The fourth dragon in the Disney library took on a much larger role than his predecessors. Technically, this dragon comes from a live action film but the character himself is a piece of classic Disney animation. He is a main protagonist through the film which is even titled after his role. Today, Elliot the dragon remains one of Disney’s most recognizable dragons, but he was introduced to the world as simply Pete’s Dragon.
Pete’s Dragon, Elliot
Elliot first “appears” in a completely live-action sequence. As a dragon that can turn invisible, we first see him being prodded by the young orphan Pete who appeared to be floating through the air. As the boy was being chased by the Gogans, Pete’s horrid foster family, Elliot was carrying the boy to safety.
After escaping the Gogans, Pete and Elliot find their way into the small coastal town of Passamaquoddy. However being able to turn invisible doesn’t necessarily make it easy for Elliot to be inconspicuous. His child-like bumbling brings attention to the young Pete, both good and bad.
Despite the increased role of the dragon, the film itself suffers from a lot of story issues. How Elliot and Pete ended up together is never explained. But the lighthearted story and the classic character of Elliot make the film hold up over the years.
After Pete’s Dragon, Elliot has only made appearances in the House of Mouse series and a couple video games. But what has made him one of the most recognizable Disney dragons is his recognizable float in the Main Street Electrical Parade that runs nightly in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Children and adults can still stare in wonder as the life-sized neon dragon snorts steam as he passes by.
As a child, Pete’s Dragon was one of my favorite films. Though today I find myself more in awe of the wonderful parade float than I am of the movie. I would recommend the film for young children though. The idea of hanging out with a dragon always gave me a kick as a kid. Plus, I hear there’s a new movie coming around the corner…