You may not realise, but there are actually quite a few individual candidates that could be the focus for Appreciate A Dragon Day, such as Tolkien’s Smaug, Saphira in Christopher Paulini’s Inheritance Cycle, and Rowling’s characteristically British sounding Norbert. However, my all-time favourite would have to be the green-skinned, pink-haired Elliott, better known as Pete’s Dragon from the 1977 Disney movie musical of that very name.
Elliott is a gentle, loving beast that looks after Pete, the runaway orphan who manages to stay fit, healthy, clean and nourished, despite sleeping in a cave after his gigantic protector causes mischief in the fishing village of Passamaquoddy. Oh, did I mention that Elliott the dragon can turn invisible? That’s kind of important.
Anyway, I won’t go on about the storyline because this isn’t a review column and I haven’t seen it for ages, but it’s an amazing film and Elliott is a lovable dragon that I very much appreciate, especially since he reminds me of my childhood, watching films taped from the TV onto Betamax. Plus it stars Mickey Rooney as the drunken lighthouse keeper and Jim Dale playing the magnificent role of Doc Terminus, a travelling flimflam medicine man. The song in which he makes numerous attempts to pronounce ‘Passamaquoddy’ still brings a huge smile to my face. In fact, shall we all watch it together? Yeeaahhhhhh, why not? Here’s a taster so you know what you’re about to appreciate:
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Watch this clip on YouTube, it even has subtitles so you can sing along!
Now that’s good old-fashioned family fun right there. And before you leave a comment saying that this clip doesn’t include Elliott the dragon, give it another watch. If you pause at 3 minutes and 29 seconds and look very closely, you should be able to see him standing in the background beneath the flags. He’s turned invisible, yes, but he’s definitely there.