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Blu-ray review: 'Pete's Dragon 35th Anniversary Edition'
35th Anniversary Edition
It may get long in the tooth and sometimes breathes more alcohol fumes than actual fire, but the live-action/animation hybrid “Pete's Dragon” remains an agreeable and reasonably enchanting Disney movie musical.
Released in 1977, the family-friendly feature makes its Blu-ray debut with its 35th Anniversary Edition. While the high-definition treatment adds some “Brazzle Dazzle” vibrancy to the innovative pre-green screen adventure, Disney skimps on the bonus material, making fans of the film settle for a few recycled featurettes.
Set in New England at the turn of the 20th century, the film follows lonely 9-year-old orphan Pete (Sean Marshall) and his only pal, a giant green dragon named Elliott. While the rest of the story is told through live action, the violet-haired behemoth with the personality of a puppy dog is depicted as a cartoon.
While his magic lets him remain unseen to everyone but Pete, Elliott's colossal stature makes it all too easy for him to make a monster mess, which the child discovers when they venture into the quiet fishing village of Passamaquoddy. The lad hopes to start a new life there, but after Elliott (comic Charlie Callas provides the beast's grumbles, clicks and occasional growls) unintentionally causes chaos — and accidentally reveals himself to drunken lighthouse keeper Lampie (Mickey Rooney) — the boy and his dragon take shelter in a seaside cave.