When Elliott flies into theaters this August, he'll look a little different than he did back in 1977's "Pete's Dragon."
Disney just released a brand new trailer for the upcoming "reimagining" of the classic flick, giving us our best look yet at the brand new beast who befriends a small boy in the Pacific Northwest wilderness. With green fur all over his body and mannerisms similar to a household pet, he's an adorable creature who's sure to sell some serious merchandise!
In addition to the new teaser -- check it out above -- toofab also recently got a sneak peek at some footage from the movie and took part in a Q&A with star Bryce Dallas Howard and director David Lowery.
From star Robert Redford's heroic antics on set to the hilarious explanation behind Elliott's makeover, keep reading for "5 Things We Learned About the New Pete's Dragon!"
1.) The Director Didn't Want a "Game of Thrones" Dragon
"I love my cats," Lowery revealed during the panel, explaining that they influenced the design for Pete's beastly BFF.
"I was like, 'If you put a 'Game of Thrones' dragon in this, scaley and kind of cold, that'd be cool, but I want this to be the kind of dragon who you really want to give a hug too and that I want to snuggle up with," he added. "The best way to do that is to give it fur because there is no reason why dragons can't be furry."
"We kind of went through the design process trying to find what choice would make the best dragon," he continued.
2.) The New Film Is Timeless, Literally
In both the trailer and clips that were screened for us, one thing was very apparent: there was not a cell phone to be seen.
Lowery explained that he wanted the film to have a "timeless" vibe to it, one that sits somewhere between the '70s-'80s, evoking comparisons to "E.T." or "The Goonies."
"I just feel like when you have a movie that has a fantastical concept in it, you will accept it more easily if it doesn't have the veil of time," the director said. "You are just a little more accepting of the magic there. I always find that the movies that I return to and that I love the most are the ones that don't feel dated."
"We didn't put a title card you that says 'This is what year it is,'" he added. "We pull some stuff from the '70s, some from the '80s, and built this cohesive whole that doesn't have a actual day on it but just feels like yesterday."
3.) This Is Not a Straight-Up Remake
Unlike the original, there will be no staged musical numbers this time around or winks/nods to the 1977 film.
"I really wanted to avoid the winks and the nods, not because the original's not great, but because I wanted this to exist in its own realm," explains Lowery. He hopes fans of the first film will see this one and still think "This is a great new film," while also introducing something new to children who have no frame of reference.
"We talked about having references, but ultimately we felt this was the pure tactic," he adds. "I've seen remakes that do that and it always take you out of the movie, that little wink."
For Howard, that was part of the appeal.
"I didn't want it to be just a copycat thing," she explains. "I feel like you see a lot of those and some of them are great and some of them don't work, but I felt like the themes within the original film were what the charm of that movie was. I think what centered that film and made it what it was, was this centralized theme of friendship with imaginary friends and when you have that family. So when I heard it wasn't a straight up remake, I was like yes I would love to be a part of that!
4.) Expect Pete to Steal the Show
Casting Pete was quite a process for everyone involved in the film -- but Lowery says he knew they had their star after seeing young Oakes Fegley.
"I don't want to speak poorly of the child actors who were incredibly talented and are capable of doing great things, but I wanted someone who was not perfect and didn't have that sort of trained quality," explains the director. "I want to say there were some amazing kids out there and I would love to make a movie with like one hundred kids, but he walked in the room and it was one of those classic things, like 'Oh, done.'"
"He was really tough and scrappy, but also so quiet and sensitive," adds Lowery, citing some important qualities for a kid playing a 10-year-old who has to fend for himself in the woods.
"He reminded me of my dad in a lot of ways because he was just sort of this talent," praises Bryce, daughter of actor-turned-director Ron Howard.
"He really understands a movie set and is not self-conscious," she adds. "He has a deep sensitivity and empathy, and it was beautiful. It was amazing working with him."
Howard says she could easily see him being a director in the future.
5.) Robert Redford Is a Real Life Hero
While initially intimidated to be working with the acting legend, both Lowery and Howard call Robert Redford an absolute delight to work with.
"He's awesome," exclaims Howard. "He is disarmingly relaxed and cool and game for things. He's really fun and cool to work with."
Lowery then went on to explain how Redford even hitchhiked to set in the middle of the New Zealand forest one day ... and, on another trip, helped an injured horse.
"We're driving 2 hours to set and we see this horse standing on the side of the road," explains Lowery. "[Redford's] like, 'That horse should not be there,' and rescued him."
Howard adds that the horse was apparently in a "really abusive situation," but is now "being taken care of for the rest of its life."