6.4/10
20,538
92 user 53 critic

Pete's Dragon (1977)

Clip
1:29 | Clip

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
An orphan boy and his magical dragon come to town with his abusive adoptive parents in pursuit.

Director:

Don Chaffey

Writers:

Malcolm Marmorstein (screenplay), Seton I. Miller (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
4,665 ( 479)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Pete's Dragon (2016)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The adventures of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just so happens to be a dragon.

Director: David Lowery
Stars: Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford, Oakes Fegley
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An apprentice witch, three kids and a cynical magician conman search for the missing component to a magic spell to be used in the defense of Britain in WWII.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Angela Lansbury, David Tomlinson, Roddy McDowall
The Rescuers (1977)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two mice of the Rescue Aid Society search for a little girl kidnapped by unscrupulous treasure hunters.

Directors: John Lounsbery, Wolfgang Reitherman, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Bob Newhart, Eva Gabor, Geraldine Page
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A poor boy named Arthur learns the power of love, kindness, knowledge and bravery with the help of a wizard called Merlin in the path to become one of the most beloved kings in English history.

Director: Wolfgang Reitherman
Stars: Rickie Sorensen, Sebastian Cabot, Karl Swenson
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A down-on-his-luck inventor turns a broken-down Grand Prix car into a fancy vehicle for his children, and then they go off on a magical fantasy adventure to save their grandfather in a far-off land.

Director: Ken Hughes
Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes, Lionel Jeffries
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Helen Reddy ... Nora
Jim Dale ... Dr. Terminus
Mickey Rooney ... Lampie
Red Buttons ... Hoagy
Shelley Winters ... Lena Gogan
Sean Marshall Sean Marshall ... Pete
Jane Kean ... Miss Taylor
Jim Backus ... The Mayor
Charles Tyner ... Merle
Gary Morgan ... Grover
Jeff Conaway ... Willie
Cal Bartlett ... Paul
Charlie Callas ... Elliott (voice)
Walter Barnes ... Captain
Al Checco Al Checco ... Fisherman #1
Edit

Storyline

In New England in the early 20th century, Pete is a nine-year-old orphan escaping from his brutal adoptive parents, the Gogans, with his only friend, a cartoon dragon named Elliott. They successfully escape to Passamaquoddy, Maine, and live with Nora, a lighthouse keeper, and her father, Lampie. Elliott is sought for medicinal purposes by the corrupt Dr. Terminus. Written by Matthew Anscher <ansch002@acpub.duke.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Brightest, liveliest musical: It's real! It's fantasy! It's fun! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 November 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pete y Elliot el Dragon See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$40,100,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby (RCA Photophone Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Sean Marshall gave up acting the year after this film was released. See more »

Goofs

When Hoagy (in disguise) clutches a dollar bill during the song "Passamaquoddy" it is of a mid-20th-century design. See more »

Quotes

Merle: Say, have you seen anything of a mean, fresh, kid, about ye big? Answers to the name of Pete.
Hoagy: Half of the kids here in this town answer to Pete. Other half don't answer.
See more »

Alternate Versions

This Disney film has a troubled history as far as the many different versions released over the years. It originally ran 134 minutes. After its premiere engagement in Hollywood, it was cut down to 121 minutes before it premiered in New York. When it was released in Europe, it ran 105 minutes, with the following edits: -"Candle on the Water" (which survived only as an instrumental passage over the credits replacing the original overture) and "The Happiest Home in These Hills" were eliminated entirely. -Verses from "I Saw A Dragon," "Passamashloddy," "There's Room For Everyone," and "Every Little Piece" were cut. -21 scenes were shortened. This version was used for the original home video release in 1980, while every video since then has run 128 minutes, restoring the songs and the majority of dramatic material. However, when Disney re-released it in theaters, it was the European cut. Even further cuts were made for the TV version of the film, which premiered on "The Disney Sunday Movie" in 1986. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Passamashloddy
(uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn
Sung by Jim Dale, Red Buttons, and Ensemble
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Generally unsatisfactory musical numbers blend in with the other major flaws
16 April 2011 | by Electrified_VoltageSee all my reviews

I remember at one point in my childhood, I heard about a movie called "Pete's Dragon", maybe when it was about to come on TV, and also remember seeing some of it, though I can't remember how much I saw. There was another part of the film I remember seeing some years later (the part where the Dr. Terminus character manages to win over the initially angry people), but I didn't know what movie I was seeing. After many years, I could still remember the title of this mostly live action Disney film (but one with a cartoon dragon), and finally decided to watch it from start to finish this week. It's far from one of the most highly regarded Disney productions in the long history of the company, and I wasn't expecting it to be among the great ones, but I was expecting it to be better than I found it to be, which is not good at all for the most part.

With the help of his magical dragon, Elliott, a young orphaned boy named Pete manages to escape from his cruel adoptive family, the Gogans, but they are still determined to find him somehow or other. The boy and his dragon friend travel together and soon come to a village called Passamaquoddy. Before they enter, Pete tells Elliott that he must make himself invisible (a magical power of his) in order to avoid scaring the people, so the dragon reluctantly does so, but even in his invisible form, he soon causes a lot of trouble in the village, and since nobody can see him, it looks like Pete is responsible! After Pete gets away from an angry mob and Elliott scares Lampie, the drunken lighthouse keeper, the two of them go to a cave near the lighthouse, where Nora, Lampie's daughter, finds Pete and decides to give him shelter in her home. He often talks to her about Elliott, and she doesn't believe that this dragon actually exists, but plays along. Unfortunately, the dragon continues to cause trouble for Pete, and the village of Passamaquoddy has another problem when medicine showman Dr. Terminus and his assistant, Hoagy, are back to swindle the villagers again with their fraudulent formulas!

This live action/animation crossover is a musical, and unfortunately, the songs generally don't have much effect. I think this already shows with the first song, sung by the Gogans as they pursue Pete, but it gets worse after the boy and his dragon friend get away from them and we hear the next musical number, "Boo Bop Bopbop Bop (I Love You, Too)". During this song, I felt like I was watching something strictly for the very young. Basically, the rest of the songs also fail, including the "I Saw a Dragon" one featured in the part where Lampie tells the people in the tavern what he saw, a notably clumsy segment of the film. The musical numbers are only one of the significant flaws in the film. Most of the cast performances failed to impress me, especially Jane Kean overacting in the role of Miss Taylor, the strict teacher of the village. It doesn't seem that Sean Marshall, who plays the title character, was a very good child actor. "Pete's Dragon" does have some pretty funny parts, but not enough to make it really work as a comedy, either. Also, while I certainly didn't find myself not caring what happened to any of the characters, I still didn't find most of the story too entertaining for some reason, but that might have been largely because of the other problems.

This is a mainly live action family musical, and maybe I'm not usually into movies like this, but that hasn't stopped me from finding "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory", a live action family musical from six years before this one, to be a great film, so it's definitely not like "Pete's Dragon" would look bad to me regardless of quality. This particular Disney piece came out the same year as "The Rescuers", an all animated feature which disappointed me when I first saw it last year (I actually found its 1990 sequel, "The Rescuers Down Under", to be much better, as rare as that is with sequels and as much as many Disney fans would probably disagree), but even that film I found to be better than this very lacklustre live action/animation crossover. I gave "Pete's Dragon" a try, and realize that it has a following (not a huge one, but it is a following), but simply put, I just didn't like it. I guess I can still recommend it for kids and won't say adults should avoid it at all costs, but I also still think there are good reasons for all the criticism.


8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 92 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed