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Musical Mondays Week 9 Pete's Dragon (1977)

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#41 kateacola

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 09:39 AM

View PostFister Roboto, on 10 April 2017 - 09:03 AM, said:

So, I still enjoyed this movie, even though I realize it has a lot of problems. And it's definitely a LOT better than the remake, which I didn't like at all.

There's a lot of stuff that would not fly in a kid's movie today. The Gogans straight up buy an orphan to use as slave labor (although, to be fair, in the remake, BDH steals Pete from hospital and no one says anything). Lampy and Hoagy are drunk for major chunks of the movie. When the Gogans return, the brothers fight over who's going to get to "hold" Nora in the rapiest way possible.

But, ultimately, Elliot is what makes the film work for me. He's fucking adorable, and I felt bad for him every time Pete was a dickhead to him. He's a goddamn dragon that's used to living in the woods; he doesn't know how to mix into society. Don't get mad at him because you put him in a situation designed for him to fail. I really like Elliot, but when he leaves Pete at the end, I was like, "Good. Fuck that kid. I hope the Gogans come back after Elliot is gone."

Also, the whole Paul storyline was REALLY weird. My best guess about it is that they felt the need to explain why Nora was an adult woman in her 30s who lived alone but wasn't some stereotypical spinster. "Look, she's not weird or anything! The love of her life just disappeared and she's holding out for him to come back!" Side note: when they first showed the picture of him in the lighthouse, I had forgotten that he comes back at the end, and for a second, I thought it was a random picture of Burt Reynolds.

I wish they would have dropped that storyline and chosen either the Gogans or Dr Terminus as the villains. Terminus didn't really need the Gogans' help because he already had the whole goddamn town helping to catch Elliot. So it seems weird to have them show up out of nowhere (not to mention what someone else already said about them not even bothering to look at the nearby fishing town for all that time).


I agree with you on these points. Elliot was adorable and I totally prefer this Elliot to the furry CGI one. I could have used more Elliot and less of the side storylines they were trying to include.

The Paul storyline was weird, and I agree they probably felt like they had to justify why she was an attractive unmarried woman living in a lighthouse with her drunk dad.

And yes, they should've stuck with one set of bad guys. Or just leave the Gogan's in the intro like I said earlier to establish a little backstory for Pete and leave Dr. Terminus & Hoagy to be the end bad guys. They didn't need the Gogan's help at all.

#42 Fister Roboto

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 09:41 AM

View Postkateacola, on 10 April 2017 - 09:39 AM, said:

And yes, they should've stuck with one set of bad guys. Or just leave the Gogan's in the intro like I said earlier to establish a little backstory for Pete and leave Dr. Terminus & Hoagy to be the end bad guys. They didn't need the Gogan's help at all.

I wish the remake had had a Dr. Terminus-type character, just because I really want to see Walton Goggins (hands down my favorite character actor working right now) play that role.
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#43 tomspanks

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 09:42 AM

Some of my favorite 5-star reviews on Amazon:

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#44 kateacola

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 09:42 AM

View PostFister Roboto, on 10 April 2017 - 09:37 AM, said:

(Also, the Gogans might be the worst, but they have the catchiest songs)

Yeah I liked the Gogan songs.. and really liked Dr. Terminus & Hoagy's "Every Little Piece" song. When it started I was like "ohh shit" cause I remember it clearly as a kid, but guess not what the point of the song was--that they wanted to use Elliot's body parts for medicine..

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Their first song I did not like at all, the whole bit about Dr. Terminus not knowing the name of the town got pretty old / did not need a whole song about.

#45 kateacola

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 09:44 AM

View Posttomspanks, on 10 April 2017 - 09:42 AM, said:

Some of my favorite 5-star reviews on Amazon:

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Lololol... I wonder if the movie was an unpleasant ordeal? or if it was the receiving the Dvd in the mail? and if the five stars was for the shipping or for the movie? I can understand either way.

#46 Fister Roboto

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 09:49 AM

View Posttomspanks, on 10 April 2017 - 09:42 AM, said:

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She's woman, indeed.

View Postkateacola, on 10 April 2017 - 09:42 AM, said:

Yeah I liked the Gogan songs.. and really liked Dr. Terminus & Hoagy's "Every Little Piece" song. When it started I was like "ohh shit" cause I remember it clearly as a kid, but guess not the point of the song that they wanted to use Elliot's body parts for medicne..

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Their first song I did not like at all, the whole bit about Dr. Terminus not knowing the name of the town got pretty old / did not need a whole song about.

The funny thing is that Helen Reddy obviously has the best voice in the movie, but both of her big songs are sooooo boring. I totally checked out during "Candle on the Water."

And while the Gogans' songs are catchy, their lyrics are super upsetting. One is about all the inventive ways they've thought up to torture this orphan, and the other is about how they somehow legally purchased a human being as a slave.
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#47 Cameron H.

