40 Years, 40 Disney Movies: Counting Down to Daddy’s Birthday Night 27 – Pete’s Dragon!

Halloooo everyone. Welcome to another edition of IS IT HIS BIRHDAY YET I MEAN THESE POSTS ARE AWESOME GOOD TIME FUN TIMES.

And for this one? A very controversial choice in the Goodreau house – Pete’s Dragon. We will cover that in a little bit but suffice to say my family is not as big a fan of child abuse and drunkenness as I am.

Wait…that came out wrong.

My family and I are equally big fans of child abuse and drunkenness.


For this one, it was the four of us (yeah, not even Daisy joined us). But what we lack in numbers we make up for in gas money spent. So please…won’t you join us on this brazzle-dazzle post?

The activity

So we went all out for this one. We drove all the way up to Ogunquit, ME and visited a lighthouse. I know what you are thinking. You people are #$@!ing nuts.

So yeah, we are. But actually we were already going to Maine as part of Myles’ 12th birthday present. Whoosh…I can’t believe he’s 12. Not gonna cry. Not. Gonna. Cry.

But yeah we were going up there anyways for the night so we decided to do this one up there since the movie is supposed to take place in Maine. And there is a lighthouse. And drunks. So we covered all three bases.

just lighthouse
Nubble Lighthouse – York, Maine
lighthouse and rocks
Can you spot the difference between this and the next image?
boys with lighthouse
If you guessed the sun’s position shows that this picture was taken exactly 1 minute later, you would be correct!
This is a way. But it’s marginal.

The food

For food, we grabbed lunch from this market we love in Ogunquit – The Village Food Market (shout out!) This place is bomb – good wine, good cheese, good sandwiches, good desserts AND homemade clam chowder. This was the important part. Remember? This movie was in Maine.

sandwich and chowder
What’s the password? New England clam chowder…

Also, Nora fed Pete chowder when she first brought him to the lighthouse and made him take off all his clothes.

nora and pete
Get some rest. Or you’ll be dragon tomorrow. 

And she called all the fishermen that wanted to make a little boy live on the streets because they couldn’t find any fish, chowderheads.

Later, I will talk about how messed up this movie is….AND I am not mentioning either of the previous facts. THAT’S how messed up this movie is. It’s also awesome.

The movie

This movie definitely feels like the movie receiving the most question marks from the Goody brood. Nickie and Owen claim they don’t even really like this one. Myles says he likes it, but I am not 100% it’s a favorite of his either. But as I watched this the other day, I actually found myself thinking, “How  can anyone NOT like this movie?” I love it to pieces.

I get it. It’s definitely dated. I mean, in some respects this is a pretty messed up movie. There is literally a song that is built around the idea of tricking a child to come home so he can receive a beating. Actually, a beating is an understatement. They actually talk about drowning him at one point. They also talk about all the chores he has to do. They feel they are owed this because they bought Pete. Yeah, slavery AND child abuse covered in this one. Oh…and this is the first song in the movie. And it’s super upbeat. So yeah, I get it.

And yes…one of the main characters has a serious alcohol problem. In an adorable way. He has an adorable alcohol problem. Like, he’s hammered. All. The. Time. And this is who will be co-parenting Pete in the lighthouse. So not the most stable living environment he’s running towards. Yeah, get it.

Think that’s one of them Hurry-Canes?

Oh and lest you think the child abuse was all done with…it wasn’t. Pete’s teacher is breakin knuckles and behinds. And please don’t even get me started on the “how can we chop this dragon up” song.


So you are all probably like…”oh and this is in your top 40. You sick son of a…” Relax. Relax. This movie has a TON that is right with it. The music is soooooo great in this one. Yes, the subject matter is questionable, but that movie about hitting Pete with a cane is sure catchy. And “Candle on the Water?” Forget it. Amazing…one of the best.

And at the heart of this movie is a tale of faith, right? I mean, to believe in a dragon (especially an invisible one) takes faith. And Pete seems to have not given up hope completely…thinking there is somewhere for him out there. And Nora continues to hold onto her faith that Paul will return. In the end, all this faith and hope converges in a perfect storm (literally) of awesome where all that had faith are rewarded and all those that were….well…awful…are punished accordingly.

When I was a kid, I watched this movie whenever I could. Part of it was the music. Part of it was the dragon. Part of it was my dumb kid brain not being able to comprehend how they got a dragon in the real world. But a big part of it was that I wanted to believe this was the world that was out there for me. A world where those with faith and hope. Those that follow the path of goodness, friendship and kindness will be rewarded. And those that cross me will be severely punished. Muahahahaha.

Kidding. Sort of. Not really.

As an aside, I just watched the first trailer for the new Pete’s Dragon coming out this summer and….I don’t want to talk about it. But I will say I enjoyed that trailer when I saw it the first time. And it was called The Jungle Book.

end image
11 more movies in a little over 7 weeks? Eeek.

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