If you're a fan of the 1977 Disney movie Pete's Dragon , you're probably excited about the 2016 reboot. Or maybe, if you're like me, you didn't grow up watching the original but you never miss an opportunity to see Wes Bentley's face on-screen. Either way, Pete's Dragon is flying into theaters Aug 12, so get ready. The movie is already receiving rave reviews from critics, who have been praising its creative re-imagining of the classic story. Reviewers have also spoken highly of the film's wonderful cinematography, noting that the visuals are a highlight, and so it seems like seeing Pete's Dragon in 3-D is a definite must.
I have to make an admission: I am a total curmudgeon when it comes to 3-D movies. I always feel like my eyes adjust to the effects after 10 minutes, and then I'm left sitting there wondering why I paid an extra five bucks for the tickets (also, those glasses are the worst). But that being said, I'm open to the possibility that certain movies are actually better in 3-D if they have certain components that are conducive to the format. And Pete's Dragon just may be such a film.
The original cartoon was trademarked by its live action/animation combination, song and dance numbers, and over-the-top comedy. But the new film is decidedly different, with a more sophisticated tone that appeals to adults while maintaining a childlike sense of wonder. And much of that is accomplished through the film's impressive visuals— particularly those involving the titular dragon, Elliot. Critic Peter Debruge of Variety said that the movie "trades the earlier version’s goofy cartoony sensibility for a sort of stylized realism, one in which everything looks a bit too good to be true (including the stunning Weta Digital-animated dragon himself), and yet the story is geared in such a way that we desperately want to believe."
Meanwhile, Andy Lea of Daily Star similarly praised the reboot, saying, "...they’ve ditched the songs, straightened out the story and redone the flying beast in 21st century CGI...The dragon is adorable, at times heartbreaking, but never overly cutesy." Additional critics have also praised the CG dragon, whose physical appearance draws from multiple animals. It's also worth noting that the dragon has the powers of both flight and invisibility, adding additional opportunities for eye-popping scenes. So although the film appears to be strong enough in story and structure that it would be a plenty pleasurable watch without 3-D glasses, I would say that the CG marvel that is Elliot would best be appreciated in 3-D.
If you're doubting that 3-D is the right way to go for this movie, just think of some of the recent movies that have included CG animals, such as Jurassic World and The Jungle Book. The 3-D element was a major addition to the viewing experience of these movies, thus it would be reasonable to assume that Pete's Dragon would similarly be event better in 3-D. So it may be worth the extra few bucks for the ticket. But as for the dorky 3-D glasses, I can't help you there...
Images: Disney (2)