Pete's Dragon is being hailed as one of the best kids' movies of the summer. It's captured the imaginations of critics and moviegoers alike with its magical tale of a boy and his best friend, a giant, green dragon named Elliott. Pete's best bud was a cute green and pink cartoon dragon in the 1977 version of the film. While certainly endearing, the 2016 update of Elliott blends more seamlessly into the live action. He blends so seamlessly, in fact, people are wondering how this dragon was created. Elliott is the product of inspiring CGI work. He fits in to the Pacific Northwest setting of the film amongst other wild animals. If Elliott is CGI, though, are the other animals in Pete's Dragon real?
It turns out that Elliott is the only CGI aspect of Disney's newest blockbuster. When the first trailer for Pete's Dragon dropped, audiences were only given the smallest glimpse of the titular dragon. The sneak peak of Elliott got fans of the original wondering if he would look anything like the slightly goofy original interpretation. The first real look at the computer-generated dragon came from an exclusive first look at the remake in Entertainment Weekly. The new and improved Elliott caught fans of the beloved classic by surprise.
While Elliott certainly looked different from his cartoon inspiration, many aspects of his new design were taken from the 1977 movie. Director David Lowery revealed to Entertainment Weekly that they "love [the] big jaw, big snout, and a clumsy quality that we really wanted to not completely forget about." He even went on to reveal that much of Elliott's mannerisms were inspired by his own pet cat, which definitely helped make his incarnation of the character especially endearing. A lot of work went in to bringing Elliott to life, though. It turns out, it's not easy making a giant, flying dragon look effortlessly realistic on screen.
Weta Digital, the Academy Award winning production company founded by director Peter Jackson, brought Elliot to life. Weta Digital has produced many amazing films, such as The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the 2016 remake of The Jungle Book. Elliott underwent many revisions before becoming the majestic spectacle moviegoers get to watch fly around the silver screen. It’s hard to believe but he started out as a simple pencil sketch, but through the magic of modern technology became a totally believable dragon. The CGI work done on Elliot has been praised for being so realistic that it doesn’t overtake the heartwarming human tale at the center of the movie.
Pete's Dragon is definitely a movie you don't want to miss out on. It's heartwarming tale that the whole family can enjoy with a furry, green dragon both as cute and realistic as you can imagine.