1977 was a banner year for American films, what with such cinematic touchstones as Woody Allen’s Annie Hall and Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind among the year’s releases. Oh yeah, and there was a little movie called Star Wars too. Of course, Disney had its contributions as well, beginning with the animated summer hit The Rescuers. The studio closed out the year with its holiday release, Pete’s Dragon, re-released on DVDthis week in a new “High-Flying Edition”.
A musical fantasy combining live action and animation, Pete’s Dragon was then Disney’s latest (and, in retrospect, last) attempt to recreate the phenomenal success of 1964’s Mary Poppins. Following 1971’s similar foray, Bedknobs and Broomsticks (which will also see a new DVDrelease next month), Pete’s Dragon, despite an all-star cast and Academy Award nominated music, didn’t exactly reach Poppins heights, creatively or commercially. Yet it has remained a fan favorite amongst Disney enthusiasts, mostly due to the comical charms of its toon title character.
Click here to continue reading my Toon Talk review of the new Pete's Dragon DVD at LaughingPlace.com.