7 Behind-the-Scenes Facts About ‘Pete’s Dragon’


Pete’s Dragon is one movie you don’t want to miss because it’s guaranteed to make you mad, laugh and cry all by the end. The Disney remake of the 1977 classic takes you on a journey as the beloved character, Pete, tries to find a family with his best friend/giant green dragon, Elliott. And while this might sound exactly like the original, it actually couldn’t be more different. For starters, the star-studded cast includes Bryce Dallas Howard, Karl Urban, and Wes Bentley. Also, the director, David Lowery, wanted to “re-invent” rather than “remake” the movie. Here are 7 behind-the-scenes facts on how he did just that!

1. The movie’s special effects team watched endless hours of clumsy animals on YouTube to get inspiration for the Elliott the Dragon‘s movements.

2. Dragons are usually portrayed as scary monsters. So, director, David Lowery, decided to make Elliott a cuddly, furry dragon. 


He wanted to make the dragon one “you really want to give a hug to” not one you’re scared will burn you to death.

3. The entire movie was shot in New Zealand


Avatar, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring were also shot here. 

4. Elliott is a combination of many different animals. 


He’s got the wings of an Australian-flying fox, the fur of a polar bar, a roar like a lion, tiger and elephant, and the movements of the director David Lowery’s cat

5. The actor who plays Pete, Oakes Fegley, endured weeks of specialized training with a professional movement coach in order to play a convincing Tarzan/Jungle Book-esque character. 


6. The original 1977 movie was a musical that included over 10 songs. The remake is not a musical.

7. Michael C. Hall was originally supposed to play the character, Gavin, but was replaced by Karl Urban


Be sure to watch Pete’s Dragon when it hits theaters this Friday, August 12th!