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Cameron H.

Musical Mondays Week 9 Pete's Dragon (1977)

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Life is all lollipops and raindrops, motherfuckers! So have a brazzle, dazzle day, because we watched...

 

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Just to start off..

I didn't really remember anything from this movie beforehand, since I hadn't seen it probably since I was 5 or 6. But as I was watching it came back to me. Every scene and song, as soon as it started, it all came back.

 

What I didn't realize as a kid was how dark a lot of aspects of the movie was...

I will say a good amount of the songs are catchy as fuck, and it did help me get Paula Abdul out of my head...lol

 

Revisiting now, I don't think I love it like I think I did as a kid. But overall, I had a good time revisiting this.

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Yes, I'll chip in to agree with Kate's take on it right off the bat. My memory of this film was that it was something I loved as a kid, but I was shocked to see that it was a feature-length film. In my mind it was a short along the lines of Lambert the Sheepish Lion - no idea why I thought that. But, I had ZERO memory of the Gogans or Dr. Terminus, or even Lampy. For me, 100% of my memory was wrapped up in Elliott, a little bit with Pete, and the rest with Nora. Growing up in Australia, the fact that Helen Reddy played Nora was a really big deal, since she's an iconic Australian singer (fun fact: Helen is directly responsible for introducing her buddy Olivia Newton-John to the producer who cast her in Grease, so if it wasn't for Nora there'd be no Xanadu) - the first Aussie woman to win a Grammy. Her 'I Am Woman' made her a global superstar and even though her star was waning by the time Pete's Dragon came along, she was still a big deal back home. So, my entire sense of this movie was wrapped up in Nora, Pete, and Elliott. No memory at all of nearly everything else, and not a single note of any of the songs stuck with me.

 

It's a fairly messed up movie, plot-wise, but we'll get into that, I'm sure. Nice pick, Kate. I'm not sure it makes it to the Across the Tommyverse hall of fame for terrible movies, but it's a contender!

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Just time enough right now for this:

 

This movie was looooooong. Personally, I don't really think it's necessary for a kid's movie or comedy to ever be over 90 minutes. Like CakeBug said, my only real memory of the movie was about Eliot and Pete. I had no memory of any of the other things.

 

Between his Deliverance family, Doc Terminus, Nora's lost at sea husband, Pete learning to fit in, Lampy's alcoholism, etc. there are just too many conflicts going on. You know what, movie? How about you pick one! For all it's flaws, at least the updated version was streamlined.

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I thought I had no memories of this movie either but then as it went a long things came back to me. Like "Oh, I remember them all falling in the mud", "Oh yes they dance on the barrels!" and "Oh the song where he can't remember the name of the town!" That said it makes the movie hard for me to judge. There are a lot of bad things with the movie which I'm sure we'll all get into, but I can't say I disliked it because it did bring me fond memories of my childhood. If I'd never seen it I would probably hate this movie and be annoyed. While a lot of those thoughts are still there, the biggest question I have is why did young me watch this movie so much? Overall I thank Kateacola for helping me tap into the inner child in me for a brief time.

 

That said I think the thing that annoyed me most and this is really a minor and non-important point but Elliot was forever changing sizes. Like one moment Pete is able to sit on his belly and look small as they eat apples, yet in the very next scene he comes up to Elliot's arm pits, and then he's sitting on his neck and nearly the size of his head alone. Seeing as this was cutting edge technology at the time I guess I have to let it slide but come on Don Bluth!

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I remember seeing this movie in english like 4 years ago, Like I said in another post most (if not all) of the Disney movies that I saw as a kid where dubbed in spanish and they change the songs and some of the meaning (For example the "Frozen" song "Let It Go" is changed to "Libre Soy" or "I'm am Free" in latin america so you get the idea)

 

I'm trying to make time to re-watch Pete's Dragon '77 this week so I can talk about it but so far I agree that this movie that kids love is charged and dark in a way that makes us doubt why we liked it so much when we where younger... Is it a case of ignorance is bliss? If we knew then what we know now would we have liked it the same, less or more? Will these questions be answered here?

