Elliott the Dragon Got a Cuddly Makeover for the Live-Action Pete’s Dragon
Falkor? Is that you?
We got our first trailer for the live-action Pete’s Dragon earlier this year, but, in order to keep the mystery alive, that trailer was pretty light on ~actual dragon.~ Now, Entertainment Weekly has our first actual look at Elliott the Dragon himself, in all his made-over glory.
2016 Elliott has a much more…muted aesthetic than the pink-winged Elliott many of us know from the 1977 film. Director David Lowery told EW that although he loved “certain things about the original design,” the dragon was due for a new look.
Lowery told EW that the team “explored pink, just to see what would happen,” but that “from the get-go, the aesthetic was always to make everything feel as handmade as possible, including effects. To really have it feel like a blur between a very grounded realistic world and a world in which a big green dragon that can turn invisible can exist.”
Production designer Jade Healy says Elliott 2.0 was inspired more by mammals like the cats owned by members of the creative team than by reptiles: “David saw this furry, soft dragon that kids could imagine, when they go into the woods, could actually be there.” The Pete’s Dragon creators also turned to the Internet for inspiration: “There’s one video of a giant panda tumbling in his cave, and we looked at that again and again as our Elliott — this big animal who just doesn’t know what to do with his body.”
Although I like how Elliott’s face and body structure has a bit of canine vibe now (he basically just looks Falkor on St. Patrick’s day!), I’m not sure I’m digging the fur. My house growing up had a lot of green shag carpet, and, based on that experience, all I can think about is the amount of insects, dirt, and other Dragon debris that’s probably caught in Elliott’s pelt right now.
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