Disney's latest live-action adventure is getting a big thumbs up from film critics.
Pete's Dragon - which was filmed in New Zealand and features Kiwi actor Karl Urban - has been called "the best 'big' movie of the summer" (Forbes).
Also starring Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World) and Robert Redford, the movie follows a young boy named Pete (Oakes Fegley) who is found in the woods and has a magical best friend, Elliott the dragon.
Time Out UK said the reimagining of the 1977 Disney classic had "all the nostalgic Spielberg-y-ness of Stranger Things, minus the creepy kids with paranormal nosebleeds."
also compared the film, directed by David Lowery, to the work of Steven Spielberg, writing: "The result is part
. It's sweet and soulful and Spielberg-ish, but with a bitter streak."
The animated dragon at the heart of the film was praised by The Wrap which reported: "Elliot is a triumph, a new ideal for fantasy creatures."
"Pete's Dragon is a remake in all the right ways, taking cues from the original but reimagining the story for a very different audience living in a very different era," IGN Movies' reviewer wrote. And Empire Magazine commented that, "strong performances and direction make the most of a lightweight tale."
Variety said the film was "One of the year's most delightful movie-going surprises, a quality family film that rewards young people's imaginations and reminds us of a time when the term "Disney movie" meant something."
The film has so far received a rating of 84 per cent on review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes.
Pete's Dragon hits New Zealand cinemas on September 15.