 

Stay tuned folks...

 

You know what, movie? How about you pick one! For all it's flaws, at least the updated version was streamlined.

 

That's the one with the boy from "Room" right? Is it good enough that you recommend I watch it before years end? (My schedule is full this week ;))

 

Seeing as this was cutting edge technology at the time I guess I have to let it slide but come on Don Bluth!

 

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Yeah, I thought the nostalgia factor may be at play (for me at least).. Cause I didn't totally hate it, but when watching I could see if it was a first viewing for anyone, had the potential to hate it.

 

It was kind of cheesy..and I think some of the actors were over-doing it (some in a good way--to me at least.. and some more leaning towards doing too much/bad)

It was long, and like Cameron said too many things going on for a kid movie. But I did like this one more than the new updated version, that one I had a hard time finishing even with the shorter time.

I liked the relationship between this Pete and Elliot a lot better than the updated version.

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@Max - I don't think I could, in good conscience, recommend the new one. It's not that it's bad, but it's pretty dull and plodding.

 

I think the ideal version would have the color and pop of the original and the focus of storytelling from the update.

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That's the one with the boy from "Room" right? Is it good enough that you recommend I watch it before years end? (My schedule is full this week ;))

Unfortunately no. It was some kid named Oakes. But if Jacob Tremblay was in the new version I bet you dollars to donuts it would have had 100% more charm in it (I haven't even seen it but those trailers looked rough).

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But to the movies credit, I did enjoy a few songs and have been listening to this week. I haven't had any songs from a pick stuck in my head since JCS...so I can't totally chalk up my enjoying it to nostalgia.

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Unfortunately no. It was some kid named Oakes. But if Jacob Tremblay was in the new version I bet you dollars to donuts it would have had 100% more charm in it (I haven't even seen it but those trailers looked rough).

 

The Mandela Effect Confirmed! ;) (Or the Jacob Tremblay/Oakes Fegley Effect)

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It was kind of cheesy..and I think a lot some of the actors were over-doing it (some in a good way--to me at least.. and some more leaning towards doing too much/bad)

Well apparently Pete wasn't even a trained actor. Not that anybody couldn't tell...

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But to the movies credit, I did enjoy a few songs and have been listening to this week. I haven't had any songs from a pick stuck in my head since JCS...so I can't totally chalk up my enjoying it to nostalgia.

 

I agree! I didn't hate it. Some of it was quite fun. I just think, "orphaned boy looking for new family" would have been enough of a conflict.

 

If they needed a B-story, it could have been them learning how to paint a fucking lighthouse in a way that didn't seem like the very concept of "paint brush" was beyond their scope of understanding.

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Well apparently Pete wasn't even a trained actor. Not that anybody couldn't tell...

 

Or singer...

 

I don't want to be too critical of a child, but GDI! Emote, man! He had this weird inward breathing, whisper singing going on, which wouldn't normally be a problem, but compared to everyone else, it really made it stand out.

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I agree! I didn't hate it. Some of it was quite fun. I just think, "orphaned boy looking for new family" would have ben enough of a conflict.

 

If they needed a B-story, it could have been them learning how to paint a fucking lighthouse in a way that didn't seem like the very concept of "paint brush" was beyond their scope of understanding.

I remember thinking that when the horrible dirt farmers show up again "Good now the story will really get going" then realizing that the movie was basically done. Which is odd because you have these characters that open the film and are gone until the third act. It's even more confusing when they don't stop to check in on the neighbouring town sooner than a few days. As much as I enjoy opening numbers about murdering children, those characters could have been dropped and the movie would have played out the same.

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I remember thinking that when the horrible dirt farmers show up again "Good now the story will really get going" then realizing that the movie was basically done. Which is odd because you have these characters that open the film and are gone until the third act. It's even more confusing when they don't stop to check in on the neighbouring town sooner than a few days. As much as I enjoy opening numbers about murdering children, those characters could have been dropped and the movie would have played out the same.

