Disney’s Pete’s Dragon Flies into Theaters! #PetesDragon

Pete’s Dragon

By Jonelle


Friendly Dragons? Is There Such A Thing?

On the heels of the releases of The Jungle Book and Finding Dory earlier this year, Disney Studios is working its magic once again with a reimagining of the 1977 classic film, Pete’s Dragon. Other than the name of the movie and the main characters Pete and Elliot, nothing else is similar between these two films. Fans of the 1977 version will instantly fall in love with and appreciate the beauty of this version too.


Pete’s Dragon tells the story of a young boy, orphaned by a tragic accident. Lost and alone in the local woods, he runs into a legendary Millhaven dragon, which he names Elliot. Pete and Elliot come to rely on each other, not only for safety, but for friendship and love. Elliot acts more of a family pet, a protector for Pete, than an evil beast hell bent on scaring local hunters.  When threatened, instead of fighting back, Elliot uses his magic to disappear.  You can’t help but hope for Pete and Elliot to find a home of their very own, they already are family. The way Pete and Elliot love each other is so heartwarming.  It goes beyond legend, beyond lore and beyond “species.”

Oakes Fegley is Pete in Disney's PETE'S DRAGON, the story of a boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just happens to be a dragon.

As a child, park ranger Grace Meacham grew up hearing tall tales from her father Meachem, played by the legendary actor Robert Redford, about the fierce dragon he encountered in the woods years before.

He shares his story with the local town children, who love to listen to legend and lore. Much to the chagrin of Grace, who knows the forest like “she knows the back of her hand” and has never, herself, discovered the mysterious being. 

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Sitting Down with the Cast of Disney’s “Reimagining” of Pete’s Dragon #PetesDragon

Sitting Down with the Cast of Disney’s “Reimagining” of Pete’s Dragon

By Jonelle

When you walk up to the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, you walk up on a red carpet, I imagine similar to those you’d find at movie premieres. Today, I was going to meet the cast of Disney’s upcoming Pete’s Dragon, out August 12th.  Pete’s Dragon (2016) is about a boy, named Pete living alone in the woods with his friend Elliot, who happens to be a not so mythical dragon. Many of us grew up with the original 1977 film. I remember watching that version when I was a little girl. The Saturday nights of my childhood were reserved for family classics like Pippi Longstocking and Pete’s Dragon. Aside from the names and theme of “what makes a family”, this retelling of Pete’s Dragon is an entirely different film from the original. This sentiment was echoed by both Ms. Bryce Dallas Howard, and director Mr. David Lowery.

pete ppst

We met with Ms. Howard first. The moment she walked into the room, it lit up. She was so cheery, sweet and fun, and her laugh was truly infectious. She talked about how she grew up with the original as well and that this version was, “not a remake” and to please help them with sharing that. It’s a “reimagining” of the original, because nothing is the same except for the title Pete’s Dragon.

When asked about the difference between working with dinosaurs versus working with dragons, she said that the films obviously had very different tones and that this time she got to wear more comfortable shoes, (in inference to Jurassic World and the “running in heels controversy”)


As a mom, this role was very emotional for her. She loved working with and was very protective of the kids in the film, Oaks Fegley who plays Pete, and Oona Laurenece who plays Natalie. She sweetly mentioned how, “Oaks will one day be a director and Oona, President.” She talked about the themes of the film, to believe in magic, that magic is possible, and about the miracle of family especially, “what it takes to find your family when you think you’ve lost your family.” As a child she was always encouraged to use her imagination. In the film, Grace’s father Meacham tells her, “Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.”


Director David Lowery was told by Disney execs that they didn’t want just a “remake”, they wanted something entirely different. This is exactly what he gave them. Because this version is very different from the original, film lovers will be able to appreciate both. It’s a story that will be loved by new generations of audiences and will win the hearts of the fans of the original (like me). Mr. Lowery wanted to make sure that the time period of this film was ambiguous, and yes, it is a “period piece”. You can tell that this story takes place sometime in the 1970’s, maybe to pay homage to the 1977 original?


Mr. Lowery mentioned how he loves stories about families, kids, animals and mythical creatures. It’s his love of animals that inspired his creation of a fury, more “dog like” family pet dragon (Elliot) than the scaly dragons we see in past films. His vision of Elliot makes you want to find a pet dragon of your very own.


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Trolls + The Boss Baby= 1 Awesome Comic Con 2016! #SDCC2016

Trolls + The Boss Baby= 1 Awesome Comic Con 2016!

By Jonelle


A few weeks ago I was invited, by the DreamWorks Animation team to attend Comic Con, (yes, you read that right, Comic Con), and sit in on the Trolls panel in the infamous Hall H. So many great things come out of that hall and this was by far one of the greatest things I’ve seen in a long time.

The morning started out a bit rough. Having to get up at 4 a.m., to meet the caravan at the 20th Century Fox Studios was quite a feat. Let’s just say we all slept on the way down to San Diego. However, the moment we reached the city limits my adrenalin was pumping. There was no sleeping now, one, I was going to Comic Con and two; I was going to meet Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick.

comic con sign

We were dropped off at the Hard Rock Hotel, where breakfast was waiting for us. I had just loaded my plate with eggs, when we were told it was time to head on over to the convention center. This was the moment we were waiting for. We were herded into Hall H where we were each given a Trolls wig. I got the pink wig. Great, now I have my costume for Halloween; I decided I’m going to be Poppy this year! 

comic con trolls wig

Trolls opens November 4th, a week after Halloween.  I remember growing up with the troll dolls, which according to Mike Mitchell and Walt Dohrn, the creators of Shrek, are the “ogres’ distant cousins.” I had a troll doll; he was cute and goofy looking all at the same time.

comic con chris

Chris Hardwick was the moderator for the panel and after he announced the cast and crew, the audience was treated to the first of two clips of the film. The colors were spectacular! DreamWorks Animation does an amazing job to make their animation look so realistic. For example, you can see every pore and bead of sweat on the humans in Shrek. During our round tables, later on in the afternoon, Mike Mitchell discussed this very thing. He said, “So it’s great that things look realistic, but we tried to take that technology and do something different. So we built a very realistic forest, but then we applied different textures to it, like felt and carpet and our trolls look like gummy bears. And it was really exciting for us to take natural fibers and do this look we hadn’t seen in other films.”  This movie has a very 70’s bright color vibe, with shag carpets and great music, (um, hello, Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling”).


No pictures or filming were allowed in the presentation hall during the movie clips, but one thing is for certain, come November 4th, I will be filling a seat at the local theater to watch this movie. From what I saw, it was uber adorable and has an amazing message. You can’t help but totally love Poppy, voiced by Anna Kendrick. She’s pink (and pink is my signature color), but she also shows us that the tiniest heart can make a huge difference and do great things. Poppy is really upbeat, positive, happy and optimistic. She can’t help but make you smile. With the world the way it is right now, we need positive, happy movies like this. I learned something new, for a hug to work; it has to last up to 7 seconds.

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