Set deep in the woods on the Pacific Northwest, this Disney family adventure which was released at the weekend, tells the story of a little boy who gets lost in the wilderness after his parents are killed in a car crash. Pete is rescued from wolves by a giant, friendly dragon who he calls Elliott. There are spectacular scenes as they fly together over the treeline or swoop down along rivers and valleys. Five years later Pete, now resembling a bedraggled Mowgli, is discovered by Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) who works as a forest ranger and lives in a nearby small town. Her father, Mr Meacham, a woodcarver, (played by Robert Redford) has delighted local children for years with stories of a mysterious dragon. She always thought these were just tall tales - until now. With help from a young girl named Natalie (Oona Laurence), Grace sets out to investigate if this fantastic claim can be true.
Pete's Dragon is an endearing story, with beautiful scenery and fine acting from all the cast - especially from Oakes Fegley who plays Pete. An excellent film for the summer holidays - its a good story, but also a thoughtful tale on many levels, for children and adults - as it explores themes of faith, family, trust, and respect for the environment.
As Mr Meacham says: 'If you go through life only seeing what's in front of you, you're going to miss out on an awful lot.'
EthosMedia.org (co-founded by Nick and Carol Pollard) have produced a free Family Activity Book and All-Age Service Resource(with games, colouring, food, film clips and quizzes) based around Pete's Dragon, which can be downloaded from: www.EthosMedia.org/PetesDragon