Petes Dragon is my all time favorite Disney movie, no not the remake even though I do love that one as well, I love the 1977 classic even more. Elliot is my actual favorite Disney Character EVER! So in honor of the films anniversary here are some fun facts.
Originally, Elliott, the dragon was not to be seen at all in the film and remain invisible throughout. However, members of the studio animation department gradually lobbied studio heads to increase the amount of visual screen time. At first, it was decided he would only be seen at the end of the film, but ultimately the characters screen time was increased to 22 minutes.
This was the first film to be recorded in the then new Dolby stereo system.
The studio needed special permission from the coast guard use the authentic lighthouse seen in the film. The lighthouse was supposed to be moved to Disneyland. Unfortunately, the building deteriorated before this happened.
This was Ken Anderson’s final film for Disney. Having spent much of his life in East Asia, he based Elliott on the Chinese Dragons trope; the ancient Chinese consider dragons good while western cultures consider them evil.
Happy Birthday, Petes Dragon!