David Lowery directed from a screenplay that he co-wrote with Toby Halbrooks and based on the book of the same name by Malcolm Marmorstein. Originally filmed in 1976 as a musical with Helen Reddy, Shelley Winters and Mickey Rooney, it has been completely reimagined and for the most part is successful in its end result. The dragon has been impressively created with more the personality of a very kind, lovable and funny dog, especially with his very protective defense of a little orphaned boy. A fine cast of actors has been assembled with Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford, Oakes Fegley (as Pete), Wes Bentley and Karl Urban. The film takes place in Washington State but was filmed in New Zealand, so it’s beautiful to look at, with a fine musical score of country/folk music. The special effects are by WETA (LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy) and are excellent. Though not a great film it is still a rather enjoyable experience and should please children and their parents by and large.
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