Miss 12, 9.5 and I really enjoyed this lovely movie. Pete, age 5, is on an adventure with his parents in the opening scenes, driving to go camping in the country. In one of the most sensitive scenes of major loss I have seen, Pete is the only survivor of a major car crash. Wandering into the woods afterwards, he is found by a large, caring and gentle dragon. Named Elliot by Pete (after his favourite book), we then fast-forward six years to find that Pete has lived in the forest all this time with Elliot, in scenes reminiscent of the Jungle Book.
Park ranger Grace has grown up listening to her father’s (Robert Redford) legendary tales of once seeing a dragon in the woods, but she knows these forests and has never seen anything of the type. Along with her fiancé, Jack, and his daughter Natalie they discover Pete in the woods, at a similar time that local logger Gavin (Jack’s brother) spots the dragon and goes hunting for him.
There are a few mildly scary scenes along the way, mostly when hunters try to capture Elliot, or when he fights back, defending Pete or his home.
In the end though, it’s a lovely story from many angles. Elliot is a great protective guardian, Pete finds the joy of human company again, and the Grace’s family realises they can expand to include this lovely lonely boy.