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 10:16 AM

View Posttomspanks, on 10 April 2017 - 09:21 AM, said:

The dragon tuba-speak gibberish got old real fast for me.


Eliot sounding like an asthmatic orangutan?

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#48 kateacola

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 10:20 AM

View PostFister Roboto, on 10 April 2017 - 09:49 AM, said:


The funny thing is that Helen Reddy obviously has the best voice in the movie, but both of her big songs are sooooo boring. I totally checked out during "Candle on the Water."



Yeah, "Candle on the Water" wasn't one of my favs, and agree was kind of boring. But it was nominated for an Oscar for best song.

The thought I had when she was singing "There's Room for Everyone" was that obviously Trump has not seen Pete's Dragon, lol


#49 Cameron H.

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 11:25 AM

I have to agree with Tom and say that I thought the songs were rather forgettable as well. The two stand outs for me were "It's Not Easy" and "Brazzle Dazzle Day." Both of which nailed that wholesome Disney vibe for me.




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#50 kateacola

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 11:48 AM

View PostCameron H., on 10 April 2017 - 11:25 AM, said:

I have to agree with Tom and say that I thought the songs were rather forgettable as well. The two stand outs for me were "It's Not Easy" and "Brazzle Dazzle Day." Both of which nailed that wholesome Disney vibe for me.

The Gogans' songs and "Every Little Piece" stuck with me the most after watching-- of course the dark/ twisted ones haha.

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It wasn't until listening to the songs on Spotify afterwards that I realized how catchy those two and "I Saw a Dragon" were.

#51 tomspanks

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 12:16 PM

In addition to Elliot's dental issues, I was concerned with Lampy's long-term chronic alcohol abuse and how nobody else was concerned about it! More specifically, I was concerned about Lampy developing/having Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome (WKS). It's caused by a deficiency in thiamine (vitamin B1), which is an essential nutrient, especially for the brain. Most long-term alcoholics are thiamine deficient. This can lead to WKS, which is characterized by confusion, poor muscle coordination, and memory problems. Sound like someone we know?

Anyway, this has been a PSA.

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#52 Fister Roboto

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 12:23 PM

View Posttomspanks, on 10 April 2017 - 12:16 PM, said:

This can lead to WKS, which is characterized by confusion, poor muscle coordination, and memory problems. Sound like someone we know?

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#53 kateacola

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 12:26 PM

To go off what I said earlier about some of the actors over-doing it. I think Mickey Rooney & Jim Dale (Dr. Terminus) may have slightly been over-doing but in their cases I appreciated that. They definitely weren't phoning it in. I enjoyed their performances and especially Dale's as Terminus.

I think Hoagy (Red Buttons) was trying a bit too hard to bring a similar type of performance as the others were. And I dunno it was a little too much sometimes/ a little cheesy but that probably does play better towards the young audience.
But otherwise he did a better job with his performances in the songs. But when he had just straight dialouge he went a little too far?

#54 kateacola

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 12:37 PM

View Posttomspanks, on 10 April 2017 - 12:16 PM, said:

In addition to Elliot's dental issues, I was concerned with Lampy's long-term chronic alcohol abuse and how nobody else was concerned about it! More specifically, I was concerned about Lampy developing/having Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome (WKS). It's caused by a deficiency in thiamine (vitamin B1), which is an essential nutrient, especially for the brain. Most long-term alcoholics are thiamine deficient. This can lead to WKS, which is characterized by confusion, poor muscle coordination, and memory problems. Sound like someone we know?

Anyway, this has been a PSA.

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Lol. the cat scratch fever post for Sleepwalkers and now this one.. I'm seeing a theme...maybe a reoccuring segment "Tom's Health PSAs"


#55 Cameron H.

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 12:47 PM

View Postkateacola, on 10 April 2017 - 12:26 PM, said:

To go off what I said earlier about some of the actors over-doing it. I think Mickey Rooney & Jim Dale (Dr. Terminus) may have slightly been over-doing but in their cases I appreciated that. They definitely weren't phoning it in. I enjoyed their performances and especially Dale's as Terminus.

I think Hoagy (Red Buttons) was trying a bit too hard to bring a similar type of performance as the others were. And I dunno it was a little too much sometimes/ a little cheesy but that probably does play better towards the young audience.
But otherwise he did a better job with his performances in the songs. But when he had just straight dialouge he went a little too far?


I really enjoyed Mickey Rooney and Jim Dale. I think you're right though, Red Buttons never really found his "thing."