 

I thought they were gone! I was disappointed that they returned. They were not needed after that first number.

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In the name of due diligence, I watched the new version of 'Pete's Dragon' last night so I could compare and contrast in this thread. It's a fine movie, and looks beautiful, with lots of nice performances, particularly from BDH and Redford. But it's 'Pete's Dragon' in name only - as in, there's a kid called Pete who is friends with a Dragon, but that's about it. Absolutely no connection, no tip of the hat, no signal given to the audience. There's one TINY moment where Redford says...

 

"it was... a dragon. A dragon! I thought I saw a dragon."

 

That must be our sly nod to Lampy but it's delivered so seriously that it limps on by. That's a shame. Pete in the new movie is SUPER serious and broken (given that we see his parents die in the first scene and Pete leaves their bodies to rot in the woods while he goes and makes friends with the Nessie-like woods creature that everyone seems to know about), and there's no one who's trying to take him away for his own good. The person who finds him in the woods becomes his mother immediately, without discussion. There's no lighthouse because it's not in Maine, so as a result, Ranger Mom doesn't have a sweetheart lost at sea.

 

There is also zero point zero percent Dr. Terminuses in the new movie.

 

Real spoiler here in case you care:

Then, at the end, the dragon doesn't leave Pete to help another kid, he flies away and joins a colony of other dragons that Pete immediately leads his new family back to see. And this is right after Elliott nearly murders all the humans by smashing a CRUCIAL bridge in this community with fire. Without that bridge, how does this community survive? It's nonsense. Karl Urban goes from gung-ho dragon hunter to begrudging dragon tolerator because Elliott saves his brother.

 

 

It's nuts.

 

 

In short, the remake's not a remake. It's a reimagining based on a title alone.

 

I thought the 1977 version was super charming in the fact that we don't need to explain how Elliott met Pete. How he got his name (that's slavishly covered in the new one). We don't need to ground it in sasquatch mythology. Elliott's just there, and he's good at hiding and picking apples. Good enough!

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I thought they were gone! I was disappointed that they returned. They were not needed after that first number.

 

Yeah, they could have been only used in the beginning to establish that he was an orphan who was sold into slavery, purchased by that abusive farming family. And that's why he ran away. The Gogan's did not really need to come back--the movie had a lot going on.. it didn't need two sets of bad guys at the end.

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Elliott's just there, and he's good at hiding and picking apples. Good enough!

200.gif#18

 

Those apples were soooo red / looked really good.

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Yeah they could have just been used in the beginning to establish that he was an orphan who was sold into slavery, purchased by that abusive farming family. And that's why he ran away. The Gogan's did not really need to come back--the movie had a lot going on.. it didn't need two sets of bad guys at the end.

No, but when you have TWO-TIME OSCAR WINNING ACTRESS Shelley Winters and a pre-breakout Jeff Conaway (about to find fame in both Taxi and Grease the following year), you don't waste them on a single child-murder song at the top...

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200.gif#18

 

Those apples were soooo red / looked really good.

Roasted apple, yay or nay?

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200.gif#18

 

Those apples were soooo red / looked really good.

Apples in older movies always look a million times more appetizing!

 

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Roasted apple, yay or nay?

maybe with some cinnamon, etc..? so it's more like apple pie innards.

Just a hot apple without spices, I'm not really sure about..

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maybe with some cinnamon, etc..? so it's more like apple pie innards.

Just a hot apple without spices, I'm not really sure about..

When I was a kid I used to put apples in the microwave because it smelled like apple pie but eating the soggy hot apple always tasted gross.

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Guys, Pete's a real asshole to Elliott for, like, 90% of the movie. He sings that "I love you too" song to him, and then he just bitches at him for most of the movie. Then at the end, he's like, "Help me!"

 

No. Fuck you, kid. You didn't want me around, so you can get yourself out of that sack.

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