What to watch this summer if you’re too scared to make it past episode two of ‘Stranger Things’? The answer is Disney’s ‘Pete’s Dragon’, about an orphaned boy who lives in the forest with his pet dragon (it’s remake of a 1977 film). With ‘Pete’s Dragon’ you get the nostalgic Spielberg-y-ness of ‘Stranger Things’, minus the creepy kids with paranormal nosebleeds.
It begins with little Pete’s mum and dad being killed in a car crash. Pete is unhurt, but is about to become boy-mince for wolves when he’s rescued by a dragon. Skip ahead six years, and he’s having the time of his life with his adorable mutt of a dragon – a great big lummoxy cuddle monster of green fur. Of course, it can’t last, and Pete feels the call of civilisation when he meets a nice forest warden (Bryce Dallas Howard).
This being a kids film, there is a ‘message’ – about the destruction of nature. But the eco theme genuinely works with the film’s wonder at nature. And great news for wusses: the scariest creature in this forest is a dragon more likely to chase his tail than breathe fire.