Trailer Time: Pete’s Dragon (2016) *Remaking a Kinda Sorta Classic

Pete’s Dragon is a remake of a 1977 Disney live-action/animation hybrid film that was most notable for introducing me to the town of Passamaquaddie, ME, which is easily one of the most enjoyable town names in world history.  2016’s Pete’s Dragon really has more in common with Tarzan than the original film, which takes the names of the character and the title and reworks most of the rest.  Visually, obviously an improvement:
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Honestly, I’d be paying no attention to this film whatsoever were it not for two things.  One, Disney is currently in the midst of perhaps the greatest year any studio has ever had both financially and critically.  Two, I want to know which small child in the Redford family is responsible for one of the greatest actors of all-time being in this film.  No, seriously, I’m curious, because-God love him-how many more Robert Redford performances are we going to get?  What if this is it?  What if this Orson Welles in Transformers: The Movie (except that was awesome)?  Releasing right after Jason Bourne and Suicide Squad, it presents a family option, and if it can garner some decent reviews Disney will no doubt continue to build their own private moon with all of the money they’ve gleefully taken from us in just the first six months of the year.  Pete’s Dragon is scheduled for an August 12, 2016, release.
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3 thoughts on “Trailer Time: Pete’s Dragon (2016) *Remaking a Kinda Sorta Classic”

  1. It’s good to know that I have a companion in my ongoing lamentation that Orson Welles’s last film was Transformers: the Movie. I honestly remember little about the original Pete’s Dragon, and I do not think it qualifies as a classic. Still, Disney is on fire (except for Through the Looking Glass) so who knows? I will say this: this remake might be a little too retro. It looks that way, at least. I’m having visions of Harry and the Hendersons and Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend.

    1. I don’t think it’s a classic either, but I needed an excuse to type Passamaquaddie. And that Welles ended with Unicron, is Hollywood’s fault for blacklisting him (he is awesome as Unicron talking with Leonard Nimoy doing Galvatron, that’s some serious weight and why it is still the best Transformers film).

      1. In his later years Welles took whatever roles were offered to him, so that he could fund his own films, and it’s tragic that so few of them got made. I don’t think Citizen Kane is remotely the best movie ever made, but it’s indisputably the most influential, and it’s amazingly fun to watch. I’ve probably seen it at least twenty times, and it never gets old.

        But do not… and I really mean this… feel too bad about what happened to Welles. You can be regretful that you never got to see all the brilliant films he would have made if he had had total freedom, but while Hollywood might have blacklisted him, it was mostly his own fault.

        Before he came to Hollywood and made Citizen Kane he was a sensation on the radio and on stage, and controversy had always served him well. For example, his War of the Worlds broadcast. People were making suicide pacts because they thought aliens were invading, and it only helped to propel Welles’s career.

        With Kane, he decided that he was going to deliberately antagonize William Randolph Hearst. To be clear, Heart was so rich that while traveling overseas he once came across a church he liked. So he had it dismantled brick by brick, and constructed an entire railroad on american soil for the sole purpose of transporting the church to Hearst Palace.

        When he thought a defendant should hang, Hearst would pull his reporters out of the courtroom midway through the trial, then have them simply invent the entire defense part of the proceedings. And if Hearst invited you to a party, and you did not attend, the word would go out to all of his papers, and you would never be mentioned in them ever again.

        This is that man that Welles decided to pick a fight with. To be clear, it wasn’t even the way that Hearst was portrayed that made him so angry. It was the vicious, nasty portrayal of his mistress (Kane’s second wife in the film) that infuriated him. Herman Mankiewicz, who co-wrote Kane, was friends with the mistress, and discovered some very intimate things that most people don’t realize are reflected in the film. The ironic thing is that the character of Kane has a lot more in common with Welles himself than with Hearst. And Welles was such a genius that there was no reason to anger Hearst at all. There was no reason to anger anyone.

        Welles was the definition of arrogance. He had NOT engendered any goodwill in the Hollywood community, and everyone was happy to see him go down. I’m pretty sure Welles softened and mellowed as he got older. I’m pretty sure Touch of Evil is an allegory about his wasted career. But even when Kane started getting named the best film of all time, he still wasn’t able to make his movies the way he wanted to.

        There is a supremely tragic quote of his, where he says (and I am paraphrasing) “I grew up being called a genius, and it wasn’t until I was middle aged that I realized I was not.”

        Well, he was a genius, but I think there’s a reason so many of his movies were about the downfalls of prideful men. Even Kane was about that, and Welles was still on top of the world when he made it. He recognized what kind of a person he was. Life imitated art, then art imitated life.

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