Joel Lake’s review published on Letterboxd:
Pete's Dragon is the 2016 adaptation of a 1977 Disney classic about a boy and his dragon and the town that wants different things from the two and gone is the singing and dancing, but the overall Disney comedy(not as much slapstick either) and feel are still present as while there are a few scenes that may be sad for younger children to watch, the film never strays too far from its light tone.
Pete(played by newcomer Oakes Fegley) and the Dragon(a big green CGI version of a dog dressed as a dragon-dog behavior throughout the film) have the best onscreen chemistry and it's their character dynamics that make the film shine. Along for the ride is a park ranger(played by Bryce Dallas Howard) and her father(Robert Redford) that may have seen the dragon before. Oona Laurence was also a good addition as the daughter of Howard, but the rest of the cast are just one note characters that are only really there to serve as obstacles to Pete and his dragon and often come off as cartoon characters which is disappointed when Karl Urban and Wes Bentley are among the poorly used cast.
The story is also very basic as it never really delves into any deep narrative but is content with showing the story of the boy and dragon, the bond between them and their determination to protect each other. Pete and the Dragon make the film compelling without the help of the story or any of the others in the film.
A fine Disney movie for children, but not one with a lot of substance to it.