BTW-Jim Dale narrates the Harry Potter audiobooks and he's really great--even if his pronunciations are a bit wonky. :)
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#56 Cam Bert

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 02:26 PM

I just want to go back a bit and point out how backwards and dumb the town folks are. Like already mentioned Pete comes to town and Elliot starts wrecking havoc all over the place, but yet giant foot prints and things that are beyond the strength level of a orphan boy get blamed on Pete. The townsfolk are quick to blame him. I can see the headline in the paper now, "Boy Comes To Town, Ruins Everything." Then fishing takes a down turn. He's been there all of like two days and all of a sudden it's Pete and Elliot's fault that they can't catch fish? The invisible dragon has scared them all away in the matter of a few days? Yet at first they don't even believe in the dragon and sing a song about it. They are willing enough to make it a scapegoat for their problems. Then following day when the fish return this to is due to Elliot? How? He got rid of a family of dirt farmers who didn't live there and the snake oil salesman also left but he was going to be leaving soon anyway. In fact he only stayed longer because of Elliot. How did anything that happened lead to him bringing the fish back? Why would they be so happy to believe in him and think he's good then?
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Posted 10 April 2017 - 02:32 PM

I brought this up on letterboxd but it really bothered me.

The Gogans are awful stereotypes of hideous garbagepeople. Sure, we've got that. And somehow, in this idyllic 1950's rendition of Maine, alcoholism is rife, women are objects, and slavery is not only legal but normalised. So, in the society that has been established, the Gogans have spent $50.50 on Pete, which a HUGE amount of money relative to the time - ten times more than Dr. Terminus offers Pete to buy Elliott - and they want him to be their servant at their farm. It seems like they're mean and wish to do Pete harm, but maybe they're mostly mean because their high-priced slaveboy has run off with his imaginary friend? They have a legal bill of sale, so it's not like they are illegal slaveowners. So whenever they show up, they're exercising their legal right to hold on to Pete. Now, it's not right, and it's not good, but could it be... just a little bit... that they're hard done by with Elliott's ultimate gesture of setting their contract on fire? If we posit a society where child ownership is not only legal but unremarkable (which this is - so contemporary attitudes towards slavery should be set aside), I would say the Gogans have an excellent case to make in any court for the return of their property. What I would have much preferred would have been to see Nora give them fifty bucks to go away, then they're not out of pocket. Look at them! Can they afford to throw fifty bucks away? And those two boys, do they really look like they'd be useful on the farm?
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#58 Cameron H.

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 02:40 PM

View PostCakeBug Tranch, on 10 April 2017 - 02:32 PM, said:

I brought this up on letterboxd but it really bothered me.

The Gogans are awful stereotypes of hideous garbagepeople. Sure, we've got that. And somehow, in this idyllic 1950's rendition of Maine, alcoholism is rife, women are objects, and slavery is not only legal but normalised. So, in the society that has been established, the Gogans have spent $50.50 on Pete, which a HUGE amount of money relative to the time - ten times more than Dr. Terminus offers Pete to buy Elliott - and they want him to be their servant at their farm. It seems like they're mean and wish to do Pete harm, but maybe they're mostly mean because their high-priced slaveboy has run off with his imaginary friend? They have a legal bill of sale, so it's not like they are illegal slaveowners. So whenever they show up, they're exercising their legal right to hold on to Pete. Now, it's not right, and it's not good, but could it be... just a little bit... that they're hard done by with Elliott's ultimate gesture of setting their contract on fire? If we posit a society where child ownership is not only legal but unremarkable (which this is - so contemporary attitudes towards slavery should be set aside), I would say the Gogans have an excellent case to make in any court for the return of their property. What I would have much preferred would have been to see Nora give them fifty bucks to go away, then they're not out of pocket. Look at them! Can they afford to throw fifty bucks away? And those two boys, do they really look like they'd be useful on the farm?


Just curious...how'd you narrow it down to the 50's? Did I miss something? Because homeboy's ship looked positively 18th century, they're still in horse drawn carriages, slavery's apparently still legal, but they also have such amenities as fresh baked bread delivery. I was having real issues trying to peg down when exactly all this shit was happening...
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#59 CakeBug Tranch

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 02:42 PM

View PostCameron H., on 10 April 2017 - 02:40 PM, said:

Just curious...how'd you narrow it down to the 50's? Did I miss something? Because homeboy's ship looked positively 18th century, they're still in horse drawn carriages, slavery's apparently still legal, but they also have such amenities as fresh baked bread delivery. I was having real issues trying to peg down when exactly all this shit was happening...

Yeah, great point. I think I just went with the wholesome 1950's picket fence look, but of course the schooling and the dirt streets and quack doctors and horse drawn carriage and really you're right it's much earlier and OMG PETE'S DRAGON IS BASICALLY THERE WILL BE BLOOD
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#60 Fister Roboto

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 02:43 PM

View PostCameron H., on 10 April 2017 - 02:40 PM, said:

but they also have such amenities as fresh baked bread delivery.

Not to mention eggs delivered by a guy whose sole mission seems to be finding a way to be in front of Pete and Elliot while carrying a ridiculously large stack of egg crates.
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