''Pete's Dragon'', a 1977 Creator/{{Disney}} film, is another SpiritualSuccessor to ''Film/MaryPoppins'', though not as direct a successor (in fact, not very successful, period) as ''Film/BedknobsAndBroomsticks'' was. It's a live-action musical that uses cel animation to bring its title character to life.

It is the early 20th century, and HeartwarmingOrphan Pete is on the run from the cruel Gogans, a backwoods family that bought him to be their slave. He has but one friend - Elliot, a friendly dragon. Elliot doesn't speak English, but he can fly, breathe fire, and turn himself invisible; most of all, he's got Pete's back. Together they arrive in the town of Passamaquoddy, Maine.

No one here believes in dragons, of course, and because Elliot's usually invisible, his faithfully following Pete around causes a lot of problems for the kid - which are sometimes exacerbated when Elliot tries to protect him from unjust punishment. Still, Pete is taken in by Nora, a lighthouse keeper's daughter (her dad, Lampie, is the one person in town who has seen Elliot, but no one believes him), and Elliot hides out in a nearby cave.

Pete soon bonds with Nora and Lampie, and even tells Elliot about Nora's lost-at-sea fiance in hopes the dragon can find him. Alas, SnakeOilSalesman Doctor Terminus, played by Jim Dale, arrives in town and learns from his lackey Hoagy (whom Lampie takes to the cave to prove his claim) about Elliot. The parts of a dragon can be compounded into all kinds of medicines, so Terminus seeks to capture Elliot. Then the Gogans arrive, and the two evil parties meet and combine their forces. It all comes to a head on a stormy night that will be rife with rescues.

This was Disney's big holiday release for 1977, but while it was a modest hit, it does point up how out-of-touch the company had become when it came to appealing to families - ''Franchise/StarWars'' was where it was at for most kids that year, and they just didn't have time for a broad musical comedy like this (if you thought there were [[Main/LargeHam large hams]] in the ''other'' Disney musicals...). It was the last live-action musical the company produced for many years, and, by some accounts, Creator/DonBluth's motivation for leaving the company.

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!!This film contains examples of:

