Disney’s 1977 film Pete’s Dragon introduced us to a lovable dragon named Elliott. Best and only friend of an orphan named Pete, Elliott lumbered off the screen and into the hearts of many children. Elliott the dragon will be returning to life in a different form for the upcoming remake of Pete’s Dragon, due in theaters on August 12, 2016. And by different form, I mean he’s created with computer generated graphics instead of hand-drawn animation like the original film and he has fur instead of scales. Why fur?
The film’s director David Lowery has an answer for that. Nerdist learned about the reason behind the softer texture while attending a sneak peek of the new Pete’s Dragon. Lowery said, “The very first hook I had for myself when I was going in to meet the producers on this film about the story–we didn’t have a pitch yet or anything–but I wanted the dragon to be furry. And that’s because I love my cats, and I was probably with my cat thinking, ‘I wish this guy was 20 feet tall.’ I was like, ‘Look, if you put a Game of Thrones dragon in this, it would be scaly and cold and it would be cool, but I want this to be the kind of dragon who you really want to give a hug to and that I want to give a hug to and snuggle up with.’ The best way to do that was to make him furry, and there’s no reason why dragons can’t be furry.”
Lowery continued, “I went through a thought process of figuring out what design choice would break the idea of it being a dragon. There were certain things we found you can’t do like the wings–we started to do things differently that made it feel like a chimera or other various mythical beasts. But if we kept the wings, kept the head, kept the ridges on the back, you can have fun with the rest of the design and it still feels like a dragon. And the fur was an integral part of the design for me. It made the character for me.”
Are you looking forward to Pete’s Dragon? What do you think about Elliott’s scales? Let me know in the comments.