The Abomination That Is The Pete’s Dragon Remake

Posted on July 16, 2016

This evening my family and I decided to hit the local multiplex to catch a showing of “The Secret Life of Animals.” How did I like it? That’s beside the point as I saw a trailer before the movie that caused me to burn with righteous indignation.

Many of you may have assumed this about me, but what I consider to be of utmost importance may differ slightly from other “normal” people. For example, a country run by either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? Eh, what can you do right?  But not returning your cart to the designated stall? HAVE YOU GONE MAD?!

I give you that pretext only to demonstrate how logical today’s opinion is: Disney has ruined Pete’s Dragon by remaking it!

Pete's Poster
I’d be hiding too if I was associated with this drivel…

I am particularly passionate about Pete’s Dragon as it played an enormous roll in my youth. You see, it was basically the only movie I saw until approximately 1990 (I may have seen Labyrinth as well but my brain has blocked out all memories in an act of self preservation). As my only glimpse into Hollywood cinematic culture, it shaped much of what I expected in movies. For example, I assumed every movie included Helen Reddy singing in a lighthouse.

Helen Reddy
A still from Pete’s Dragon, Jaws, Breakfast Club, and Ferris Buehler’s Day Off  – according to my 1980’s brain

I was naturally excited when I heard Disney was planning on remaking the film. I figured this was an opportunity to replace some of the green screen animation with computer generated dragonry while still maintaining the original’s humor and charm. However, it only took about 12 seconds of watching the trailer to realize I HATE IT! This movie has apparently decided to remove everything that made the original Pete’s Dragon so loveable, like the quaint seaside setting of Passamaquoddy, hilarious and heartfelt songs, comically undersized dragon wings, etc. and replace it with a forest and a grizzled Robert Redford. Well, I say NAY!

This is Elliot and I shan’t be persuaded otherwise.

In fact, I’d wager money that the writer’s of the new version have never even seen the original and wrote the script solely upon hearing that the title would be “Pete’s Dragon. ”Given the task of remaking “Jaws”, they’d probably churn out a script focusing on an Orthodontist (with an environmental lesson of course).

I am so perturbed by this remake, that I am almost starting to understand the rage felt by the Ghostbuster’s purists who were upset about an all female cast. However, in this case, I would MUCH prefer the remake’s primary change to be an all female cast. (#PatriciasDragon)

I just put a bra on a dragon…I hope this is my legacy.

So, in summary, I will be one person refraining from watching this movie. I hope my strongly worded opinion and vast social media influence cause this movie to only make hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office. At the very least, I predict it will do well at the Oscar’s in the “Desecrating the Cherished Memories of My Youth” category.  

2 Replies to "The Abomination That Is The Pete's Dragon Remake"

  • Paul Carey
    July 18, 2016 (9:14 pm)

    The Pete’s Dragon Remake, or: How David Varner can tell the future.

    I saw the preview to the upcoming remake of the movie Pete’s Dragon too, and I won’t be seeing the movie either, but for entirely different reasons. Before I get into why, though, I want to tell you about an amazing interview I saw with the late great Gene Siskel (paraphrasing), “You like the movies you like for the reasons you like them, and those that don’t like those movies don’t like them for the reasons they don’t like them, and everyone is entirely right, for their own reasons”. Or words to that effect. He probably said it a lot better.

    That being said, I did not like the first one. At all. There. Now take a moment, take a deep breath, take a walk. Maybe corral some feral shopping carts. Get a sorbet and let me explain why I so unceremoniously tossed onto the front porch of your childhood memory that flaming bag of opinion. Regardless of what I thought of the first movie, when I watched the preview for the remake, I did not see much entertainment potential. That’s right, my point is I have the gall to judge the movie on it’s own.

    A remake, regardless of the original, in no way diminishes, sullies, or in any way changes the original – for better or worse. It can’t. That movie has been made. It’s done.

    And OMG do not get me started on the purists. If the “purists” had their way, we would still be watching the same original seven greek tragedies and comedies to this day. Never any change, deviation, or anything original in four thousand years. The same thing over and over. Because, by the beard of Zeus, that’s the way the original was!

    So David, all seriousness aside, don’t go see this movie if you don’t want to. I can’t help but wonder, however, if they had called it Joaquin and the Chimera if you would not have had your unfortunate episode.

    • Dave
      July 19, 2016 (6:43 pm)

      I have to say Paul, that is a very well thought out opinion. Well thought out and wrong, but nice nonetheless. I’m totally kidding. I do agree that enjoying movies is personal and entirely subjective, but, that being said, I would have no issues if this were called Joaquin and the Chimera. I wouldn’t see it because it doesn’t look interesting to me however.

      I’m not sure why I am bothered so much. I think perhaps because they are trying to use my fondness for the original to sucker me into forking over $9 for this one which is totally different.

      Also, I love your point about the purists and how we would be watching the same original tragedies. I agree completely. But it is also funny how it feels like we are basically doing the same thing with all of these remakes. How about some originality! These writers are being paid for something right? 🙂

      p.s. How old were you when you saw the original Pete’s Dragon? If I watched it for the first time today, I may think it’s totally long and cheesy. However, I have the benefit of watching it through the cloudy lens of sentimentality.

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