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Wednesday, August 26 2009 12:00

PETE'S DRAGON "High-Flying Edition" (DVD Review)

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Originally Posted on STARLOG
As far as Disney reissues go, they seem to be breaking that "Seven Years in the Vault" a bit as the last time PETE'S DRAGON hit DVD was a "Gold Collection" release in 2001, just over 8 years ago.

Now the film is back, sans the usual "Platinum" packaging with PETE'S DRAGON - THE HIGH-FLYING EDITION, which arrived at retail last week. 

The story of an orphan (Pete, played by Sean Marshall) and his invisible best friend, Elliott (a kind-hearted fire-breathing dragon), this 1977 film was nominated for two Academy Awards, numerous Saturns, and a Golden Globe. The duo finds themselves on the run from Pete's adoptive parents, landing in a coastal town where they take shelter in a lighthouse cared for by a young woman and her father. Pete and Elliott have a habit of creating mischief, and naturally a good-natured adventure ensues - but not without placing the titular dragon in peril due to some rabid townsfolk.

Combining live-action with animation, the film looks great on DVD even though the overall presentation is very dated. Still, new audiences of youngsters should be captivated by the music and story, even though Elliott never looks as good on-screen as he appears on the film's slick DVD cover art.

Of greater interest to older viewers will be the film's bonus features, which offer a significant improvement over previous releases. For those interested in the technical aspects of then-impressive animation, or the genesis of the film's highly-regarded music, the bonus features are a must. 

3 out of 4 stars

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade as Publisher of The Rock Father Magazine, he joined Adventure Publishing Group as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider—a destination for all things pop culture. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 25 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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