Disney has breathed new life into an old tale that seems to be lost between generations: Pete's Dragon originally came to theatres back in 1977. It's one of those Disney films that you often need reminding of, which makes their latest take on the tale such an interesting choice to bring back to theatres. Now, thanks to some seriously sick CGI effects, Pete's Dragon takes on a whole new dimension from its 1977 progenitor that has some parents wondering: Is Pete's Dragon too scary for kids?
The Motion Picture Association of America has rated Pete's Dragon PG, which means that parental guidance is suggested — one higher rating than the original Pete's Dragon which was rated G. Still, it's a low enough rating that your 10-year-old could go to the movies with their friends without you to see it.
But the big hangup for some parents — especially those old enough to remember the original Pete's Dragon — is that Elliot the dragon has transformed from the innovative hand-drawn animated creature in 1977 to a full-blown computer rendered monstrosity in 2016. But fret not: While similar CGI-heavy Disney films like The Jungle Book might have pushed kids to the edge, the heartwarming plot of Pete's Dragon will totally win over your kids.
Here are the big things to know about the scary factor in Pete's Dragon: Yes, Elliot is a more "realistic" looking dragon than his 1977 counterpart. He's not all soft edges and round belly and goofy grins. But Disney's animation team has worked to make sure that Elliot still has a lovable visual appeal — obviously, since Elliot is supposed to be Pete's best friend and protector in the movie. So if you're worried your kid will see something that resembles Alduin from Skyrim, don't worry: Elliot is WAY more tame. Oh, and still fuzzy like the original Elliot, too:
The MPAA has noted that the PG rating is for "action, peril and brief language." There are some crude jokes in the film that may or may not fly over your child's head, depending on their level of maturity, as well as some intense action sequences, too. You can see for yourself in the Pete's Dragon trailer.
That said, the "exciting" part includes plenty of peril and danger, as well as some sad moments. Pete is 5 when he's in a terrible car accident that leaves him orphaned and abandoned in the woods, which could definitely upset younger or more sensitive kids.
Ultimately, the story of love, friendship, and the message of eco-responsibility in Pete's Dragon will make up for any "scary" moments in the film. And to be honest, with so much vitriol and spite on the evening news, Pete's Dragon will be a great family-friendly respite this weekend.