs through traffic, a car screeches its brakes, and the boy hangs onto the back of a school bus where he and another boy on the bus stick out their tongues at each other; the boy outside walks across the bus roof, jumps down onto a police cruiser, and hops to the ground where the cruiser chases and corners him in an alley and a woman catches him.
 A large bear approaches a young boy, stands on its rear legs, roars and the boy roars back as a dragon extends his neck and head through nearby trees and the bear screeches and runs away. A little girl climbs up into a tall tree and falls through branches, breaking some and landing on the ground, tearful but uninjured (a little boy in the tree grabs her and eases her way down). A boy steps off a cliff and a dragon swoops below the frame and pulls the boy up into the air. A woman finds a feral boy, chases him, and a man grabs him, but loses his grip and the boy hits his head on the ground, unconscious but unwounded. A dragon pushes over two tall trees, one of which falls onto a steam shovel, burying it.
 A truck carrying a dragon pulls into a large barn at a sawmill where police and a crowd of men gather; the dragon cries out and a man and two children drive the truck through the barn wall, which splinters and police and two pickup trucks chase them, a pickup blocks a bridge, but the truck rams through it when its brakes go out, and the men standing outside the pickup scatter as police cars crash and create a pileup of several cars with twisted frames and fenders (we hear some crashing, but no one is hurt).
 A dragon climbs up on top of the metalwork over a bridge and breathes a large amount of fire, setting wood aflame and twisting metal and a man and a woman in a pickup fall through a hole in the bridge pavement as a little boy shouts to the dragon to stop breathing fire; the dragon grabs the front of the truck, and they both fall through the bridge and through mists covering a gorge (we see the dragon and the truck's occupants unharmed later).
 A man with a rifle enters a cave where a dragon appears and roars in his face; the man screams, several other men chase the dragon through a forest, then run the other way, screaming, a man with a rifle points it at the dragon who takes it away and bends it in half as it snarls and the men run to a truck, they get stuck in dirt, and then drive erratically, swerving back and forth as the dragon flies above them.
 A dragon meets a group of adults and children outside his cave, at first growling, but then sniffing them as a little girl looks startled; a man fires a tranquilizer dart into both flanks of the dragon and it screeches as men put a noose around its neck and throw the rope over a tree limb, which breaks; men fall to the ground unhurt and a little boy beats a man with a stick, the man grabs the boy and the dragon tries to fly, but falls through tree branches to the ground and we later see a flatbed truck carrying the unconscious animal chained to it.
 Loggers argue about how far into the forest to cut timber and about the existence of a legendary dragon in the forest. A young boy asks a dragon, "Are you gonna eat me?" and the dragon takes the child gently in his paw and flies away. A man gets a rifle and says, "Let's go hunting." A man yells "Timber" and a tall tree falls. An elderly man tells a group of children a story and startles them by igniting a blow torch briefly; then he takes out a small folding knife, unfolds it, and stabs it into the wooden table top.
 A dragon peaks in a hospital window, where a little girl with a cast on one leg waves at him; two EMTs outside see him and drop a patient off a gurney to a point below the frame as the dragon flies away, has a mild crash landing in a field, looks up at a cow face to face, and the cow moos. A dragon walks to a house, peaks into a window, sees a family with children and looks sad; he goes to his cave, sighs, and goes to sleep.
 We see a newspaper clipping stating that a boy's parents died in a car crash and that the boy disappeared. We hear that a woman's mother died when she was about age 5. A man says that he confronted a dragon while hunting and although he raised his rifle to fire, he could not, because he felt the magic.
 A dragon sneezes on a child in one scene and a man in another scene, covering them with transparent slime; the child says, "Eww!" and the man runs away. A dragon sits on top of a chimney, soot shoots upward and he sneezes (no slime). A woman and two children brush their teeth and we see some foam, but no spit. A boy puts shaving cream on his toothbrush and a woman takes it away from him.


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LANGUAGE 1 - Name-calling (fool), exclamations (a dragon's eyes are said to look red as hellfire), 1 possible religious exclamation (sounds like a muffled Jesus).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man fires a tranquilizer dart into both sides of a large creature, which becomes drowsy (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details).


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Death, loss, orphans, loneliness, imaginary friends, magic, belief, feral children, fantasy, legends, forest dragons, the logging industry/deforestation, survival, preservation of wildlife, exploiting wildlife, bravery, parent-child relationships, family, love, trust.

MESSAGE - Ideally, the bond between parent and child is unbreakable and contains an element of magic that includes the wonder of wildlife.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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