* [[ABoyAndHisX A Boy And His Dragon]]: Pete and Elliot
* AwardBaitSong: "Candle on the Water", one of the earliest examples of the trope. Lost to "You Light Up My Life''.
* BerserkButton: The Gogans to Elliot, especially if they threaten Pete.
* BigNo: Hoagy does this when Dr. Terminus told him to get the dragon.
* BillingDisplacement: Sean Marshal (Pete) gets an [[AndStarring And Introducing]] credit after the adult actors. Charlie Callas (voice of Elliot) is credited after him.
* ButNowIMustGo: Elliot leaves Pete at the end specifically because another kid needs his help.
* CassandraTruth: Pete trying to tell his teacher that "It was Elliot!" who was doing all the crazy shenanigans that she was blaming and punishing him for
* ChekhovsSkill: Many dragons breathe fire, of course, but Elliot's ability [[spoiler: turns out to be the one thing that can relight the lighthouse lamp in the climax.]]
* CoconutSuperpowers: Elliot's invisibility means that for long chunks of the runtime, we only see the effects of his presence. (In fact, as originally conceived, the audience was never going to see him ''at all''.)
* CorruptHick: The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nmV_QZxbuU Gogan family]].
* CowboyBeBopAtHisComputer: The back cover of the 35th Anniversary Blu-Ray lists the runtime as 88 minutes, instead of 128 minutes.
* CrowdSong: "I Saw a Dragon".
* {{Crunchtastic}}: The big EarWorm song, "Brazzle Dazzle Day"; in fact, the movie's TagLine was "Brazzle Dazzle Brilliance!"
* DastardlyWhiplash: Dr. Terminus, more or less.
* DunceCap: Pete gets one when he gets in trouble with his teacher on his first day of school for things that Elliot did. Of course, Elliot blows it off when he gets enraged enough.
* EasyAmnesia: [[spoiler:It turns out Nora's fiance Paul was in a shipwreck and suffered amnesia. When he returns to her at the end, he says he regained his memory when he fell out of a bed - an "accident" which was obviously Elliot's doing.]]
* TheFamilyForTheWholeFamily: The Gogan clan.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
-->'''Doc:''' "The existence of a dragon would have an impact of gigantic proportions. Mythology and legend would become history and science. ''(to himself)'' One would make a quick buck with it."
* GentleGiant: Elliot.
* HappilyAdopted: Pete by the end.
* HappilyEverAfter
* HeartwarmingOrphan
* ImpactSilhouette: An invisible Elliot leaves a dragon-shaped hole in the school wall.
* InkSuitActor: Elliot's expressions are identical to Charlie Callas.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons: Elliot.
* ItMakesSenseInContext: Dr. Terminus's "Landship," a sailboat on wheels
* ItMustBeMine: Terminus wanting to capture Elliot.
* {{It Is Pronounced Tro-PAY}}: Terminus keeps getting the town's name wrong. Hoagy would correct him.
* LargeHam: Most of the cast, [[EvilIsHammy especially the villains]].
* ListSong: "Passamaquoddy," Doc Terminus's cheerful recitation of the New England towns he's visited and illnesses he's cured ... a recitation that comes to a stammering halt when he tries to pronounce his current stop.
* MainliningTheMonster: Doctor Terminus wants to get his hands on Elliot (the titular dragon) to be made into medicines.
* MamaBear: Nora. She constantly interrupts the Gogan's second VillainSong with threats toward them if they even think of hurting Pete.
* MedicineShow
* MediumBlending
* MobileKiosk: Doctor Terminus' "Landship"
* MusicalChores: "Brazzle Dazzle Day".
* NeverTrustAHairTonic: When Dr. Terminus comes to town, the townspeople confront him about his various medicines that didn't work the last time he was there, including one man whose hair turned from gray to pink, thanks to the doctor.
* NoSympathy: When an invisible Elliot begins playing with the school bell while Pete is in class, Pete runs out to stop him; he is followed by the teacher who then accuses ''Pete'' of ringing the bell -- despite the fact that Pete was sitting '''in the front row of the classroom''' when the bell began ringing. This is pretty much the teacher picking up the IdiotBall in order to press Elliot's BerserkButton.
* NotSoImaginaryFriend: Elliot.
* ObfuscatingDisability: Hoagy uses this to give Doctor Terminus and his tonics some ill-deserved credibility. First he inverts it by playing an old and obviously deaf woman, and fakes gaining the ability to hear. Then he plays it straight by masquerading as a old man who hobbles on crutches and doesn't need them anymore once he's had some of Terminus's tonic.
* PaintingTheMedium: Closed captions (in the VHS-version anyway) had Elliot's dialogue, or at least mentions of his grunts, in green-colored font.
* PapaWolf: Elliot to Pete.
* PlotDrivenBreakdown: The climactic storm [[spoiler:extinguishes the lighthouse's lamp]] just as [[spoiler:a ship - carrying Nora's fiance, among others - is approaching, risking a wreck]]. Nora and Lampie can't [[spoiler:relight it]], so it's left to Elliot to do the job [[spoiler:with his fire breath. He does, and in the process, Nora sees him for the first time.]]
** In that same scene, it also applies to [[spoiler: Elliot's fire-breathing ability, in that he's wedged so tightly into the lighthouse's stairwell that he can't inhale]].
* RedEyesTakeWarning: Elliot, after hearing Hoagy's message that the Gogans got Pete.
* RousingSpeech: "Hoagy. We are all on this earth for a purpose, and the time for your purpose is now. I know that inside this pale, frail, pathetic shell of a man... there is a Vesuvius ready to erupt. Now, I've known you, man and beast, since, since you were nothing. But now, Hoagy, now, you're still nothing, but you could be something! You can be a somebody. A legend, Hoagy. A legend in your own lifetime, not a joke! The moment's here, Hoagy. Grab it. Grab it! Today the jester. Tomorrow the king!"
-->'''Hoagie:''' ''NOOOOOOOOOO!!!''\\
'''Terminus:''' ''[[GetOut GET OUUUTT!!!!]]''
* SnakeOilSalesman
* StockScream: Dr. Terminus lets out a Goofy holler.
* ThereIsAnother: The reason Elliot must leave Pete is to help another kid.
* TheyWouldCutYouUp: What Dr. Terminus wants to do to Elliot.
* TheUnintelligible: Elliot, who communicates with grunts, clicks and scatting, leaving Pete to translate for him when needed.
* VillainSong: "[[BlatantLies The Happiest Home in These Hills]]" and "We Got a Bill of Sale Right Here" for the Gogans, and "Every Little Piece" for Dr. Terminus and Hoagy.
* VerbalTic: The school teacher's habit of repeating key words [[RuleOfThree three times]]. Lampshaded/Parodied very shortly after being introduced:
-->'''Teacher:''' No no no, this is irregular, irregular, irregular!\\
'''Nora:''' But he needs an education, education, education.
* VisibleInvisibility: Elliot, by way of him leaving footprints, [[ImpactSilhouette dragon-shaped holes in walls]], etc.
* [[YouGottaHaveBlueHair You Gotta Have Pink Hair]]: One of Terminus' toxins gave a person pink hair.
** Elliot also has pink hair. Which makes him an [[HilariousInHindsight invisible pink-haired dragon]].
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