Disney’s ‘Pete’s Dragon’ Confirms New Zealand Shoot

Pete's Dragon

Original Pete’s Dragon film from 1977

Anyone remember the classic 70’s Disney film, Pete’s Dragon, starring Mickey Rooney? For me, it was one of those films that seemed to always be in the VCR in my household growing up (wow, I just typed VCR, I’m getting old. And I’m only days away from turning 24.). It had everything: catchy songs (raise your hand if you got Candle on the Water stuck in your head, too!), an adorable animated dragon named Elliot, and the lovable Mickey Rooney (R.I.P).

Well, Disney is remaking the film with production to begin in February. The location for filming? New Zealand. Peter Jackson’s Stone Street Studios to be exact, the same studio where the Hobbit films were created. This will actually also be the first time the studio will be in use since then.

“We were searching for a shooting location that captures the wonder and spirit of Pete’s Dragon,” said producer Jim Whitaker. “The New Zealand aesthetic beautifully matches what the screenplay requires, and we’re grateful to receive such tremendous support from the filmmaking community and industry in this country.”

From New Zealand’s perspective, Gisella Carr, CEO of Film New Zealand, said the shoot was secured after two years of negotiation. “We’re delighted to welcome back Disney, which has such a long history of production in this country,” she said. “It’s great to see the combination of New Zealand’s favorable screen incentives, locations and skill base have enabled such a high-profile production to come here.”

Robert Redford

Robert Redford

Set to star in the upcoming film is Robert Redford, Oakes Fegley (Boardwalk Empire), Oona Laurence (Matilda), and a CGI version of Elliot the dragon. Bryce Dallas Howard is also in talks to join the film.

I gotta admit, I’m pretty excited about this film. I always believed this film was quite underrated and would love to see kids fall in love with this movie just as much as I did with the original when I was younger.

What do you guys think? Are you yay or nay?