So Disney seems to be perfectly content a mandate of no new original content, or “if you haven’t seen it, it’s new to you!” because now they seem intent on remaking the old 70’s kid flick Pete’s Dragon. Most people probably don’t even remember it, but I do. I grew up spending a lot of weekends with my grandparents and I’d almost always watch Pete’s Dragon. It was a hybrid live-action/animated film about an abused kid (by Disney standards) who had an “Imaginary” dragon named Elliot. No one else could see him, but they’d have adventures and hijinks and stuff in a coastal town in New England. Theres also a ton of hillbillies. It’s a fun, simple movie that all kids will like.
Here is where I get worried. Disney only makes a few movies a year, and none of them have budgets below $150 Million. They are going to turn Pete’s Dragon into a franchise and Narnia or Alice it. It’ll likely be epic in scale, have little comedy and probably have some sort of prophecy involved. It seems we forgot kids are relatively easy to amuse. They don’t need wild effects budgets and swirling Hobbit-level adventures. Sometimes keeping it smaller in scale works better for their little brains and isn’t boring or expository. Look at those Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies for example. They cost nothing, but make a lot and are only for kids. Why can’t Disney use that model sometimes, albeit on a larger scale? The only effect needs to be the cartoon Dragon. Let everything else be bumbling old people and Pete.