Based off the 1977 movie-musical version by the same name, the 2016 version of Pete's Dragon flew beyond expectations. When most of us rolled our eyes upon hearing the news that another Disney remake was in the works, we were ignorant to the fact that it would hardly be a remake at all.
First and foremost, the 2016 version is not a musical. We do not hear Helen Reddy's Academy-nominated "Candle on the Water," or the captivating "Brazzle Dazzle Day." The backbone of the 2016 version did not rely on song and dance to tell the story, but rather a story within the story. At the start of the movie, young Pete is riding in the backseat of his parents' car on an adventure with a destination unknown to us as the audience, as well as Pete himself. Pete, about five years old at this point, is sounding out words in a children's picture book entitled Elliot Gets Lost, with his mother cheerfully aiding him. Elliot being a dog who goes on an adventure with his family, but unfortunetly found himself separated from them. That is most likely where Elliot the dragon got his name. We also assume that the storybook's plot is a foreshadow to what will happen to Pete.
As it could have been previously suggested, Pete lived a happy life with his parents until their togetherness came to a sudden end as a deer crossed in front of their moving car; causing them to crash in the woods off the road. Pete survived, but his family did not. The relationship Pete had with his family in this movie version highly contrasts to that in the 1977 version, where he was abused by his family, and had been more than glad to begin a new adventure. But in the 2016 version, poor Pete was mourning his parents; longing for the past rather than a new adventure. That is, until he he was found by Elliot.
In the light of all the differences, both versions of the film do share some similarities that bring the sensne of delight and wonder from one generation to the next. For one thing, the 2016 version does not scream 2016. In other words, the 2016 version is not modernized to the point to where it could be compared to a person who died three hundred years ago, suddenly waking up from the dead and seeing the world now. We do not see Pete Snapchatting a selfie with Elliot captioned, #imetadragontodaywhatdidyoudo. We actually see the characters using house phones! Not to mention record players!
I would highly recommend the 2016 version of Pete's Dragon to anyone wishing to embark on an unforgettable adventure. Even if you grew up watching the original film and doubted that the 2016 version could possibly live up to expectations. Upon seeing the movie, we smile the same smiles and cry the same tears as we did seeing the older version in 1977. The newer version is simply enhanced so the dragon seems more real than like a cartoon, while staying true to the original story. To me, that's pure Disney magic.