When I first saw Pete’s Dragon on the big screen, I was amazed how much it reminded me of the kind of movies I’d loved as a child. Movies about kids who spent time outdoors, who had adventures and who didn’t mind getting a little dirt on them. They were wholesome and usually, mostly adult free. The kids were real kids, not precocious or precious children who were like little adults.

Now that I’ve had the chance to see it on Blu-ray and watch the special extras, I found that director David Lowery, who also co-wrote the script, wanted the movie to have a classic feel to it. He’s succeeded perfectly in that goal, having written a brand-new screenplay that’s not based on the movie of the same name that came out in the 1970s, but with fresh characters and a new setting. Even the dragon is different. He may have the same name — Elliot — but he’s CGI this time around instead of animated.

Elliot is like a giant fluffy dog who just happens to have wings. His emotions are plain to see through his facial expressions, just like those of a dog. Lowery is a cat lover and says in the special extras that he wanted Elliot to move like his cats. He actually does resemble a cat when he’s bounding through the forest with Pete.

While watching the movie the first time, I had a feeling it didn’t take place in modern times, but I couldn’t put my finger on the year — it seemed timeless, which was exactly what Lowery was aiming for. Studying it more closely this time, I think it’s probably set sometime between the mid-1970s and the late 1980s. There’s a quick shot of a rotary phone — and the bicycles and

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