Check out the new trailer for Disney‘s Pete’s Dragon and what director David Lowery alongside Bryce Dallas Howard had to say about being part of re-imagining a Disney Classic.
Last week we were able to attend a special preview of the trailer and check out some early footage from Pete’s Dragon along with several members of the press. After the sneak peeks director David Lowery and his lead actress Bryce Dallas Howard chatted with us about the film.
Here are 5 things you need to know about the movie:
It’s not a remake, in fact there isn’t even any of the original music in the film. The footage gave us a glimpse of the world of the film which is nestled in a time before fancy tech where there was still wonder to behold. It’s a whole new tale for a new generation, explained Lowery about his take on the Disney Classic:
David Lowery: The best thing is for audiences who love the original to see this and say, ‘This is a great new film about a boy named Pete and a dragon named Elliott.’ If kids have not seen the original, this will be the first time they’ve seen it. There won’t be that moment where all of the adults go, ‘Oh, yeah,’ and the kids are like, ‘I don’t get it. What is it?’ We avoided that. We talked about having references, but ultimately we felt like it was the purer tactic. I’ve seen a lot of remakes that do that, but it always takes me out of the movie to have that little wink.
Bryce Dallas Howard quickly signed on to the film being a fan of the original growing up. Even when she read this new version, she was taken by how much of a film about childhood it was.
Bryce Dallas Howard: I think that just as a parent the reason that I love children to watch films with children in them is because it empowers them to have an understanding. It contextualizes their own story, their own belief system and their own, their own emotional value. They learn to value their feelings.
In the preview and in the trailer we got a glimpse of Elliot the Dragon. He’s may not look like the one we’re familiar with but still emanates the love and care for Pete that we’re familiar with. Lowery talked about his inspiration for the new look:
David Lowery: I love my cats. I was petting my cat and being like, ‘I wish this guy was 20-feet tall.’ He’s really my cat. They have their own Instagram account. So, I wanted him to be furry. If you put a Game of Thrones dragon in this and had him be scaly and cold, it would be cool, but I wanted it to be the kind of dragon that you really wanted to give a hug to and snuggle up with.
Bryce Dallas Howard praised the young actor who plays Pete. Compared him to her father the once child actor and now director Ron Howard.
Bryce Dallas Howard: There were often times when I would ask Oakes for direction. I would ask ‘What do you think?’. He’d really know what to say. He reminded me of my dad in a lot of ways cause it’s just sort of this talent. He’s a self aware person but he’s not aware of the extent of his talent and he’s just really relaxed about it and has a sense of everything. He really understands a movie set. That’s another thing to get a kid who’s not self conscious who has that talent who’s game, has the sturdiness, a deep sensitivity and is intuitive is beautiful to act opposite. If he chooses to he’ll be a director.
While the film is a departure from the original, it’s deeply rooted in the same vein as classic films about children. To Lowery, it was important to be true to childhood and his memories of being a kid:
David Lowery: This is a big adventure film. I want it to be respectful of children and their feelings. To be accurate to my memory to what it was like (to be a child). And also accurate to my memory of what I would do. I would build these tree forts in my backyard with rope swings. In my memory they’re gigantic and awesome. I wanted to present that version through Pete. The version I saw in my mind’s eye. But also when the characters are feeling things I wanted it to be true to my memory. I remember being a kid really clearly. I want to be true to that. There’s a great legacy of films about children. Whether they are films like E.T. or Never Ending Story or the Black Stallion or other (foreign) films like The Red Balloon. They do a really good job of that. I think It’s important to think of those movie because kids respond. Same with Miyasaki stuff. I like when kids see the emotional side of themselves.
Pete’s Dragon opens August 12th!