Australian Council on Children and the Media

Pete's Dragon

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What age is this for?

Age
0-5
5-6
7-8
8-13
13+

Classification

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What’s it about?

Pete, as a young boy, is driving through a forest with his mum and dad when a deer jumps in front of them, causing their car to swerve and roll over. Pete is left alone in the dark and scary forest not knowing where to go. Suddenly a pack of snarling wolves surround him but then something even scarier appears and sends the wolves running. A giant dragon looms out of the forest and Pete thinks it’s going to eat him, but the dragon lifts Pete up and flies off with him.

Six years pass and Pete is now about 10 years old. His best friend Elliot (the dragon) looks after him and plays games with him. One day loggers arrive in the forest to chop down trees. One of the logger’s daughters, Natalie, spies Pete and follows him into the forest. Natalie tells her parents, Grace and Jack, about Pete who go looking for him. One of the loggers pulls Pete from a tree, knocking him out. He wakes up in a hospital bed and discovers a whole new life. He doesn’t forget about his friend Elliot though and goes back to the forest to try and find him. In doing so the loggers also find Elliot and capture him to put on display. Pete and Natalie have to rescue Elliot and return him to the forest.

What to look out for

There is some violence in this movie such as:

  • The loggers chase after Elliot with a rifle. Elliot frightens them and they try to run away but Elliot picks up their car and grabs the rifle, bending it in half.
  • One of the loggers shoots Elliot with a tranquiliser dart. They then capture Elliot and tie him to the flat bed of a truck with chains.

 

There are also several scenes that would scare younger kids such as:

  • Pete is left alone as a small child in the woods, scared and crying. He is surrounded by wolves that snarl and growl at him.
  • The dragon is at first quite scary and huge.
  • After Pete and Natalie, with her grandfather Meacham, escape with Elliot, the loggers chase after them. Meacham crashes into a bridge and Elliot breathes fire on the bridge causing it to collapse. It looks as if Grace and Jack, who were also on the bridge at the time, might die.

Moral of the Story

The messages of the story are the importance of belonging and to never stop believing in magic.

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